I went scuba diving off the coast here at Selsey this weekend which should have been great fun. Unfortunately the sea was so rough just waiting to set off in the rib made me feel seasick. Then when we were diving, my daughter and I lost our buddy partner and had to surface and hang around at the surface being tossed about like mad things until we found him and submerged again. The journey back was another cork tossing event. Afterwards I felt like death, I even had to have help taking my kit off and despite having an evening of fun planned, I went straight to bed and slept for fourteen hours. Apart from the world not spinning round, I had the exact same clammy, sweaty, head-achy, sickness riddled feeling I remember getting from having too much to drink. I never want that again, and I never want to be seasick again either. Horrible!
I have just spent an interesting evening at the Sir Patrick Moore lecture here in Selsey, listening to Dr John Mason discuss the New Horizon space mission to Pluto. At the end I asked whether the probe would ever overtake the Voyager spacecraft and become the furthest man-made object from Earth, and was interested to hear that it will.
I first went to this lecture three years ago when Sir Patrick was still alive and just well enough to present part of the talk himself. Even though the lecture only lasts two hours, and is held in a hall literally a five minute walk from my house, I recall having a whole bottle of wine before we left home just to make sure I could last out. When we arrived they were selling wine as they were tonight, and I ordered two glasses, one for me and ‘one for my wife’ even though she doesn’t drink. In the interval I ordered two more glasses and remember spilling some on the way back to my seat and then spilling more down my shirt I was so drunk.
That night I wanted to ask Sir Patrick a question but was too pissed to get my thoughts in order, and at the end of the lecture I was too drunk to dare go over and shake his hand. I thought at the time I would be able to try a little harder the following year and promised myself not to drink so much, but of course Patrick had died by then. He was the man who inspired be to become a scientist in my fifties, so what an arsehole I was to waste such an opportunity in favour of booze.
Did I miss anything by being stone cold sober this evening? Certainly not. I even got to meet some new people and make new friends. Was anyone else drunk? No. So what a complete waste of space (pardon the pun) I must have looked to other people back then.
I have my own New Horizon and I love it!
Next time your mates in the pub laugh at you for ordering a lime soda, it is worth noting that most glass is made from a substance called soda lime. So apart from a small reversal or words there is little difference between what you and they have in your hands. They just happen to have filled their soda lime with masses of sugar in disguise.
An introduction to my autobiographical comedy, the 7.52 to London Bridge. If you wanted further background on why I gave up drinking, some of the stories in this book should enlighten you! The book is available through the more books by me tab on this site. I hope you enjoy it.
Many academic based institutions dealing with alcoholism (and one in particular) take the stance that once you are an alcoholic, you are always an alcoholic. I don’t agree.
I think telling someone they will always be an alcoholic is so negative, it is sufficient to make then unwilling to admit to being an alcoholic in the first place. I know that if someone had said to me, ‘you need to admit to being an alcoholic Julian, but beware, it means you will always be one!’ that would have put me off going anywhere near admitting to being an alcoholic - which I was.
So after two and a half years of having consumed no alcohol, am I still an alcoholic?
Twenty three years ago I gave up smoking. Before that I was smoking twenty or more cigarettes per day, and had been for twenty years. I was certainly addicted to nicotine, I enjoyed smoking, and I couldn’t imagine life without cigarettes. I didn’t even want to give up, and it was only when using her new camera from Santa, my daughter took a photograph of her drunken father asleep on her bed one Christmas day with a lighted fag still in hand, and I saw what a slob I had become I gave up there and then - forever. So am I still a smoker? No. Am I in danger of being tempted to have a cigarette if I go near one? No. If the sky was falling down and the world was due to end tomorrow, would I rush out and buy a packet of fags? Certainly not. I hate the things, I have no interest in ever smoking again and even the thought of putting a disgusting fag in my mouth is enough to make me retch. And like most ex-smokers (note the expression), I am more likely than anyone to moan about secondary smoking, fag ends, the mess, the smell etc.
Well believe it or not I now feel that way about drink. My simple methodology has given me such a ‘forever’ perspective on my not drinking, I really have grown to hate the stuff and nothing could tempt me to want to have an alcoholic drink again. I even hate smelling booze on people’s breath, especially that rancid cheap spirit aroma that generally accompanies the stink of cheap cigarettes.
This is not something that happened from day one mind you. Not that I was ever tempted to have a drink once I had given up, but there were times when I reminisced and thought a nice cold beer would have been nice if I still drank, or a nice glass of cold white wine. But now nearly three years on, I am not the slightest bit interested. Just yesterday I was at a local book event and there was a raffle with the proceeds going to charity. Being a Good Samaritan (and being bullied by a rather large lady) I bought a strip of tickets, but then saw that all the prizes were bottles of booze. This really irked me, and although it didn’t really matter and after all it was for a good cause, I did feel somewhat cheated, and put out by the fact it is assumed everyone would love to win some alcohol. Yes of course, once upon a time that everyone would have been me, but not anymore.
So with my zero interest in having a drink ever again, am I still an alcoholic? If I was to have one glass of wine would I go back on the booze and become once again the drunk I used to be? Perhaps. But I have no intention of having that one glass of wine because ‘I don’t drink!’ so I will never know. Just like if I sat and worked my way through a packet of cigarettes and got used to the taste once again, I might become addicted to smoking once more, but I have no intention of doing anything so stupid because, ‘I don’t smoke!’ so I will never know.
So to conclude, it takes time, and only you will know when you have reached that milestone, but I am no longer an alcoholic. I am happy to admit that I was one, and I don’t have a problem with that, but I don’t see why I should carry the stigma of being an alcoholic for the rest of my life, and there is no reason you should always be an alcoholic either – like me you will just become someone who finds it perfectly natural to say, ‘I don’t drink!’
A new video added to my video page. This time I talk briefly about when to tell others you have quit. I also act out some scenarios in a bar and make use of the dreaded word 'teetotal!'
For those of you who have watched my hypnosis video, with me being 'fluenced' by Dan Jones, I suddenly realised it is now a month since I had a treacle pudding, and I still don't want one! It works!
Spent the morning snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking because I can. Because I remembered I expected to be dead by now when I was still drinking. What a wonderful life this is. I am so glad I quit drinking!
It was the Selsey raft race for the RNLI yesterday. Despite high seas and monster waves my wife and I managed to finish the course. Even the local fire brigade team had to give up as did five other rafts of the 19 that entered. I did shout 'Think Army' to my wife as we left the shore, and the children chanting 'minions, minions' helped a great deal. Hopefully we helped raise a huge sum towards the new lifeboat. afterwards we sat on the beach, drank a much needed mug of hot green tea and watched an amazing overhead display by a Spitfire. Three years ago I didn't think I'd even be still alive by now! What an arsehole I was.