In my book ‘I Don’t Drink’ I talk about developing a ‘been there - done that’ philosophy as part of my methodology.
Rereading Charles Dickens masterpiece David Copperfield this afternoon I was reminded of how much I love that man’s writing and how he must have known drunkenness very well to write so well about it. I quote from the scene where Copperfield has been entertaining his young friends and opening copious bottles of wine before they are even needed. There are about to go off to a show at the local theatre:-
Owing to some confusion in the dark, the door was gone. I was feeling for it in the window-curtains, when Steerforth, laughing, took me by the arm and led me out. We went down-stairs, one behind another. Near the bottom, somebody fell, and rolled down. Somebody else said it was Copperfield. I was angry at that false report, until, finding myself on my back in the passage, I began to think there might be some foundation in it.
Somehow Copperfield and pals end up at the theatre where Copperfield manages to upset the entire audience and his intended Agnes when he joins her in her box. He is told to go home.
I stepped at once out of the box-door into my bedroom where as he helped me undress, I urged Steerforth to bring the corkscrew, that I might open another bottle of wine.
The next morning.
But the agony of mind, the remorse, and shame I felt, when I became conscious the next day! My horror of having committed a thousand offences I had forgotten, and which nothing could ever expiate.
I love reminding myself of how much fun I had getting just as drunk as Copperfield, one such occasion is going to a very posh nightclub with my brother and his business colleagues many year ago, and when the cabaret started, finding myself sitting on a chair in the middle of the stage with no idea how I came to be there. Needless to say the cast were not as amused as I was to find me there and we were all thrown out forthwith.
In the early days of being forever sober, if I ever wished I was still drinking I would remind myself of times like that, also remember the similar to Copperfield regrets I had the following day and satisfy myself that having ‘been there and done that’, I really didn’t need a drink after all.