Today’s video is based on six “facts” about alcohol and addiction that most people believe. This is not only incredibly harmful to anyone who wants to quit drinking, but as we know, there are monumental untruths being told about alcohol itself and its place within our society…
Hi, I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcohol mastery dot com.
Today’s topic is 6 so-called facts that everyone thinks are true about alcoholism.
The first thing is that everyone thinks that alcoholism is a disease that people have got to overcome, something that is going to stay with them for the rest of their lives, and that it’s generally part of their genetic makeup.
For me, this is just nonsense.
It’s something that was invented in the forties or fifties, sixty years ago after prohibition, and people are trying to get their drinkers into places like the AA.
What happened after prohibition was, during prohibition people blamed the alcohol.
People said that there was something with this drug being sold on a large scale, and it was causing a lot of problems in the society.
If you think about it, prohibition was there for…there were a lot of reasons why people went in that direction where they wanted to ban it entirely.
It was made out that it was just the Christian fundamentalist, where people just said it wasn’t a Christian thing to do, or it wasn’t something that people ought to do in their lives because it went against the values of society or whatever.
But at the end of the day, when you look at the history of alcohol, you look at some of the episodes of alcohol throughout history, it’s just caused mayhem.
And pure catastrophe in societies where it’s been taken on as a cultural thing.
Look at the Indians and the Irish, the Italians, too.
It’s embedded into these cultures and most cultures in the western world.
And after prohibition, you could no longer blame the alcohol because prohibition caused so many problems in itself.
Not only was it the rise of some of the biggest gangsters that the world has ever seen on both sides of the law, but there was no real push from the government to enforce prohibition, so it was just emasculated from the time of its inception.
And there was a lot more problems caused by the imposition of…
Look, when someone tells you you can’t do something, then it’s going to cause a lot of problems.
That’s the history of prohibition, and how after prohibition, you couldn’t demonize alcohol anymore.
You couldn’t say it was the fault of a drug.
The fact that this drug was in the society, it had to switch over to the people, and that’s what happened.
It was no longer a cultural issue, or the fact that alcohol was sold in the society; it was the fact that it was the individual’s responsibility.
Having said that, I agree with a lot of it.
I think that it is a personal thing.
If you’ve got a drinking problem, it’s down to you to put the alcohol into your mouth, and it’s also down to you to stop.
But, they took it one step further, and they said it wasn’t the fault of the individual, it was the fault of the disease.
These people who started drinking alchol had a disease, or a genetic disposition or whatever.
It’s just nonsense and it takes away the power, which is the second thing I want to talk about.
People say that if you’re an alcoholic, you’re powerless over the substance.
It’s written in AA’s 12-steps, you have to admit that you’re powerless to do anything about it.
Think about it, once you start admitting that kind of thing to yourself, that you have no power over this inert liquid that’s sat in a bottle and cannot do you any harm until you physically pick the stuff up and put it into your mouth, mouthful after mouthful…
Once you start admitting that you’ve got no power over it, then what does that do to your chances of quitting drinking?
It doesn’t do that much, does it?
It doesn’t fill you up with hope that you can do this on your own, it doesn’t fill you up with any kind of self-confidence that it is within your abilities to stop this stuff.
So, if you’re powerless then you have to rely on something outside of yourself, an external power.
That might be God, according to the AA.
It could be relying on going to a dry out clinic, spending fortunes going to these places who basically use the AA program.
Anyway, that’s part of their system.
Basically when you go to these places, it’s like staying in a hotel, so you’re paying for that.
They take everything off you.
You’re not allowed to bring booze in,obviously that’s a good thing.
Then they put you through a 12-step process, and often times it’s not even on the premises of the try out program.
You have to go outside to get that.
Anyway that’s a different thing.
But, as soon as you start saying that you’re powerless against this thing, that’s another myth.
Everyone’s got the power.
You have the power to do this, regardless of whether you go to a 12-step program or a dry out program or whatever methods you have to do, it relies on you to actually do it.
Because you could stay a month in a dry out clinic, then come out of the dry out clinic, and…does that mean you’re not powerless anymore just because you’ve gone to this place?
Or just because you’ve gone to a weekly meeting, that you’re all of a sudden having a power to do these things?
You have to take the decision to either drink or not.
You have to make the choices and take the actions on drinking or not drinking.
So, it’s within your power to do it.
It’s up to you to do it.
Step 3 is the myth that you can’t do it on your own.
How many people did I hear say that before I quit?
And I was living proof that I could do it for 10 months.
But when people say you can’t do it on your own, or it’s dangerous to do it on your own, or in the long term you’re still going to be hooked and it’s something that’s impossible to do, then you start thinking in the back of your mind that maybe it is.
Maybe that 10 months I did, the reason I went back was because I really can’t quit on my own.
But, I’m going into my 5th year now, and I will never go back on the alcohol again.
I never went to anyone, I did this completely on my own without any help.
I read a bit, and read up a few forums.
But a lot of the forums gave me the same bullshit, that ‘oh yeah, 20 years, the alcohol voice will still be there and you can succumb to it, and you’re never away from it. One drink is going to bring you back’, and all that bullshit.
That scared me at the beginning because I didn’t realise what bullshit it was.
Because I had no experience of it.
I think that’s the problem with most people, is that in the beginning they just haven’t’ got that experience of what it’s like to quit or what it’s like to build up their self-confidence, that you can do this, what it’s like to turn your back on alcohol and push yourself in a direction that is against the alcohol.
Once you start getting that experience and you start pushing yourself forward and achieving the goals in your life that you thought weren’t possible, then you start achieving your goals faster than you thought was possible.
Then you start believing in yourself. ‘I’m achieving this on my own. I’m doing this on my own. Why did I ever listen to that?’
But it’s an natural thing for humans to do, to listen to other people who we think have got some knowledge.
The problem with the internet and the world we’re living in today is, there’s such a vast amount of knowledge that it’s difficult to pick apart what is good and what is bad.
Another false fact is that people think you’re going to get help from your family and friends.
Sometimes that’s just not the case.
I mean, the problem with a lot of family and friends is that they are also drinkers.
There’s no point in asking another drug user how to overcome the problems of your drug use while they’re still using the drug.
It’s the same thing I find hypocritical about a lot of researches, because a lot of researchers are drinkers themselves.
Therefore, they’re trying to justify their own drinking, maybe not in a specific, scientific research project they’re doing.
But below the surface, they have an ulterior motive, or a conflict of interests.
That goes with your family and friends.
At the end of the day, the only person you can truly 100% rely on is yourself.
100% Responsibility, 100% commitment is what it takes.
And, to fly in the face of popular opinion, this is what we’re doing.
People around us are swallowing this poison on a daily basis, killing their bodies on a daily basis, and it’s culturally acceptable to do that.
But, in order for us to stop doing that, you have to fly against that.
You have to go against many pf your peers, and sometimes that is going to create a conflict.
You have to have the tenacity to overcome your own weaknesses, cravings and wants, and to push through the different symptoms that you may have.
But you’ve also got the obstacle pointing your way by other people who really don’t want to see you succeed, but they don’t understand what you’re talking about.
The only way they can rationalise it is to say you must have a drinking problem.
That’s my experience with family and friends.
I don’t think any of my family and friends had any motives which are detrimental towards me, but whether they were or not, their advice in some cases could have been detrimental if I’d chosen to listen to it.
The 5th false fact I want to highlight is that quitting drinking will solve all your problems, that if you do quit, then everything else is going to be good.
It’s just not a fact.
Quitting drinking is the start of the process of building, rebuilding or whatever you want to call it, of moving forward and getting something new in your life, of trying new things and failing at a lot of things on your way, then trying again.
But it’s a lot of hard work and it’s worth it every step of the way.
Because every step you take forwards, you’re putting a step between you and your old behaviour, and that’s the point of this thing.
It’s to put more distance between you and the behaviour.
The 6th part of this is that people talk about rebuilding yourself.
It’s not a rebuild from the sense that you were broke.
You’re not a broken person, it’s just a part of your life that just happens to have become habitual around a drug.
In the sense of it, alcohol is not normal.
It’s not normal to put this shit in your body in the first place.
It’s not normal just as it’s not normal for people to overeat to the extent that they are overeating these days.
But that’s just a product of the society that we’re in today.
It’s very easy to see, it’s very easy to do.
It’s very easy to see how people become habitually reliant on a drug, whether it’s alcohol, cigarettes, salt, fat or sugar; it’s easy to see how this can come about.
It doesn’t mean you’re a broken person.
You might have parts of your life that are broken, but you as an individual, you need to rebuild things from a perspective of rethinking things and rebuilding things outside of yourself, learning new skills, relearning old skills you’ve forgotten about.
This is a very dynamic process.
It’s not something which is static or something that will happen overnight.
It’s going to take a long time for it to happen, but it will get there. That’s it for today.
If you need any help at all, we have a great website over at alcoholmastery.com.
There are over 600 videos, absolutely free.
It’s good archives for different types of help, on day-to day quitting of alcohol, moving upwards from alcohol, inspirational stuff, stuff to really motivate you onwards.
Until next time, take care of yourself, stay safe and keep the alcohol out of your mouth.
IF YOU STUMBLE, MAKE IT A PART OF THE DANCE. YOU WILL GET THERE.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!