I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com and today’s video is An Interpretation of A Lifetime of Drunkeness From the Other Side. By other side, I mean now that my mind has been clear of intoxication for two and a half years.
I have had a lot of time to think about how alcohol works. I have a much deeper understanding of the part alcohol played in my life and how it’s playing out in our society. So I wanted to do a little retrospective today, taking a look back at an interpretation of my 30 year relationship with alcohol.
I started drinking when I was a naive teenager, following the herd, doing what the big boys were doing, doing what my parents, and teachers, and doctors were also doing. I continued to drink alcohol for over 30 years. Over those years, I gradually drank more and more as the alcohol’s effect on my body diminished. I never thought about my drinking as addiction, it was a way of life.
Throughout all those years, my biological system always had my back. My body was only reacting to the poison I was chugging, acting in my defense. In the beginning, this biological reaction manifested itself enough to make me ill each time I drank. My body would force me onto my knees with my head stuffed into the toilet bowl, feeling like I was going to die, the bathroom spinning around my head, and vomit flying out of my gob. It’s a clear and unambiguous sign that something is very wrong. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the cause. When you’re in the middle of this torture it’s easy to moan to yourself – Never Again!
As a side note, if your body didn’t react in this way, if your defense system decided that it wanted to take the night off, death would happen within 12 to 24 hours.
Back to my body. As I said, it doesn’t take a genius to work out why your body is having this reaction. Some people say they are allergic to alcohol. That’s a bit like saying that they are allergic to arsenic. However, genius or not, I knew what had provoked my body into such a violent reaction and I kept coming back for more, and more, and more. Then because of this relentless effort on my part, my body started to reduce the effects of the alcohol. So when I drank, I didn’t feel sick, or feel the world spinning. I didn’t even feel very drunk any more if I consumed the same amount of beer.
Of course, the intention of my body wasn’t that I should drink more of the stuff. The intention was just to protect me. By reducing the effects of the alcohol, my body was assuming that this intake of alcohol was unavoidable and arranging that I could function in life regardless of the poison that I was delivering upon myself.
The problem was there was a complete disconnect between my mind and my body. My body didn’t understand my motivations. It didn’t realize why I was drinking in the first place. The disconnect was in not understanding the powerful outside influences that were behind those drinking motivations. It hadn’t got a clue about the propaganda that swept away all my doubts and drove my impulsive behavior despite the torture of the day after. My body didn’t understand that I was encouraged to poison myself by the very people who should have known better, those who I trusted to guide me through the darkness and teach me the right lessons for a good life. My body didn’t understand that I drank because I wanted buzz, that I liked the wobbly, giddy feeling that being poisoned gave me. I remember I used to enjoy being spun very fast on a playground roundabout, a carousel, that was until I fell off and cracked my head on the concrete floor… there were no soft landings in those days.
All these years I didn’t realize my body was just protecting me. My body didn’t know I actually enjoyed the turmoil I was causing. So for over 30 years, my brain was at odds with my body, both pulling in completely opposite directions.
Finally, through the fog, through everything that was happening in my life, all the consequences to in my world, and to the people who I loved, I realized what my body was trying to tell me all along.
Stop swallowing this poison, it’s killing you!
By that stage, I was drinking almost every day, habitually. Was I going to suffer for the rest of my life because I couldn’t have any more of this poison? The genius in me finally worked out that I had built a bad habit of drinking a poisonous liquid that was slowly killing me. I hadn’t realized that every time I flung my body into turmoil, aka feeling the buzz, I was suffering from alcohol poisoning.
If I stopped the flow, the poisoning would stop, the turmoil would stop, and my brain and body could get back into sync.
From the other side, two and a half years later, my brain and body have been reconnected. I feel like I’m able to have another go at life. I like to believe that second chances are there because I wasn’t really ready the first time. I won’t be wasting it, I don’t need a third.
Click the like if you got something out of this video and thanks for watching
I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com
Onwards and Upwards
Hi Kev, I’d been drinking for over 40 years until I started watching your podcast then I made the decision to stop for good that was eight months ago, prior to that I’ve been twelve stepped with AA, been to rehab. I also tried to cut down on my own over the years only drinking out of the house or just weekends or special occasions and as you know the list and the promises’ go on.
I managed to stay sober for nearly two years and it was hard. I think subconsciously I did all of this just to get people of my back and to be seen to be doing something about my problem, so that I could eventually return to some sort of controlled drinking- it didn’t work but what has worked is your help and advise through your videos and books and every now and then when my mind wants to revert to default I put on one of your videos and just view alcohol for the poison that it is. Life is for living and living it sober is just about the best thing I could wish for. So thanks big Kev for all that you do you have helped me and countless others. onwards and upwards mate.
Just want to say THANK YOU for the work you are doing to help others who have struggled with addiction to alcohol. All your videos and information have helped me quit drinking. This one was especially helpful because I’m three months without the awful stuff and starting to feel better.
Didn’t really drink at all until I was about 30 years old and it didn’t get really bad until about ten years ago. Some really painful life events put me “under” and I started drinking wine every night to make it go away. Alcohol is so very good at that.
My story is much like the one you tell here. I am three months sober and starting to feel better although there are still symptoms that I hope will eventually go away as my body heals.
a few questions:
1. How long before the energy really returns. I use to be a very high energy person before drinking. Now, I still feel tired every day. I realize that everyone is different and the healing is gradual but did you, at some point, start to feel the energy return?
2. I have had leg, joint and foot pain that I read may be connected to the liver having to process alcohol for so long. Before wine became my routine, I was a marathon runner and triathlete. Do you know anything about the possibility of doing permanent nerve damage from drinking.
3. I love your positiveness. I realize that forward is the only way to look at this but I have a great deal of sadness (working on the guilt…worthless emotion if it last longer than three minutes) about doing this to myself and all the time and opportunities lost…relationships ruined…harm done to my body that I fear will not repair. I know that the only way to go is forward into a life without alcohol, which I really love by the way…but how do you bail the “water under the bridge” if you know what I mean?
Thank you again for the time, energy and knowledge you are sharing to help others get sober!! I am grateful for your materials and your videos.
With Grate Gratitude,
Your first question depends, on you, your diet, your body, age, etc… how long is the string?
I know alcohol can affect all areas of your body, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it causes nerve damage. You need to speak to a doc for that though.
I don’t look back too much because there’s no point. If you beat yourself up over past mistakes, it’s a no win. It’s enough to feel bad at the time without ruining your future with it as well. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to let go of these things. Learn lessons, by all means, but you can’t lift yourself into a better life if you’re weighed down with the baggage from your past.
Take care xo
I think this is one of the best videos I have watched that describes the progressive nature of alcoholism. Right from day one and how the body adjusts to deal with it but drinking increases.
I wish more people would get this and stop this huge industry like we’ve done for tobacco.
As Robin Williams said, it’s a class 4 narcotic.
As always, you are very inspiring. I used to feel guilty and would apologize to my body for the damage I was about to do. It was very confusing. You described this scenario just right – a mind body disconnect. Now there is harmony. Thank you!
Love this !
It’s empowering incredible supportive and makes me feel that for once I’ve done something amazing for my body !
Great view, rather overview and perspective. I am in agreement, this drinking can be a bad habit, and the propaganda machine is very powerful, for sure. Glad you are free, and now me too!! Thanks, you rock!
loved this video Kevin, you are 100% right it’s fucking Poison. Just can’t do the hang overs anymore. putting down the bottle for barbells and running,you know that thing they call a runners high it’s real you know, and the great thing is there’s no hangover
Thank you Kevin.
I HEARD you, Thankyou I have got the message at last.
Kevin You’re bang on brother !! Poison it is .. For the last couple of months I’ve been working in a liquor store temporarely, and you would not believe the amount of liquor that goes out that door .. That tells me that there is still plenty of people drinking that shit .. Not for me anymore . there are sooo many things that we can do with our life without drinking booze … WHEN YOU REALLY AND I MEAN REALLY THINK ABOUT IT ..thanks again Kev. without booze clear focus and save $$$$
Thank you Kevin…been sober 345 days now…feeling terrific!!! You have a Great Day!!..Peace and Blessings
Ive been drinking a long time and have made some attempts to stop. Most of the advice Ive gotten so far are from people telling me that I cant think my way out of this and I cant do this on my own. I’m sure there is some truth to that but my my inner self tells me I caused the problem and I have to find a solution that deals with the mechanisms inside me that allowed this process in the first place. I still trust my intellect enough to know what is not going to work. I have a very sensitive bullshit detector that has served me well in other areas of my life and that is going to be a part any successful attempt to quit. There is very little information Ive run into so far that has been helpful with this notion. Your plain speak has made a connection with me and I am grateful to have come across your site. Thanks for your efforts, you got my attention.
Glad you’re finding some help here, Joe 🙂
Well I have managed my first without a drink! I know I still have a long journey ahead but its one that me and my ex best friend the drink, cannot continue together. No longer can I allow for her to control me to coax me back every time…cause soon I’ll no longer have more time. No longer can I physically or mentally go through the pain. No longer can I look at my beautiful, intelligent daughter who knows I’m not well and tell her its just my medicine, she’s not daft. Neither am i. So why do I do it?
No more. This time feels diffrent, don’t get me wrong this week has been hell physically, but mentally I feel stronger. This is the longest apart from being pregnant, that I have gone without the drink. Last few days have been better, I have so much energy and my head feels clear, dare I say I feel younger! Next monday I turn 39, I will have done two weeks without a drink. And I do mean without.
I don’t have any one to talk to about this to tell them how proud I am of myself, to tell them how determined I am. So this may help me, for someone else to understand and not just roll their eyes because they have heard may say it all before.
Kevin you site has helped me a lot this past week, you don’t mix your words.
My next step it to focus on changing old routines try new things, its just where to start? Well writing this is something new to me, may do it more often!
I’m 42 and have been drinking since the age of 15. Alcohol has really been screwing up my Life and I’ve decided to quit….not temporarily but for good. Drinking has caused me to make some really, really bad choices (recent and not so recent) and honestly, I’m tired of fucking up.
I’ve tried cutting down or only drink on weekends but that doesn’t work as I always lose control. I’m not the type of person that can have just 1…and 1 usually turns into 4, 7 or more. To have a bottle of wine plus several beers in a night is pretty easy to do…and in a relatively short amount of time. I used to quote Dudley Moore’s character Arthur all the time by saying, “I don’t want enough, I want more than enough!” Well, enough of that foolishness.
I’m only on Day 5…but I’m really determined to make this change. I’ve enlisted the help of a few close friends (some that drink, some that don’t) my loving wife (who is 4 months pregnant) and my sister…all whom are being very supportive.
I’m also really happy I found this blog / community. Kevin, you are awesome cat and thank you for being so open and honest.
To everybody out there going through the struggle, keep on pushing and take it one day at a time. We can do this.
Keep coming back Reggie, I hope we can help you on your new journey!
Hi Kevin Thank you for all your help, I found all your video’s very helpful in my new found sober life. I have not pick up a drink now since Steven Day 2015 Doing really well. And all I keep saying to myself even Day is I don’t drink I don’t pick up a drink drink is a poison to my body. Drink is only a bad habit I had for years. It feels great to have my body and mind clear. Life is getting better and better every day. I am away from that poison that was killing me for years. Thanks to you and your kind words of wisdom. I am free.
Good for you Kenley. Keep us in on what’s changing in your life. All the best, Kevin
Don’t discount the way acetate takes over so you crave more and use alcohol as energy for your brain. I tell my clients who come to group that although you made a decsion to drive if you are part of the 10% of the population you will probably never be able to metabolise alcohol normally and everytime you drink you will always want more and it is not because you are thirsty
This theory holds ever so true.
All the best
You speak the truth. When I start to really crave a drink, I think of my innocent, hard working, infinitely fascinating liver. I actually try to feel a deep.sense of love for this valiant part of my body that has soldiered on in spite of my abuse, day after day. So thankuful, when I allow myself to connect mind/body. Thanks for your message.
well said Rebecca!
Rebecca that thought about the liver is great!!
Mine has kept me living through some very hard bashings from me day after day.i will focus on what you said.thanks
thanks for this site. it has given me hope that i can still stop drinking. After several attempts to stop drinking i become haplessly in terms of drinking heavily every day.
thanks once again for the information and may God continue to bless you as you are doing a great Job.
Welcome to the site Michael.
Thank you very much for all of the videos you have made and are making. I am just finishing day 5 of not drinking and you are helping me so much!! I look forward to staying connected with you on this journey back to health and sanity!!
hi all I’m pete age 54, been drinking alcohol since I was a teenager and ended up becoming alcohol dependent, so last year after going to my doctor and finding out how this poison had damaged my body and life I went for a detox program, I stopped drinking, then thought I could moderate which was bullshit, anyway I’m now not going to put anymore alcohol in my mouth, thanks kevin for all your videos and advice, u are a inspiration.
Good for you Pete… Glad you’re finding inspiration from the website
All over the world we all have similar stories about drinking and regret. After a big night a month ago when I became a total arse it was time to do something about it. When our drinking impacts on others moderation is no longer an option. When I look back over the years of all my f**k ups the common denominator has been booze. I’m naturally a happy and gragerious person but have been drawn in over the last 35 years by the blokey mentality and the genral acceptance of booze in our society, and without a cut off switch that shit will keep happening. From sculling pints between players of the day to wetting the baby’s head, it is just a huge part of our culture. So I would just like to thank you for all you wise words and the sense of reasoning behind them. It’s so nice to wakeup feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep and no doubt in my mind weather I’ve been an arse or not again. Keep up the good work.I look forward to your motivation each day now.
Pete New Zealand
Thank you Kevin, you are changing my live and many others, keep it going please..
hi there i have only been af for four days now ,i have been a heavy drinker for about thirty odd years now , and now i have liver damage. can you tell me will this battle get any easier as time goes by as i am as sure as hell finding this hard