Q & A
I chose 3 different comments this week, two from YouTube and one from alcoholmastery.com.
Is It Too Late For Stopping Drinking Alcohol?
The first question is from Joe Mahoney.
“So Kevin, a friendly question. What would you say to a fellow who keeps on trying to quit but can only do it for a week or so?”
I’d say keep trying. What else are you going to do? Quit even trying to quit?
You have to look at the parts of your life that are bringing you back to the drink and look at alternative ways of dealing with them.
I don’t think being addicted to drinking is ever really about the alcohol. For the most part, alcohol is used as a bad tool for dealing with problems in life, a bit like using a hammer to fix everything that needs repair.
The reasons most people drink vary from person to person. Maybe it’s drinking to hide from pain or find peace, to find happiness or comfort, to relax, to come to terms with a bad time in their life, or to escape from drudgery and boredom.
Whatever the reason, most people don’t drink massive amounts of alcohol just for the sake of drinking.
Once we can isolate the reasons why we’re drinking, we can start to search for alternative ways of coping.
If you want to plan where you’re going in life, you first need to know where you’re starting from.
Life is sometimes crap, drinking only adds to the pile of crap we’ve got to face tomorrow.
Have a good one Joe!
The next two questions are similar.
The first one is question from Robert Roper on YouTube:
“Did you ever worry…….oh it’s too late?”
The next is from Jon who commented on the website:
Just found your site, sitting here drinking alone, feeling about as bad as a man can feel.
Started drinking at 16 am now 62, a life of sorrow and regret.
Tried to stop many times, always come back to it, it’s like I am committing suicide in slow motion.
So glad for you, bless anyone who can escape this trap.”
It’s never too late to stop. Some of the comments I get are from young men and women, people in their early twenties or younger. I wish I was that young when I started to ask questions about my drinking. But, I can’t do anything about that.
If I had given up trying to quit smoking after the tenth or the fiftieth or the hundredth time, I would still be smoking. I’m glad I never said it was too late.
My Dad, who’s 80 by the way, has just come out of hospital after having a series of heart attacks over a few hours. The condition was caused because of his lifestyle. I went to visit him and I’ve never seen so many wires and tubes and machines on one person, all there trying to keep him alive.
All the doctors I spoke to said that we should expect the worse, that everything was shutting down and he wouldn’t last long. It was a terrible time, as you might expect.
As I write this, I’m looking forward to meeting him this evening for a meal. I saw him the other day and he’s looking really good. He’s walking better that he has in a long time. Why? Because he’s changed his ways, at 80! He’s quit eating meat and dairy, and he’s quit drinking. I asked him the other day if he misses a glass of wine, “Sure” he said, “But I’d miss breathing a lot more”. Well said Pop!
Hey Jon, at 62, you’re still a relatively young man with a lot of life left to live. I really feel for you but please, please don’t give up trying.
Too Late To Quit Drinking?
Is it ever too late to quit? Not while you’re still breathing anyway.
I love Wayne Dyer’s Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda stories…Essentially, there’s absolutely no point in thinking about what you could have done, what you should have done, or what you would have done in a given situation because there’s nothing you can do to change it. It’s all in the past.
Also, there’s no guarantee’s about the future. So many variables can influence where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing an hour from now. For instance in an hour I hope to be making a bit of lunch for myself and Esther. But I can’t know for sure what’s going to happen in the intervening minutes that will set me off onto an entirely different track.
Planning a day ahead of time will entail even more variations. The longer into the future you try plan, the more variables will be involved. There are no guarantees!
The decisions you make now are in your control. Now is the only time you can make a choice to set out on a particular track. You can’t make the choice yesterday and you might not be able to make it tomorrow.
Saying it’s too late for you is never true. Sometimes you need to flick the reset button inside yourself, start to look forward to what you can achieve without worrying about your past drinking history.
You can ask:
“This is where I am, what can I do now that will move me towards where I want to be?”
When you feel like having a drink, ask yourself:
“Am I moving towards where I want to be?”
Every time you choose not to drink you’re moving towards your free self. Every time you choose to drink, you’re moving away from your free self, your non-alcoholic self. That’s what makes quitting so simple. It boils down the single choice of do you take the drink or not? The more you make the ‘not’ choice, the easier it becomes to make it again and again and again. Eventually, you won’t have to make the choice.
Back when I used to drink in Ireland, there was a young barmaid in my local. She was a couple of months shy of her 21st birthday and the daughter of one of the regulars. Out of the blue, we got the news that she’d been rushed into hospital and was in intensive care. Within 24 hours, we were told that she’d passed away. She had contracted meningitis, slipped into a coma, and never woke up. She was a young, healthy woman with her whole life ahead of her.
The reason I’m sharing this story is it goes to show that nobody has any idea what’s really in store for them in this life or how long they’ve got to live it. There are very few guarantees. Taking the decision to change something is one of the few certain things we have in life. So long as you can think about changing, you can take an action that will make any change possible. You just have to want it. Wanting to change is your starting point.
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So, that’s Stop Drinking Alcohol Week 34.
Thanks for visiting the site.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!