And That Was My Last Drink – No Drama, No Resolve, Just Plain Common Sense

by Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah, Australia

It wasn’t that I truly ever thought drinking alcohol was okay, but everybody was doing it and I wanted to fit in.

Not drinking did make sense to me. What I noticed though, was that everybody seemed to be drinking a lot of coffee, and that some people who had stopped drinking because they were alcoholics, actually smoked a lot of cigarettes. A lesser evil so to speak, because drinking heaps of coffee and smoking did not lead to violence and family breakups: but were people just swapping one addiction for a lesser one and exchanging one prop for another?

One day, upon opening a new bottle, which I would then usually nurse along over two or three evenings, and whilst keenly feeling the anticipation, the relief the glass of wine would bring me any moment and that sense of having deserved it, I thought: “What kind of life am I leading; what are my working days really like when I can’t wait to get this glass of wine into me?”

Well, that was the end of that – no New Year’s resolutions, no planning ahead of how I would manage to not drink, nothing at all – just the insight of the fact that there must be something wrong with my life to have to drink wine in the evening after work, and be looking forward to it so much.

So my life was the problem, and the alcohol just a Band-Aid.

Not drinking was therefore extremely easy and quite natural. I just did not drink anymore and started attending to my life, my working life, my relationships and my choices, the whole lot. I started taking responsibility for how I was feeling during the day, paying attention to when I felt drained and questioning and gradually changing all those things that I had accepted as normal, but which were in fact depleting me to the point that I could hardly wait to get that numbing sugar hit in the evening.

255 thoughts on “And That Was My Last Drink – No Drama, No Resolve, Just Plain Common Sense

  1. What kind of day are we having when we are looking forward to a contrived better place, time to rest, time to eat, time out or time to relax in front of a screen? If we are focusing on our day, with us being present with what we are ‘doing,’ this can take away the looking-looking-looking-forward to those things we are ‘addicted-to- and the events that may not take place! So our whole day would become more enjoyable because we are not indulging in the future but are present with ourselves as we are go about our day.

  2. It can be quite difficult to accept that it’s the way we lead our life that’s the problem and not the band-aids that we use. But if we are honest with ourselves and get to the root of it, life-changes are plain and simple.

  3. It is so true what you share Gabriele that we can just swap our addictions as that insatiable addictive need feels the same no matter what the flavor of addiction is. At the moment I am craving salt big time and potato crisps are giving me that hit. And every time I eat them though I know they are not healthy for me I ignore this fact and eat them like the cookie monster devoured his cookies on sesame street. But that temptation that ‘I have to have my chips’ feels very similar to when I desperately wanted that alcoholic drink to placate me or that cigarette back when I smoked… Addiction is a fascinating topic that undermines far too many of us and we all need to discuss it much more honestly, transparently and openly.

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