Why I stopped drinking and started to write
There comes a point in everyone’s life where things become excruciatingly clear. Sometimes this point is a single event and other times it seeps in slowly over time. Mine has been clear for decades, but only recently did it drive me to action. I have quit drinking.
I don’t care about labels such as alcoholic, alcohol addict, alcohol abuser, or problem drinker. I don’t care about the scientific facts underlying alcohol abuse and addiction. I don’t care about methods for getting sober. All I know is that I have always drunk too much alcohol and it has increasingly caused problems in my life.
I have health problems that are all related to alcohol abuse. I am overweight. My brain is fogged. I suffer from insomnia. I may have plantar fibroma. My stomach is bloated. I have bad skin. I have cloudy eyes. My decision making abilities are shit. My thinking ability is seriously diminished. My sex life is about dead. My finances are shit. I am unemployed. I suffer from withdrawal when I don’t drink. I have anxiety. I feel depressed. I don’t work hard. I have made no moves to follow my dream and become a writer.
ALL of these problems are linked to alcohol. There is one solution. That is, do not drink.
Over the years, however, I have found this to be very hard to do. There are so many images of drinking that make it look fun and normal. Drinking is everywhere and almost everyone seems to enjoy a drink. My brain obsesses and craves alcohol. Every effort is undermined by the most mundane of thoughts.
But not me. I suffer from my alcohol consumption. For whatever reason, I don’t manage it well and it ends up causing me problems. I would love to be able to control it, but I can’t. Over 3 decades of drinking have shown me that – time and time again. Now, I find that it is simply easier to go without it than to continue the miserable, rollercoaster struggle with it.
What do I lose from quitting? I lose all the future opportunities to drink with friends, on my own, or on vacation. I also lose the long list of problems. It’s pretty straightforward. Quit and life gets better.
That does not mean all my problems go away, but I will at least be able to deal with them. It will also free my mind to start working again and that is critical to me. I must be able to work and be productive. I must be able function as a father and husband. I must be content and serene for myself.
And that is why I started to write. It has been my dream to be a writer, yet, I never write. I would write an occasional paragraph or sketch out a plot, but I would never write regularly. If I wrote like I drank, then I would have finished many books by now. And so I will. I will write and replace drinking with a dream. I will write and start to rebuild my life, for both myself and my family. I will write as if my life depended upon it, because in a very real sense, it does.