“I wasn’t hitting rock bottom in the cinematic sense. I was earning promotions at work, helping the kids with their homework, and riding my bicycle thousands of miles a year. Yet I was drinking three or occasionally four glasses of wine a night, not stopping until I felt buzzed in a certain way.”
Peter Flax April 25 Men’s Health Magazine
Reading articles about cutting down alcohol make me realise how glad I am that three years ago I went one step further, by giving up altogether. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to enjoy things for the sake of themselves – not as a vehicles or excuses, or platforms for alcohol. Just the most basic pleasure of cooking a meal (something I don’t do all that often these days) is free of all the anxiety surrounding when the wine gets opened, how much will go in the cooking, how much I will have before serving, and how much will be left in the bottle to share at the table. Well, two bottles will almost certainly be necessary, but I must make sure enough of the first bottle is drunk so that the second will definitely be opened, but not so much that I look like I’m on a binge.
I never need to think like this again. And it’s still such a joy not to have to.
But the truth is, it’s all about desire. To address your desire for unwanted things, you have to have to unwant them. I no longer want alcohol, so it’s easy for me. But no matter how much I go on about how lovely my life is without it, no drinker is going to be in the slightest bit interested in my experience unless they themselves want to do something about their intake.
Which is why my book is about helping people test their relationship with alcohol even if they haven’t decided to do anything about it – especially if they haven’t decided to do anything about it!