2020 Quit Drinking Bootcamp Dates
I am very pleased to announce 2 new dates for my Quit Drinking Bootcamps.
I will only be doing 4 Quit Drinking Bootcamps this year, so do not put this off a moment longer. If you are worried about your drinking, now is the time to act.
Bootcamp is a powerful and unique experience. There is no judgment, no labels, no religion and no willpower required to see amazing results.
No labels allowed in Bootcamp
At Bootcamp, I introduce myself as a former problem drinker. I explain that for two decades of my life, I had a severe problem with alcohol. At no point do I refer to myself as an alcoholic. The word is loaded with so many false assumptions. Indeed, I believe that label is one of the many reasons that Alcoholics Anonymous failed so badly for me.
You see, calling someone an alcoholic implies that there is something wrong or broken about them. Alcohol is the only drug where when you get into trouble with it, they blame you and not the substance. That doesn’t happen with any other addictive drug.
If you tell somebody that you are a smoker of cigarettes, they don’t instantly recoil and insist that you will be forever a ‘smokeaholic.’ Even if you summon the willpower to quit the filthy habit, you will only ever be a recovering ‘smokeaholic.’
Getting addicted to nicotine is seen as the usual result of the repeated consumption of the drug. People don’t assume you must be a terrible weakwilled individual.
Even with illegal drugs such as ‘heroin,’ people don’t automatically believe the problem lies within the user. Society understands that drugs like heroin are viciously addictive and easy to get hooked on. Only with alcohol does the blame gets placed on the drinker.
Tell someone that you can’t control your drinking and watch their face drop. It’s almost like you just told them you have terminal leprosy.
A very strange little drug
I am a logical thinker, and so things have to make sense to me for them to sit well. When I went to AA for the first time, and they told me that I would have to accept the fact that I was an alcoholic, and always would be, I didn’t like it one bit. I was a successful man in all other areas of my life. Here I was being told that I was a pathetic, broken individual who had no hope of recovery.
This opening gambit of this well-meaning organization might be why I found alcoholics anonymous meetings to be so depressing.
Here’s the logic of alcohol addiction, from my humble point of view. Alcohol is not a harmless social pleasantry, as the marketing might like to suggest. It is a dangerous, highly addictive drug that kills millions of people every year.
Alcohol is the second most addictive substance on earth, just behind heroin. If you repeatedly consume it over many years and wind up getting addicted, that should not suggest that there is something wrong with you. Getting hooked should be seen as the entirely logical conclusion of your actions.
The second most addictive drug in the world
There is nothing wrong with you! You are not weakwilled, broken, or pathetic. You drank a highly addictive substance, and guess what happened? That’s right; you got addicted! As predictable as getting wet usually follows the action of jumping into a swimming pool.
Why? Because what I just explained makes perfect, logical sense. However, it only takes a few seconds for a few of those smiles to turn into a confused frown. I know why that happens, and I know the question I am almost certain to be asked.
Sure enough, some brave soul will raise their hand to ask the question, ‘But if that’s true, why doesn’t everyone get addicted? Why am I sitting here and not my friends?’
It’s a great question, and the answer is not clear-cut. But the reality of alcohol addiction is it needs a lot of effort and persistence to get hooked.
Alcohol tastes bad
Firstly, it tastes disgusting. That’s why we have to start our drinking career with drinks loaded with sugar. For many people, they don’t drink enough to get past the problem that it doesn’t taste very nice. Other people are slightly allergic to alcohol because their liver is not very good at processing it. In these cases, drinking alcohol makes them feel ill.
Yes, I know it makes everyone feel sick, but for a lot, the negative side-effects are much more significant than you or I experience.
It’s prevalent for Asian people to be born with a severe allergy to alcohol, and consequently, they cannot drink at all. This sort of reaction is referred to as Asian Flush because drinking makes their face glow red.
I had a Chinese friend in school called Andy Lee. He had this exact ‘problem.’ It sounds more of a blessing now, but at the time, he found it incredibly frustrating that he couldn’t join in with the alcohol adventure we were all pursuing.
There was a small group of us who would hang around together. Our entire focus was split between girls and alcohol. Unfortunately, I was much more successful with alcohol than I was with the girls. As I was the tallest and looked the oldest, I was the member of our group most likely to get served in the local pubs and liquor stores.
We would pool our money, and I would nervously buy the cider and alcopops. Then we would head off to a nearby derelict building to sit around drinking and laughing.
Andy would attempt to keep pace with us, but within a short time, his face would turn bright red, and he would start to feel dizzy. We all ruthlessly mocked him by suggesting we didn’t even need a campfire to keep warm or toast marshmallows. We could use the fiery glow coming off Andy’s face.
He hated that he couldn’t drink like us, and at the time, we were all very grateful that we didn’t have Andy’s problem. Isn’t hindsight a beautiful thing?
You were poisoned
Imagine if you got the hangover, not the next morning, but twenty minutes after starting drinking. How many people would need a book like Alcohol Lied to Me or one of my other quit drinking books, never mind taking a weekend out of their busy life to attend something as crazy as a Quit Drinking Bootcamp? In summary, alcohol is highly addictive in people who give it a chance to take hold.
I talk about my 20-year problem with alcohol, but I have to admit that for the first decade, I didn’t believe I had a problem. I was proud of my reputation for being a man who could ‘handle his drink’ and saw myself as a very sociable and popular individual. I was always the first to the bar, and I got invited to a lot of parties.
Why? Because I was very good value. I would turn up with extra alcohol, in case you didn’t have enough. I would drink quickly and get slowly drunk. I would get cheeky, then funny, then rude before having to be scraped off the floor and put in a taxi and sent home to sleep it off.
I was the outrageous, funny drunk that people would laugh about the next day around the water cooler.
However, if during this period of my life you had accused me of having a problem with alcohol, I would have got very angry with you. I would have made statements that today I see clearly as nothing more than warning signs of pending alcoholism.
You would have heard me shout you down with, ‘Hey, I can stop anytime I like,’ and, ‘Keep your nose out of my business; it’s my body and I will do what I want.’
Alcohol is not just your problem
Of course, we know all too well that drinking is never just a problem for us alone. Alcohol hurts everyone you love; it damages every aspect of your life and the lives of those in your little bubble.
It wasn’t until my health started to go downhill that I realized I had a problem. However, I still didn’t want to quit drinking; I always believed I was in control and could moderate my drinking somehow. I wasn’t out of the denial. I was finding ways to dig myself a bigger hole. Even with alcohol causing massive damage to my life, I wasn’t looking for the exit. I was looking for plausible deniability to justify my actions.
I didn’t want to quit drinking; it was the best thing in my life.
It seems insane to even write that sentence now, but at the time, I believed it. All I wanted was to enjoy one glass of wine a night and put the bottle away for another day. I had seen friends do this magic trick, and it amazed me. I couldn’t understand how anyone could have an open container of alcohol in the house and not drink it.
I had a dream
This was my utopia; this was the dream. Even when my liver started to fail, and I was under the care of consultants at the hospital, this was still what I wanted. I tried everything to achieve it. The peak of my denial saw me come up with the stupidest invention ever thought of… the drinker’s safe!
One morning I had what I believe to be ‘a genius’ idea. I ordered a huge time delay safe. Costing over $1000, this was the sort of secure box that banks have installed. A few days later it was delivered on the back of a flatbed truck and installed into my home. I programmed the safe to only open for 5 minutes at precisely 6 pm every day.
The theory was, I would keep all my alcohol in the safe. I would arrive home from work and pour myself a single glass, and before taking a drink, I would close the safe, sealing it for another 24 hours. I would have my drink but be unable to get access to it anymore.
I was so impressed with myself. I thought I was a genius. I even started to think about how I could market this amazing product. I saw myself pitching to the investors on Dragons Den or Shark Tank. For about two weeks, my idea worked perfectly. I would have my drink and sometimes go and try to open the safe to get another but was never successful.
The whole concept fell apart one Friday evening when as I was leaving the office at 5.30 pm, my boss saw me and called me into his office for a chat. He had a project for me to work on the next week and wanted to give me the heads up.
I sat there in his office nervously staring at my watch. I said yes to everything he suggested, regardless of how much extra work it would involve. I just wanted him to shut up and let me get the hell out of there. Finally, at 5.50 pm, he let me go, and I sprinted to my car, furiously driving home, taking every shortcut I could think of.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough, and I arrived home at 6.05 pm just as my safe sealed itself for another 24 hours. I screamed at the ceiling; I shouted at my wife, and the dog wisely disappeared out into the back yard.
I was furious, I felted cheated, and that life wasn’t fair. I grabbed my car keys and drove to the liquor store and bought a bottle of whiskey. At that moment, my genius idea that was going to change the world became a $1000 embarrassing waste of money.
What an idiot!
So, when you come to Bootcamp feeling nervous and ashamed, don’t! No matter what you have done to cover up your denial, I have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt.
The most important thing is that you take action now. Let’s be honest, the very best time to have dealt with this was a decade ago. No point worrying about that now; that moment has gone. The second best time to deal with this is… NOW!
Either click here to attend today’s free quit drinking webinar or click here to book your place on Bootcamp – before it’s too late.