I didn’t realize it at the time but my childhood was tainted by alcohol from a very early age, and I am in no doubt that it played a part in my eventually developing a problem with it.
As a teenager, I was allowed to have the odd glass of wine and join in with the adults. It made me feel very grown up and as though I had suddenly become a member of a very special club.
Little did I know that it was laying the foundations for nearly 20 years of misery. During my twenties, I kept up with my friends in the drinking stakes. I was very sociable and would be the first to agree to a night in the pub. I drank faster and more than anyone else I knew – they considered me to be the life and soul of the party… a man who could handle his drink!
I was proud of this reputation, and at this point, it didn’t worry me in the slightest.
Alcohol was not dominating my thinking; I was just the same as any other young man – drinking to have a good time.
I am not sure at what point my drinking habit changed from ‘social pleasantry’ to be a primary focus of my day-to-day life.
Such is the deceptive nature of this drug; it takes so long to get hooked that you don’t even notice there is a problem (until it is too late).
Alcoholism is very much like the old story of the frog in the boiling pan of water… If you drop a live frog into a boiling pan it will jump straight out of the water in shock, but if you place the frog in cold water and slowly increase the heat it will eventually boil to death – this is alcohol addiction personified.
In my early thirties, I started to question if my drinking was usual, of course deep down inside, I knew it wasn’t, but I was desperate to prove to myself that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I probably spent five years fighting to keep drinking; I just couldn’t see how life could be worth living without alcohol.
I was so out of control I refused to go anywhere with my family that prevented me from drinking.
Even if I went to the movies, I would sneak a bottle of whiskey into the theater with me so I could add it my big gulp! Alcohol turned me into a lousy father and a bad husband. I would refuse to go anywhere with the family unless I could be sure I could drink once I got there.
Soon my drinking started to affect my health, and at this point, I started to sit up and take notice. I became very scared about what was happening, and I tried everything I could to wrestle control back from the drug.
I tried locking away my alcohol and giving the key to my ex-wife, I tried going cold turkey, forcing myself to have painful dry months and I even bought dangerous prescription only medication online. Nothing made the slightest bit of difference to my drinking.
Eventually, I reached rock bottom… I was at my lowest point, I had tried everything, and yet I was drinking more than I ever had in my life. I was slowly killing myself, and I simply couldn’t slow down. It was at that point that I decided I had to do something different or I was going to die and leave my children without a father.
I had to see the situation from the outside looking in. I lent on my former training as a human behavior expert and clinical hypnotist, and I started to see a pattern or a loop in what I was doing.
Once I identified the triggers that started me drinking and encouraged me to keep repeating the process it was as though a light bulb flickered into life in my mind. It was a eureka moment. It suddenly became so clear to me that I hadn’t previously been able to stop drinking because I believed that alcohol was a benefit that I would be depriving myself of.
Craig Beck DhP. ABNLP
Disclaimer: This online stop drinking program reflects the personal experience of the author only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical assistance, but describes a program to be undertaken only under the supervision of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. Individual result may vary.
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