Addictive personality or personality of addiction?

So last week a very old friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years, came to see me.  We shared a house together another lifetime ago when we were in our mid twenties and single and living it large.  Alcohol was a big part of that life and three day weekend drinking benders were common for my friend.

Fast forward to now and their experience they shared last week seems almost miraculous to me.  They had continued to drink this way until last year when they abstained for a month and then began a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for 7 months.  They recounted to me how now they can open a bottle of wine drink a glass and then put the cork back in and leave it. From the person who, by their own admission, previously if they’d opened a bottle of wine they would have finished it, probably opened another one and then finished that.  They drank until they passed out and could not stop but now they could stop and they did.  I am SO pleased for my friend and that they seemed to have turned themselves and their relationship to alcohol around.

Cue the voice in my head – well if they can do this why can’t you?  And believe me this is a genuine question, not just a weaselly worded reason to start again.  I had always pledged to stop for a year at least and that still stands but I couldn’t help but think that if I had a course of CBT within the next year might I be capable of the same?  Could I go back to being a ‘normie’ if I unpicked the unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours that have surrounded me and my relationship to alcohol until now?

I know that they are them and I am me and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another but I just can’t shake the idea that maybe if I could sort me, then it would sort my unhealthy maladaptive overuse of alcohol.  The whole is it me or the alcohol question …..

I don’t know the answer to that and will think on.  My friend was also adamant that this turn around has been helped by giving up their diet coke habit which was also out of control and that this has made a huge difference.  But that is a conversation for another blog 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Addictive personality or personality of addiction?

  1. Well, this is interesting. The idea of being able to drink moderately is like the holy grail. But, as I was reading this I was thinking, but what’s the big deal with having one glass? I never wanted just one. I may have thought that was my desire, but really, I just wanted to drink freely, until I was elsewhere. I was never a moderate kind of drinker, not without effort. So, my feeling is that I now get more pleasure from knowing that I don’t have any of the ‘how much/must stop now’ dialogue. It’s just not something I want to do any more. I think no glass is preferable to one glass.

  2. So many thoughts on this! I tried to moderate and repeatedly failed miserably. I drank to get drunk. I never liked the taste and don’t understand the point of drinking just one. Alcohol takes me to such a dark place, and I don’t want to go back there. For those who can drink moderately, my hat’s off to them. I used to envy them. Not anymore – because for me, I know it’s all or nothing.

  3. happierlikethis and Sober at Home – thank you so much for commenting on this! I don’t know if moderation is the answer or if I am an all or nothing person as there were times when I could have just 1 and no further thought or effort was required. Equally there were times when I thought ‘f**k it lets get sh*tfaced’ too :s Maybe as drinking becomes more of a distant memory this kind of dilemma will disappear for me too …….

  4. I frequently wonder the same..can I return to moderation?…..but I am so happy and free right now and terrified of slipping back to my old greedy ways, like willingly walking into that revolving door where I can’t get out for another 20 years…

    I liken it to stopping smoking ( which I successfully did 13 years ago). Would I after feeling so effortlessly free from that addiction ever contemplate going back again, albeit for just the one or 2 a day, just to be sociable?

    Answer :- NO I WOULD NOT!

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