Generally speaking, people are motivated to cut down on their alcohol consumption when drinking has become problematic or when they have suffered some negative consequences from drinking.
Cutting down could include trying to re-set the clock with the 100-day promise or one year no beer and then after having abstained for said amount of time hopefully you can drink again moderately.
This might work for some but it definitely didn’t work for me. Every time I started drinking again I picked up right where I left off. It might have taken me a couple of weeks or even months to return to the volume I was drinking but return I most certainly did.
This got me thinking about drinkers with a high bottom… (not the pert posterior variety I’m referring to, although that would be great to have!)
So what motivates a high bottom drinker to stop and STAY stopped? And does everyone have to reach rock bottom? Also, one person’s rock bottom can look wildly different to the next.
My bottom wasn’t that high, I looked great in hot pants when I was 18, not so much these days. (That’s the last bottom joke, promise)
I had experienced some pretty bad consequences, I was arrested for being drunk and disorderly when I was 20 (spent 2 nights in a holding cell) and suffered severely embarrassing and dangerous/violent moments throughout my drinking career.
On the other hand, I suppose you could consider me a high-bottom drinker because I was successfully freelancing from home, looking after my family, I paid rent and taxes and my marriage was intact. I worked very hard to keep this Norman Rockwell facade going for as long as I could.
Does the decision to quit drinking alcohol have to be motivated by such dire warnings as STOP DRINKING OR YOU WILL DIE?
Does that help or hinder the cause? I’m not disputing the fact that alcohol addiction can most certainly kill you. My last rock bottom moment when I fell and knocked my head on that koi pond I could very well have either died or sustained a life altering injury.
What I’m wondering is if we are framing it in the right way? You see, for me stopping drinking saved my life in 2 ways. The first most obvious are the health aspects, I have less of a worry about diseases and accidents that kill drinkers.
The second most important way it saved my life is that I am actually experiencing life. I have time and my consciousness back! I’m here! I’ve been absent from life for so fucking long.
This is how stopping drinking really saves your life – It gives you the most precious gift that anyone can have and that is time to be alive on earth! To savour each human experience, each nuance and detail, to really experience all of it, the agony and ecstasy. That is why I will never go back. Not the fear of the dire consequences that await me if I do (and I know they are real) it’s the absolute insistence of my soul to be ‘conscious’ for the rest of my life. We have such a short time on the earth why would I want to be dulled/numbed for it? We can’t numb selectively so when we numb, we numb all the beautiful splendour of life as well.
I’m not saying that when life is shit I won’t want to forget or numb the pain, I most probably will but I know that choosing to do that with booze means that I resign myself to a homogenous life in black in white when it could be in technicolour.
To be clear is a gift. Life’s downs are easier to handle sober and life’s ups are spectacular when you are awake to experience them.
So instead of the STOP OR YOU’LL DIE, we could also say: I CHOOSE NOT TO DRINK BECAUSE ALCOHOL STEALS MY TIME, ENERGY AND DULLS MY NATURAL WONDER.That sounds truer for me. Because dying from alcohol addiction can take many years, it really is a slow suicide. Also, that may never happen and you could die from something else…this is exactly the point…Do you want to spend the years you have on this planet dazed and confused or do you want to be free and clear?