Today is an AF day. It's a gorgeous day here in sunny London and I went on a little walkabout earlier - looking at all the beautiful flower displays in the shops nearby (they put on a bit of a show to compliment the Chelsea Flower show which is nearby).
I drank yesterday but stopped at 5pm. I normally would have got a bottle after my last meeting and carried on - but I didn't want to.
Today, as I say, I am not drinking. I had a little twinge earlier and so bought KFC (3 pieces with fries, gravy - since you're asking haha - it was bloomin' lovely!) I don't often eat KFC but had the urge and for now, those are the urges I will give in to.
On some of the blogs I read, it often comes up about romancing the booze. We forget the hangovers, the dangerous situations, the cost of job losses, relationship losses etc etc. On a lovely sunny day like today - we think of.... well you know.
Part of my strategy to re-programme myself is to watch and read some unpleasant things. When I went to AA, some of the stories were heart breaking. I always cried. I don't understand why the people telling them didn't cry. Perhaps they had told them so often.
Anyway, I wanted to share some things with you - if you too are looking for ways to replace the romantic image of alcohol with the reality for us.
Have you watched Leaving Las Vegas? Oh my God, it will tear you up. I won't spoil the story but again, it is heart breaking. It's also a brilliant, brilliant movie.
Something else I have been trying to find online is the stunning documentary - I think it was called 'Dying for a drink' and it followed the stories of three or four people as they lived with or fought their battles with alcohol. One part I remember vividly is one young chap who was yellow, such was his liver damage. He was sat in his mother's living room lying on the sofa with a bottle of red wine in one hand and a bucket in the other. He would take a swig, vomit into the bucket and take another swig. Over and over again. His mother was at her wits end. He did eventually get off the booze, which was fantastic.
Today I received an email from someone in my industry. He does not know me and he certainly doesn't know about my problem but he was telling his story about building his business and lo and behold - he used to have a big alcohol problem.
He is sober now, has been for years and is very, very happy about that. He mentions a tale about a friend of his; This is what he said...
'I once met a man who was so sick from booze that he vomited every time he took a drink. He had no money and couldn't afford to waste his liquor. His solution was to vomit into his whiskey glass and then drink it again... Last time we talked, he'd been sober for 20 years'
Do you think that reminding ourselves of how bad it was, or could get, helps us stop romanticizing? Maybe that's why AA works for lots of people.
Sometimes it feels like the world is conspiring against us doesn't it? But sometime, these little things, reminders like the email, make me think the world, universe, whatever is actually conspiring FOR us; and really, really wants us to stop.