Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! (Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!).
I have taken the liberty of tackling one of my vices recently. Since getting sick in Italy a little over three weeks ago, I have decided it is time to move away from alcohol and the refuge I have taken in it over the past five years.
To date, I have managed to stay strong and not bow to the pressure from not only my own internal wants, but those of my surroundings. My work colleagues, and friends mostly all drink. Whilst most have been supportive some have shaken it off as a short term fling with me kidding myself. Consequently my resolve has firmed even more to prove myself wrong, to prove to me that I can be everything I believe I can. I have combined this effort with some goals for weight loss, exercise and a general focus on my health. For those that do not support me then I will happily make room for others in my life that will….
Let me explore the reasons that lead me to believe I had a problem…
Historically I have always been a very confident person, a very social, open minded member of the community who is able to mix it with just about any crowd. The initial turing point was the loss of my marriage, the impact of which to be honest, I am still discovering as it continues to effect my daily life. The refuge I took in alcohol not only gave me the emotional freedom I needed, it gave me the ability to maintain my social acceptance as it gave me the confidence I had lost through separation. This is a false economy!
The second driver was the loss of my mentor, my very best friend. This also had a profound impact on my life and how I would learn to handle emotional struggles without him to call on. Where I would once call or see him, I now held onto these issues, I handled them with alcohol without directly facing them and finding another to confide in. This impacted not only me personally, but my partner, and my financial position as well. When your good at drinking it is not a cheap habit!
The third and final driver was the relocation of my children. Losing that constant contact with them has in hindsight been the biggest amplifier of reasons to keep drinking. The relationship with my ex-wife has never been perfect, indeed I think it utopian to think it ever will be. However, over the past eighteen months since she relocated, our respect for each other has fallen away. What concerns me most is the impact on my children, this is where I start to talk about what pulled out of that mindset.
My well being is intrinsically linked to my children’s well being. At the ages of 7 and 9, my kids learn from me what is socially acceptable behaviour, what is good, and, what is bad for you to name a few. The realisation that I was drinking in front of them now upsets me. Whilst it was almost always a social setting, and I was never ‘drunk’ in front of them, well not until they went to bed, the inference is that dad always had a beer or a JD in his hand when socialising. This message I learnt, would be one that I would not be able to manage when they reach adulthood. Practice what you preach! The second driver behind this epiphany is the support I have received from my partner. This women is truly a gifted spirit and one that supports me with constant love and support. Romantically, I have certainly landed on my feet falling in love with her…
You will notice that I have written allot less about how I found the light compared to what got me there. I believe, that all we need is one real driver to make things happen, what we do however, is use multiple drivers to ignore it. My path to spiritual freedom is still taking me somewhere, a place I have not been before, yet I know will allow me to return to the person I once was and even better. I believe in myself, I believe I can do it, and ‘it’ is anything I set my mind to.
I have spent this week in QLD working on a large children’s production. Being surrounded by so many creative kids just reinforces why I need to be everything I can for my own children. Now 3 1/2 weeks on, I do not miss having a drink, my body misses the sugar, and my mates miss their drinking partner. I am aiming for Xmas, from there I will make another goal. My body told me I was killing it, my mind knew I was doing the same, in the end my heart pulled me up. It put my kids in front of me and gave me a shot of mortality. I pray any of you in the same boat find the same salvation within.