I stopped drinking quite a while ago and I can't help but ask this question to myself anytime I hear someone saying that drinking is an addiction. Or should I say, becomes an addiction, because of course nothing is an addiction in the beginning. My father was an alcoholic and for most of my adult life I heard that because he was an alcoholic, there was a better than average chance I was going to be one also. I never bought into this line of logic. I know, you can cite many studies that will prove otherwise, but let me remind you, I can find a study somewhere that will ‘prove’ that Elvis is still alive, so chill out for a moment.
I started drinking when I was eighteen years old. Before I was eighteen I had no interest in drinking, because I was an athlete with college sports aspirations. And contrary to popular belief, drinking doesn't usually work well with athletics. So I just didn't do it. Then my division one college aspirations came to a screeching halt, and drinking became what I thought was a great way to pass the time.
This trend, of drinking being a great way to pass the time, continued for the next TWELVE years. I capitalized the word twelve because it seems as if it took about an hour and a half for twelve years to pass! Now that I'm sober again and look back, that's how it feels. Did I ever drink all day, or have a drink when I woke up in the morning? No, but I did drink on most days. And for the last seven or eight of those twelve years I drank at least six beers on most days. The average was probably more like eight to twelve, but who's counting?
Then my daughter was born and it all changed. I didn't want to drink anymore. Sure, it started with the thought of just cutting down to the consumption of a “normal person", but after stopping for a couple of weeks I realized that I had been self medicating myself with alcohol for most of my adult life. The biggest reason that I wanted to stop was that I knew deep down in the core of my being that drinking alcohol wasn't at all cool, and I simply couldn't be the guy who tells their daughter not to drink when that's exactly what I did. I wanted to be the guy who could tell stories about how he used to drink, and most importantly WHY he chooses not to anymore.
So I stopped drinking. A guy who drank six to twelve beers a day, and even more if I was really “feeling it", stopped. I didn't have any withdrawals or anything. The only thing I had were realizations about how I was and what I used to do. So now I have to ask the question, “Is drinking really an addiction?", because is sure doesn't seem like it to me. And I most certainly drank enough and for long enough to become ‘addicted’. The biggest thing that I've realized, for me, is that drinking was about behaviors. I got so used to the behaviors that they seemed normal. Drinking had become “normal" to me.
To me it's a funny thing, because now the idea of going into a bar just sounds stupid. What am I going to do? Sit around with a couple of other people and pontificate about the affairs of the day or my perceived problems? No, not any more, I spent twelve years doing just that and have realized that such activities accomplished absolutely nothing.
Trevor Kugler - Co-founder of JRWfishing.com and founder of yourmoneyconnection.com Trevor has more than 15 years of business experience and currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country - Montana.
http://www.yourmoneyconnection.com - start actually making money online today. Find out how for FREE!
http://www.jrwfishing.com/signup.html - sign up for the best free fishing Ezine on the web and get a FREE report for your trouble.
Trevor's fishing E-books - http://www.lulu.com/tkugler