Mr Ford indicated he had “finished with” drinking, that he hadn’t had a drop in three weeks. As if it were that easy. Of course three weeks could mean going on the wagon for a period of time , then after some abstinence begin drinking again. Unfortunately what normally happens the intensity of drinking returns with a vengeance.
“Finished” for ever is easier said than done. Putting the cork in the bottle is an event. Recovering from excessive alcohol use is a process. It took along time for alcohol to become a problem it takes time to learn to enjoy life without the alcohol. The alcohol served a purpose, it numbed the pain, it alleviated stress, it created space to be uninhibited, and it was a great place to go to when the world became too much i.e. an escape.
People declare they have stopped but have great difficulty in either staying stopped on enjoy being stopped. Without the alcohol tensions become stronger, irritants become more frequent and angry outbursts are often the result. This is because the individual’s thinking has not been examined or changed, so all the old triggers and pressures continue.
Getting sober implies reflection and letting go of old thinking habits. This is neither easy nor quick. The white knuckling is an image of holding on with rigidity, or alternatively one addiction gets traded for another from booze to food, to gambling, to inappropriate sex and so on. Just as drinking is a way of life so recovery is a way of life. That requires being with one’s feelings and not running away, asking some hard questions, developing new patterns of behaviour and being patient to listen to the answers.
It is a tough call