How to Quit Being a Drunk

Welcome to the Series

I sometimes get emails and comments from people who are still caught up in addiction. This has been the most rewarding aspect of having a blog for me, and it may be that I benefit more from these exchanges than the person asking for my help. There was a time in my life when the best I could hope for from other humans was pity, but now they turn to me for advice – what a turnaround that is. I always feel frustrated after replying to these emails though, because I never feel like I’ve said enough. It is this frustration that has given me the motivation to begin this series on how to quit being a drunk. I intend to keep on writing additional posts until I’m satisfied that I’ve given the best advice I possibly can.

I Remember What It Was Like

My life today is so different, but I remember what it was like to be a drunk. I felt so desperate back then and had so little hope. I spent many a drunken evening crawling the web looking for solutions. I obsessively searched for stories about people who had managed to escape a similar hell and who went on to live a good life. These individuals inspired me and I wanted to know their secrets. I would yo-yo from desperate hope to cynical despair. I kept on searching online, but I seemed to be getting nowhere until one night I found a website that was offering a solution that I knew would work for me – the temple Thamkrabok.

The purpose of this series of posts is not to encourage people to travel to Thailand to seek help in a Buddhist temple; although that may be an option for some. It is my belief that there is a solution for each one of us, and when we are ready the teacher will appear. I remember what it was like. It was getting to the point of complete willingness that has been the real secret of my success. It is the aim of this series of posts to encourage other people to reach that point of total surrender. I remember thinking to myself that if the monks told me to run bollock naked around Thailand I’d do it to get sober. That is the type of willingness I’m talking about here. If people are willing to do whatever it takes their success is guaranteed.

Who Am I to Tell People to Stop Drinking?

I do not claim to be an addiction expert, and I do worry about my qualifications to offer advice. My biggest fear is that I might write something that causes harm to people trying to become sober – those who are vulnerable and in need of effective help. The reality is that the internet is already full of people offering this type of advice, and I dare say that at least some of them know less than I do. I spent almost two decades battling my demons, and I’ve managed to stay sober for six years. I’ll never drink again. I offer the advice here in good faith, but I would warn people that anything I say is just my opinion.

I’m learning new things all the time so there is no telling how long this series might go on for. I still welcome emails from those in trouble but at least I’ll be able to use these posts as a means to provide better guidance. My ambitious plan is to write down everything I know about how to quit being a drunk. If it helps just one person to overcome their addiction it will be worth it.

Drunk or Alcoholic

I prefer to use the word ‘drunk’ rather than ‘alcoholic’ but not enough to get into an argument about it. The main reason for this is that I found it harder to give up being an alcoholic than I did giving up being a drunk. During my twenties I quit the booze for two full years, but I didn’t stop being an alcoholic for one day of that time. In my own personal journey I had to give up being an alcoholic, but I’m not saying that this is something that other people must do as well. All that matters is that we find something that works. Enjoy the series and please leave comments – this is what motivates me and keeps the blog interesting!

How to Quit Being a Drunk Series

Part one – Welcome to the Series
Part two – The Payoff
Part Three -Alcoholism is a choice
Part Four – Rock Bottom Myth
Part Five- The Problem with Ambivalence
Part Six- Getting Motivated
Part Seven – From Arrogance to Willingness

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2 thoughts on “How to Quit Being a Drunk

  1. Hi Paul,
    I’ve been following your blog since I read your book, ‘Dead Drunk’. I like reading your posts regarding Thailand and life in general, but the most interesting postings to me are the ones where you speak about alcoholism (or being drunk) and getting sober. I am searching for new sites all the time, to support me to get sober.

    First time in my life I feel that I might be finally ready to stop drinking. I am 40-years-old Finnish woman living in Central Europe, and sometimes I feel that I am drowning in all the wine! Now, being in Finnish forest (:-) for 10 days I managed to quit for a while, today it is 10 days without wine. Well, I’ve never drunk everyday, but definitely too often and too much. Like an addict. There is no moderate drinking for me, it does not work.

    So, reading this morning about your plans to begin this series on how to quit being a drunk, that made me happy. I am looking forward to read your postings. And do not stress too much, you have your point of view, and others have their own ways of dealing with life. I do not think that you could write something that causes harm to people trying to become sober.


    1. Thanks Katriina, the addiction posts are the most important to me because if I wasn’t sober I wouldn’t be writing much about anything – or at least not anything people would want to read anyway 🙂 A Finnish forest sounds like a fantastic place to get sober. Even just thinking about it makes me feel healthy.

      I never did manage to moderate, and if I could now I wouldn’t want to. Life is too good sober. I really hope that you enjoy the series Katriina and that you are able to stay sober when you leave the forest.

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