My parents rarely drank alcohol – I cannot recall seeing either of them drunk. I do recall my father being very ‘tired’ on some days, but this was very rare. My family were dairy farmers; my father worked hard, seven days a week. There were no days off to recover from a night out. We lived with my mother’s parents and most Sundays my grandfather would head off to play lawn bowls at the local bowling club. He would arrive home in the early evening quite drunk and very talkative and also very authoritative.
Around the age of 16, at a family function on the front verandah, I was asked if I wanted to have a taste of beer, which I did and I hated it. I certainly had no desire to start drinking, yet within a year or two of this I was binge drinking two or three times a week.
I have often wondered why I fell into the trap of alcohol when my parents hardly drank at all. Was I just rebelling? Was I being influenced by my grandfather’s behaviour or was I trying to be recognised in a weird and destructive way? I was heavily involved in sport and the drinking culture that goes with it –– was it this that led me to binge drinking?
I had a low tolerance to alcohol so maybe I could blame that. I can look back now, 40 years later, and see that it does not matter which one it was – or combination of them or indeed all of them together – as there was always a point where I had a choice. It is very clear to me now that I chose to continue drinking knowing what would occur and the consequences that came with it. There was something within me that gave me the opportunity to choose to go home or continue drinking. As I write this I can feel the lack of responsibility in those actions.
So, why did I make the choice to continue drinking? Was I waiting for that magical moment when someone says something that allows me to feel good about myself? Was it because I needed to be one of the boys or was it me, avoiding the tensions of my everyday life? Could it be that from an early stage of my childhood, society dictated how I was to be as a man. This never felt right but I embraced it and attempted to live my life in that way.
You would think that making the wrong choice a few times might send a clear message to me that I needed to stop doing this. These messages I did receive but in my arrogance, I ignored them. I could handle the situation. I ignored them for almost 20 years. I could convince myself that it was okay for me to have a couple of beers and then come home… I wish. Many times it was “just one for the road,” which became one too many.
I met my first wife when we were both drunk. My intimate relationship with my second wife began with us both being drunk. Had I learnt anything? Not at all. My behaviours the second time round were exactly the same as they had been since I began drinking.
I was at a sporting function at a local licensed club when I was called to the front desk. My girlfriend was ringing to say that she was in hospital, seriously ill and had been suffering a lot of pain. She explained what was going on. I had been drinking for quite a while so heard only some of what was said, but eventually I heard what I wanted to hear; “I do not want you to come to the hospital, stay at the football presentation.” It may not have been said as clearly as that, but it was what my interpretation allowed me to hear. I was having a great time drinking and could not see any sense in going to the hospital and standing around feeling useless. It was all about me!
Sport was used as an advertising vehicle for both alcohol and tobacco 40 years ago; consumption of alcohol was made out to be a ‘manly’ thing to do and there was a strong culture of drinking alcohol in the sporting clubs that I was associated with. In saying that, I cannot blame these clubs I was associated with for the choices that I was making in regard to alcohol. That was my responsibility.
Because of my drinking, I was feeling very uneasy about my life. It was affecting my work, it was affecting any relationships I had with people. I reached a point where I knew I needed to leave town. I was not honest with myself at first, saying that I was tired of my work and that I wanted to be self-employed. In the mid-nineties, we went on a family holiday to the North Coast. By the end of those two weeks, I had bought a small business. It was an interesting choice as it involved me having to build relationships and sell products to these people. I did not see communicating and connecting with people as one of my strengths at that point of time. Did I know that I was hiding something about myself?
Upon returning home, I went back to work, gave two weeks’ notice and moved to the Northern Rivers. This was my solution to my drinking problem. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and I just wanted to run away, so I did. It certainly was a step in the right direction. The underlying issues that caused me to turn to alcohol were still there, but I managed them in a different way – mostly through my work, the volume of it and the way I carried it out.
We lived out of town, away from my work so I had no need to mix with people and I began drinking low alcohol beer. I only ever drank beer; very rarely did I drink spirits. By isolating myself and through my commitment to ‘solve’ my drinking problem, I did – almost. There were two occasions in the late 90s where I allowed myself once again to step away from the responsibility mentioned above.
Six and a half years ago, I met someone who introduced me to Serge Benhayon and the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom. By this stage I was rarely drinking at all – only light beer and always choosing to be responsible, mostly just to fit in at social events. The decision to let go of alcohol completely was very easy. It was like I needed someone to give me permission to just let it go. It is funny how sometimes we hang onto the past behaviours, whether they resulted in a good or a bad experience.
This 40-year journey has cost me a lot … I am not just talking about money here. The 20 years of needing to escape by using alcohol has dominated the way I have lived for most of the next 20 years. It has affected all of my relationships with people, particularly in the heavy drinking days. It is a horrible feeling talking to someone who was with you on a binge, not knowing anything about what I had done or said: the anxiety that I went through in the days following was terrible. My relationship with my wife and family was very unhealthy, and my relationship with myself was unbelievably toxic.
Going against what so often I felt was right created a lot of anxiety and nervous energy in my body. I put a lot of pressure on myself. This was exhausting. I needed to escape the pressure and anxiety. I needed to escape life. Ahh, enter the drinking. This was my escape and it became a part of my life. I did not realise that the drinking created the same problems… I was going around in circles. Even when I had the drinking under control, so to speak, I used other ways of escaping, like work.
I still feel, occasionally, the guilt that accumulated from those years where I stepped away from my responsibilities. Through Universal Medicine and its practitioners, I have been able to peel back the layers and expose the expectations, beliefs and ideals that were put on me – initially as a young child and then as a man – from society, my family and eventually myself: expectations, beliefs and ideals that were not a part of me when I was born.
Thank you to Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine, its practitioners and my partner for those six and a half years.
And a huge thank you to me for allowing me to be honest with myself… finally.
The Body and My Relationship with it
Giving up Alcohol
Why I Hate Alcohol
“Going against what so often I felt was right created a lot of anxiety and nervous energy in my body. ” Yes, the effect that has on the body is huge. Yet some would try to drown out and numb those feelings even more, as they aren’t pleasant to feel.
Acknowledging the self styled patterns that disconnect us starts at a young age when we are directed away from the natural cycle we are in and the awareness we have. We are set up to do the opposite of what would allow us to live in a way that would be transparent and tender with the feelings that our fragility is being crushed and thus when we get in our teens we fall into the deeper trap of abusing our bodies even more to not feel what we have let go of.
This is what we tend to overlook
“…as there was always a point where I had a choice”
We make choices every second of the day but what choices are we making and are we aware of the choices or do we just go with what we hear in our mind?
We have a tendency to listen to our minds over what our bodies are telling us. Is it possible that we feel the urge to join the pack energy or consciousness we want to fit in with which is our peer group to be recognised and accepted as being one of the crowd. It’s very unusual for someone to stand out from the crowd and say No, that’s not how I want to live. And if one does stand out then is it possible that the pack energy joins forces with other likeminded pack energies to try and take them down because we do not want to be exposed for not living the truth?
It is interesting that sport is associated with a drinking culture when everyone is aware that alcohol affects how the body can perform. One form of distraction attracting another?
I have seen this in hospitals too – a form of escape to get away from the overwork and sometimes horrors that are witnessed? It also surprised me to see how many doctors and nurses smoked – a way back – when they daily saw the results of abuse to the bodies of their patients.
sueq2012 what you are sharing about doctors and nurses smoking just doesn’t make any sense. These are very well educated people we know this because you need many years studying to be a doctor in order to get a licence to practice. Plus while training they see the results as you say of how the tar from the cigarettes destroys the delicate inner lining of the lungs which reduces the capacity to breath and people who smoke start coughing as a way to bring up the tar from the lungs as the tar acts as an irritant within the delicacy of the lungs. We also know that doctors and nurses drink alcohol – it is by far the drug of choice when it come to wanting to numb ourselves so that we do not feel the full brunt of a life that is so unsatisfactory that the alcohol is used to take the edge off life. We have all contributed to a life that we hate but continue to buy into it because we are led to believe this life is all there is. We are blessed beyond our wildest imagination that the world has the teachings of the Ageless wisdom brought to humanity in this life through Serge Benhayon who is demonstrating daily to the world that there is indeed a way out of this mess we have created for ourselves.
If you ask people if they enjoyed their first drink, cigarette or smoking grass they will most likely tell you the taste was awful but then, later on, have acquired a taste for it and defend the reasons why we should all partake in such activities. It does make you wonder because in the past I have seen adults give children alcohol when they are very young and the child recoils but then minutes later comes back for more – is it the sugar that is so addictive that we override our first taste. Should we be looking closer at sugar instead of adding it to everything and coming up with inventive names to disguise that sugar has been added?
Not only do we develop a taste for it, but we can develop a snobby taste for it – the wine connoisseurs, the weed experts and gin critics. We can be so full of ourselves, in our arrogance that we know everything in our heads while the body screams different.
We love anything that identifies us, especially the things that we feel elevate us to a higher status than others. More knowledgeable, more wealthy, more informed, more athletic but all of these topics can be broken down into minute moments e.g. ordering an expensive bottle of wine, rolling a spliff with a better quality of cannabis, having the answer to a question, an expensive dress, a brand name handbag, an endless array of moments in which we feel momentarily identified, momentarily elevated, momentarily better than others but those moments are very short lived. True beauty comes from connecting to the constantness of our soul, which needs or wants no recognition because it knows who it is and it recognises that it’s the same one soul of us all.
Yes, if we take that first taste and feel what it does to our body we wouldn’t consume any more. However it is often peer pressure that takes us down that road. It takes a strong person – as an individual – to go against the crowd.
Julie, when I first tasted alcohol it did taste very bitter so the people I was with added lemonade which made the drink taste sweeter and drinkable. I feel certain if we took the sugar out of alcohol very few of us would want to drink it.
Julie maybe we should as a society start looking at why we add sugar to everything? We cannot just point a finger at the manufacturers of the product and blame them. We know sugar races our bodies so that there is no chance in staying in connection to our bodies. I know this to be true from my own experience with sugar. I now know that I used it to slow down my awareness because when I was racy from the sugar I was not with myself at all. We can checkout on life and the easiest way to do this is to overload our bodies with sugar, add to the mix caffeine and there is no way the body can cope. Then we wonder why people act out of character, well may be they were not themselves in the first place because of all the additives they have put into their bodies, if we are not in control of our bodies then who is?
A meeting with Serge Benhayon is a meeting blessed with love, if we are open to the wisdom he shares we are given the opportunity to enrich our lives beyond measure.
Thank you for talking about honesty and the transformative impact it has. Away from shame and criticism I understand that if I can be really honest with myself then there is a real opportunity to heal and move on.
“You would think that making the wrong choice a few times might send a clear message to me that I needed to stop doing this” Crazy how stubborn we can be, and crazy how long it can take us to choose to change.
Interesting point made that lessons not learnt the first time round remain for another round. It is this which gives us another opportunity to learn in life and that the same lesson will repeatedly present itself until we have chosen to recognise what is on offer to us and chosen to make a different choice. This is known though my own experiences and presents a new enthusiasm for true learning.
I love how you highlight that it was your choice to drink alcohol and that you can’t blame your parents or grandparents for that as it is your choice thus your responsibility to do that. It also shines a different light on responsibility as we often only relate it to work and family etc., you showed how responsibility is in every single choice we are making.
It’s a great point you make Anonymous at the start – if we have true purpose and dedication to service there’s just no room for addiction, issues and complexity to set in.