Alcoholics.

Today Swedish singer ”Tommy Nilsson” says to the papers regarding his alcohol habits ”i´m not an alcoholic in the way that i wanna have a beer first thing when i wake up with a hangover.”

Like if that would be the definition of an alcoholic.

It´s not.

Tommy, you are an alcoholic. Why do you feel ashamed about it?

The following counts for everybody, you are an alcoholic if you:

-Often get memory gaps after a night out.
-Always find excuses to have a drink in ordnary social situations.
-Become a different person and do and say things that you have to apologize for the day after.
-Drink very much the times you drink and keep drinking as long as there is more alcohol in the house.
-Think about drinking a lot.
-Drink fast and careless in all situations when it´s legit to get really drunk.
-Often hurt the ones you care about by offending them in words or action when you´re drunk.
-Often let the ”one glass at dinner because it´s so cosy” become six glasses and you go to bed a lil tipsy more than three days a week.
-Drink a lot of low/light alcohol drinks daily thinking it´s completly harmless.
-Get drunk just once a year, but on this occation you make a complete mess of yourself and can´t function for the next three following days.

These are just a few examples.

Alcoholism is not abut chemical addiction only, like in ”can´t stop drinking and that´s why you are an alcoholic”.

The sentence above describes the most common excuse/alibi from people that are neglecting and denying their alcohol problems;

”Look, i can stop, i´m not an alcoholic. Maby i just drank to much for periods in my life”.

That´s bullshit. Doctors and scientists agree.

You are an alcoholic if you behave like an ass with no selfrespect or integrity when drinking.

Period.

Most people are so very afraid to give up drinking. I never understood that.

I drank like a maniac between the ages of 14 and 34. Then i started to notice changes in my behaviour when i was really drunk. I started to grow an alcohol personality together with my surrounding social network. I started behaving weird without me wanting it. It scared me, and i felt like..maby i should try not to drink for a few years, and see what happens? By my definitions in the beginning of this text, i would definitly call myself an alcoholic. By my own home-made definitions, that is. No one has ever diagnosed it, but i have to set an example to put weight behind my words.

Anyway, i stopped drinking a few years ago. With a few exceptions since, i have created a white life. No drama in that really.

Nothing special happened, (except for the fact that all aspects of living got a thousand times better, but aside from that, nothing.)

I tried a few times to start over and go out for a ”real night on the town”, but they all end up with me asking myself ”oohhh my god, what good did THAT do me?” the next morning.

You may ask why i tried to go back. I think it was because of this:
-When you break out of a social pattern, you suddenly feel that you behave in a way most people don´t…and they can´t relate to you as easy if you dont´drink. It takes a while to get both yourself and the people around you used to this new lifestyle.

I think that the motivation of becoming an alcoholfree person is a process of understanding you own values.

Do you really _want_ to drink? Do you want to identify yourself with the institutions (bars, discos, pubs) where people become their worst every night? Do you want to live your life in such surroundings escaping from yourself in the haze of the contents of a bottle?
Do you want to fall in love after five Tequilas and four beers? Do you want to have sex with a stranger after another four tequilas? Do you want people to dismiss your opinions in your daily work because they have seen you some night downtown shitfaced dancing on the bar? Do you wanna risk compromising your integrity and self respect? Maby you do. I´m not the one making decisions for others.

For me, the strongest reason of all was that i didn´t want my daughter to see her father drunk. Ever. Not even a little ”tipsy”. She is four years now, and she has never seen me intoxicated in any way. I know she trust me with her life everyday, she trust me to set the standards for her, to be a rock of wisdom. This non-alcohol lifestyle became very natural for me.

I´m 40 years old, and i would recommend all people over thirty to just… give up drinking. Completly. Or at least reduce the use of alcohol to very special occasions with small amounts of very fine and expensive wines or liqeurs.

But the point is to give up getting drunk. Skip the buzz. Kill the monkey.

These mind-trashing intoxications has no place in a modern, effective man or woman. You need to be sharp, trustworthy and always have acces to your real fresh and uncompromized emotions at all times. Regular use of alcohol dont permit this. You will be feeding a monster, and you will never know the day you become the moster yourself. And then of course it will be too late.

/Stefan