If you have any inclination to reassess your relationship with alcohol, imagine yourself 90 days in the future. How would you feel? What would your life be like? In a year?
If you’re having trouble imagining it (understandably, if you’ve never quit alcohol cold turkey), then let me tell you my story.
I grew up on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, so I've never been far from a nip of whiskey. I remember getting drunk at 12, thinking “whiskey gets mixed with a dark-colored drink, so ... port would do, right?” Half a liter of that and I was very ill indeed.
Only now do I realize how strong a grip alcohol held on my life. I have had some very low points and have often sought help from counselors. I was the party organizer, the center of attention, the bouncy one in the room. But my lows were just as long and as extreme as my highs.
I was never an alcoholic. I never went home and finished a bottle of whiskey on my own or drank on a daily basis. I chose when I wanted to drink. Or at least I thought I did.
My job requires me to be very sociable, and in the past I interpreted that to mean drinking. I would often be out late during the week with clients, and then on the weekend friends would want to catch up. I drank at lunch on Tuesday, a couple of beers after work on Wednesday, Thursday after dinner, and then Friday at lunch. I’d be home a bit bleary-eyed but on time. Saturdays were spent out with friends and my wife.