Recovery Primer Part 2
If you want to get sober, you have to make yourself accountable. Here's how...
“I’m just taking a break.”
“I try not to drink between Sunday and Thursday.”
“I’m on antibiotics.”
These are the sort of limp, bullshit excuses I used to wheel out when people asked why I wasn’t drinking.
It made it really easy for them to say: “Don’t be boring, just have a pint.”
And it was all too easy for me cave in.
I wasn’t being honest about my drink problem. I was playing it all down to make myself feel less ashamed, make others feel less awkward and protect myself from people taking the piss.
I was worried that claiming I had a serious problem would come across as a little bit ‘extra.’ That people might think I was being over-dramatic or seeking attention. I also feared that announcing that I was attempting to get sober for good would mark me out as a boring weirdo.
I wish I’d known then what I know now. Firstly, that no-one really gives much of a shit about anyone else’s drinking habits. Some mates might take the piss a bit the first time you talk about it in the pub but ultimately it’s quite boring and everyone’s got their own shit going on.
Secondly, the only person who can judge your relationship with booze is you. It’s not for others to tell you if you have a problem or not. How could they know? I opened up to a couple of mates when I suspected I was an alcoholic and they laughed, told me to chill out and ordered me another pint. The last thing they wanted to believe was that I was an addict. because if I was, maybe they were too…
Once I had established in my head that my drinking was out of control and that I wanted to find a way of quitting forever, I had to make myself accountable.
Embracing accountability is the most important and powerful step you can take when you first quit drinking. Without it, you will really struggle to sustain your sobriety long term.
But what does accountability really mean in this context and how do you enact it? Read on.
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