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Five years ago today, before this blog was a twinkle in my eye (hey, months before i’d even first heard the word ‘blog’ drawling out of Euan‘s mouth – “bloahhhhgh”) I made an important decision.
I decided I was going to stop drinking alcohol. Not at all unusual for me in the second week in January, but this time I stuck at it and five years later, not a drop has passed my lips, one day at a time (sometimes shorter intervals were called for – “If I can just not have one this lunchtime…”) I know I’m not “cured” or stopped for good, just that I have no intention of going near a drink today.
I had learned early in life that I had a fairly huge capacity for drinking. I reasoned that as I could, therefore I should. But I was really hurting myself (quite obviously and spectacularly at times) and (less consciously, but nonetheless materially) the people who knew and loved me.
When I first stopped, I wanted to be the one who did it all by myself. I’d smile and wink at people who admired *my* ‘willpower’. However, what I want to make clear above all is that I have not ever done this on my own. It’s been a journey of slowly lettting down my defences until I was willing to admit what I had previously found absolutely unacceptable: that I might occasionally (heh!) be wrong and that I needed to ask for and gratefully receive the help of other people who (for this moment at least) knew better than me.
This birthday means as much if not more to me than the belly-button day. I’m FIVE today, so watch out!
photo by arquera
p.s. I’m very serious when I say that 2007 will be the year that folks get that social media will be likened to a communal table rather than a printing press. That social media has more in common with barbershops, trading posts, village bazaars, coffeehouses, piazzas and plazas, eighteenth century Parisian salons, troubadours and minstrels, theater, and Homeric poetry than it has with newspapers and television.
And so it is… and so it is