I’m 15 years off alcohol this weekend.
I started when I was eleven years old. At twelve i was drinking to get drunk every weekend – flagons, naggins, snakebites, shotgunned cans etc.
I had a job in a pub at 14 – matt noonans – & i got drunk in there every day & i stole a load of booze every day for me & my mates. But matt didnt notice cos he was also a drunk. And so were most people who drank in his insane pub.
Because i wasnt alone of course. There were drunks everwhere I walked, everywhere I looked.
Male drunks female drunks ancient drunks child drunks angry drunks sad drunks & drunks who drank at home & drunks who drank on the street & drunks who drank in the 40 Clon pubs & drunks who bate their wives & drunks who bate their husbands & guards drunk in squad cars & teachers drunk at lunchtime & priests drunk at funerals & drunks who simultaneously shook hands & vomited on you & drunks who punched you & hugged you at once & drunks in Bantry drying out & drunks filling out the avenues of the dead in St Mary’s graveyard…….i could go on all day!
Alcoholism is a social disease, a community disease.
I stopped at 27. But just like I didnt become an alcoholic in isolation, I didnt stop drinking alone either. I needed shitloads of help, & i got shitloads of help. Anyone who reaches out & genuinely wants to stop will get plenty of help.
I can’t decide for anyone else whether they have a drink problem. But if you think you have one, you probably do.
And if you do have a problem & you dont give up you will die of it. Suicide yourself, choke on your own vomit, get stabbed in the eye while passed out on the street – all this happens to people with your exact problem every day of the week. You wont fare any better.
Or you will go to prison of it – because perhaps you will kill or maim or rape of it.
Or you will end up in hospital long-term taking up a bed that should belong to an elderly person or a sick child.
Whatever your ambitions are – writer, actor, actuary, jockey, wedding planner….- you will not achieve them if you dont put down the booze.
If you do give up, you will live a life beyond your wildest dreams, I promise.
All my achievements as a writer & performer & creative writing teacher, for example, date from after i put down the booze.
Oh, & for those of you who are vain like me – not drinking is great for your skin, & your teeth. I look ten or fifteen years younger than men my age who problem drink, & i still have my teeth.
And my crazy mind! Happy weekend everyone!