Yesterday I received an email from David Downie, owner of BetweenDrinksBlog.com, asking me to check out his book and possibly write something about it.
Honestly, my first thought (after, wow, that’s unexpected and SO COOL!!!) was, “I don’t need to read something that will tell me it’s ok for me to drink”, because I know exactly what the sleeping tiger in my mind would do with that! But I told him I would read it, and I did.
Right off the bat I heard the tiger waking, stirring, getting ready to pounce, and I even caught myself highlighting quotes that, to me, said ‘go for it!’, such as, “And in any event you are not swearing never to have a drink again – I haven’t, why would you, and in doing so you are setting yourself up for failure and then some.” Now to anyone addicted to alcohol, that right there is pretty much a carte-blanche-to-drink kind of line, even though it obviously isn’t. Because that’s how things work in our heads; we take any little comment, quote, note, leaf on the wind and turn it into an o.k. to drink. Because that’s really all we want to do.
So I kept reading, planning how I was going to tell everyone my decision. And surprise, it wasn’t at all what I thought! Instead of giving me (because it’s all about ‘me’ as any drinker knows) the go-ahead to say “I was between drinks, but only til yesterday. Today I’m back on!”, it is a lovely, wonderful, completely unexpected book filled with his experience of being “between drinks” for 3 years now and all the changes that have come about because of it!
He begins by telling you to just do a couple days or so and then slowly build your time, and then states that he needed an entire year to gain the perspective he wanted – he calls it becoming a “Clear Thinker” – to decide whether or not drinking enhanced or took away from the life he wanted to live. Excellent!
He also peppers it with dry wit, which had me laughing out loud at times. Lines like, “While you have always been pleased to find you got wittier and better-looking the more you drank, you will find to your surprise that is not true of others.” That one had me rolling!
He doesn’t sugar-coat how going off alcohol can be, either: “Anyone can do a night. The first few weeks following this will be the hardest. Time and time again you will be placed in situations where you are conditioned to have a drink.” He also advocates exercising and being sure to fill that empty time during which you normally were drinking (and those glorious hangover-free mornings) with things that excite and interest you.
But, but…it was supposed to tell me it’s o.k. to drink, gorramit (notice how quickly I went from NOT wanting a book like that to hoping it was; such is the way my booze-addled mind works)! And I love the fact that it doesn’t; David doesn’t preach ‘this is the only way’, he doesn’t say that ‘never drinking again is how it must be’…none of that. He also doesn’t say that never drinking again is a dumb idea; no, he just tells what has happened to him and others, and leaves it up to you to decide how long your “between drinks” will be.
I found this book to be a delightful surprise, and instead of giving the tiger something to stalk, it added another tool to my sobriety toolbox, one that I will go back to often!
The best part? It’s going to be a FREE download on Amazon this Wednesday, May 14th ONLY. Grab yourself a copy, even if you don’t think you have a problem with drinking. It will give you food for thought, and who knows, you may shock yourself and decide to be “between drinks” for a while! It would be exciting for me -and I’m sure David- to hear your stories if you do!
©Pip Miller – May 2014
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