25 January 2021 — DrinkCoach
DrinkCoach asked Will, Alcohol Advisor from the West Sussex Wellbeing Team to document his new year’s resolution to cut back on alcohol. Read his series of blogs throughout Dry January
“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
- Churchill, Santayana, Me
It’s all gone wrong, belly up, boozed up. Best laid plans and all that, this week my units were on the up rather than the down.
Pressure at work, stressed partners, homeschooling nightmare and a feeling I deserved a drink for all my hard work the previous weeks. And now I feel terrible, failure is hard and I’m not used to it, in fact I often avoid doing things that are likely to result in failure, I hate it that much.
So is that it? The end of the road for me, should I resign myself to the life of the heavy boozer? No, definitely not.
Let’s reframe the end of the road as a bump in the road. Yes I messed up, yes I drank too much but no that does not mean I failed. What I learned is that this will be harder than I thought. 25 years of learned drinking behaviour isn’t going to disappear overnight.
My nephews are learning to ride a bike, this involves a lot of crashing, tears and grazed knees. To expect them to get on their bikes and ride off into the sunset first time would be ridiculous. To apply the same logic to ourselves just because we are adults is also crazy.
We need to learn from the grazes, we need to learn from the tears. Going straight to the off licence after a stressful day is the equivalent of cycling straight off the path and into the duck pond. Just because it went wrong doesn’t mean that’s the end. It just means I need to work on my steering or in my case my ability to steer myself away from the off licence at 5:30pm.
The reason the aviation industry has such an impressive safety record is that every time something goes wrong it is investigated extensively. Nothing is swept under the carpet. The approach is ‘what can we learn from this to prevent it happening in the future’. It’s never just unlucky, it’s never just a shrug of the shoulder and “things just happen sometimes”. So I need to take the same approach to my own life. Reflect, learn, grow. Potentially the slogan of the local academy school chain, as well as now my own personal slogan.