Fifteen years and counting

Tomorrow will be the fifteenth anniversary of my last alcoholic drink. I wrote my most frequented post nine years ago and it still resonates with many, as my struggles are not unusual. The echo of wanting a drink remains, but it is faint compared to what it once was.

If you or someone you know are having struggles with an addiction, be it alcohol, drugs, food or cigarettes, please read or share the post below. It is a daily battle – the mantra for me is “I am not going to drink today.”

Since we are creatures of habit, though, I encourage you to know your triggers and find better habits to substitute than the more addictive ones. In my case, it was fruits, popsicles, chewing gum, green tea, tonic water with a twist and non-alcoholic beer, etc. Dried fruits are an ideal snack when an urge strikes as things like figs, dates, apricots, et al are quite dense and filling.

Each person can figure out a substitute that works for them. But, know your triggers. Mine were grilling out on the weekend or coming home after a long day. My body would crave the alcohol at the end of work day, so I would get hot and my face would redden.

I don’t get red face anymore, but that craving lingers a little. Now, I can more easily kick the craving to the curb, so it does get better as the years pass.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones and friends with any addictive problems. It is not easy to escape the habit, so don’t let anyone tell you it is.


29 thoughts on “Fifteen years and counting

  1. Congratulation, Keith! I can only imagine how proud and also glad you must be. What you wrote reminded me a lot of some theories explained in the book “The Power of Habit”. Find the trigger and change something to eliminate it or find a reward for not following the cue.

  2. What is so unfortunate is there are so many BEER drinkers who are also alcoholics, but because it is “just a beer,” they won’t acknowledge the problem.

    In any case — sending MUCH praise and kudos to you for your fifteen-year resolve!! ❤

    • Thanks Nan. You are right, but there was a famous basketball player named Chris Mullen, who played for St. John’s University and in the NBA who derailed his career for being a beer drinking alcoholic. And, I don’t know what he drank, but Mickey Mantle, many a boy’s hero drank the end of his career away, retiring at only age 35. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: If you get a chance, read the post about the conversation between golf announcer David Feherty and Tom Watson, who is one of the best golfer’s ever. Watson drank away the end of his career, with the alcohol affecting his putting. Feherty, a recovering alcoholic, saw himself in Watson during an interview.

    And, just yesterday, we watched a Showtime special called “Eric Clapton: My life in twelve bars.” Clapton said when he moved onto alcohol from heroin, it was worse as he drank all the time and he quit performances on stage after thirty minutes. He was often drunk by noon. This explains why Clapton has a huge gap in the productive side of his career, until he dealt with his problem.

  4. Hello Keith. As others have said congratulations on doing for yourself what you felt you needed to do. I understand how hard a journey it can be for some. Ron’s brother was a longtime friend of Bill, and we used to let him have sponsored people over to our home to spend time and help them. Holidays were the hardest time for many so our home was always full then. Most people do not realize the people with addictions to drugs and alcohol are really decent good people. I met a lot of people I admire in many ways when they would come spend time at our home. Best wishes. Hugs

    • Thanks Scottie. Great work opening up your home. They are good people, but just have a problem. My father was a fine man, but he drank heavily until a doctor gave him an ultimatum. My father-in-law was a good man as well, but was a local musician who drank away his profits. My mother-in-law packed his bags and put them on the porch in her own ultimatum. He got help.

      • Hello Keith. You are talking about drinking and I understand why. But there are people like me who are also addicts. I take very strong medications for pain and muscle / nerve issues. My body becomes addicted to them. I have several drugs that if they are changed, I must be taken off them very carefully to not cause seizures along with heart problems. No if and or buts, I am addicted to them. I can feel it if I miss taking them, not just in increased pain but other problems if I miss them long enough. I understand this situation well enough to admit I am an addict. I feel sorry for those that went from pain pills to being desperate enough to use illegal drugs like heroin. But in truth after 20 years on morphine and other drugs what would I do if they were taken away suddenly? Three times I gave them up voluntarily but had to go back on them. My doctors now want me to go on fentanyl and that terrifies me. They have been pushing that for nearly a year.

        Oh I am sorry Keith, this was your post about your grand achievement, and I made my comment about me. That is wrong. You did great and deserve your congratulations. I want to share what I said with you but feel free to delete it after you read it. This is your day! You deserve it.

        On opening our home. I think it benefited us as much as anyone. Keith, Ron loves to cook and he comes from a very large family that had huge holiday dinners. The first thanksgiving dinner I was with Ron we used my truck to transport food to a rented hall where there was 60+ family members. I did not know how to react, I was so taken aback.
        Living with just the two of us was a downer on holidays for him. So when Ron’s brother wanted to bring his “pigeons” (slang for people he sponsored) to our home it gave Ron a reason to cook to his glory. Ron had his brother invite anyone that had no place to go. One thanksgiving we had over 45 people. Ron never felt happier. I admit I got lots of attention also.

        But the point is doing that was good for us as for them. Again this is your day and you deserve it. Best wishes. Hugs

      • Scottie, no worries and I fully understand the challenges of being addicted to meds. As for your entertaining many at holidays, I have a friend who has an “orphan Thanksgiving” for friends who are otherwise eating alone on the holiday. They usually have about 40 to 50. It is pot luck where everyone brings something. They love it. Keith

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