Problem Drinking Signs I Wish I had not Ignored

This is the first in another short series of videos.  In this series we are answering the question – If I had known then what I do now then ,,,,,?

In this first video John is answering the question about the beginning of his drinking.  It is about Problem drinking signs I wish I had not ignored.  We have included a transcript of the video below.

Lou 0:00
Hi there, welcome to bottled up. We are in a series where we’ve been doing one to one with John. Now we’re in a, we’re on the age where we don’t use SAP nap. And you ought to try it sometime, because it’s actually quite fun negotiating and using maps and stuff. But they’ve been quite a few times. And I’ve been navigating because I’m the Navigator. And when I go past the road, and I have this kind of feeling that that was our road. So I’m travelling with the map, but by the time we get, and we’ve gone on, it doesn’t feel like work going back. And so at that point, I’ll probably find another route. And we’re kind of this series of videos, little series of videos is kind of like that, where I’m asking, John, were there a couple of roads you wished you taken that you’ve seen that you’ve seen a sign of? And if you could go back

John 0:52
Just to say, you haven’t just dropped into episode of Top Gear at the moment?

Lou 0:57
No, you haven’t? No, it’s just an analogy. An analogy? Yeah. So it’s an analogy about the routes that we take. And looking back on your journey, say, maybe just a couple of things to do. Maybe one, one video? What do you wish? What was the road you wish you’d taken? If you’d known if had been really important? What would you say to that?

John 1:25
Right? Were, the signs there? Did I just drive past and did I ignore them. Yeah. And the answer to all of that is absolutely. Absolutely. I remember when I was 19. And I was in a pub in Glasgow, and I was drinking with, you know, why consider the old men at that time? You know, they were probably but in the 40s. But when you’re 19, you know, that’s, that seems pretty old. And, and we’re all talking about hangovers, and how you felt the next day, and one was said, I feel absolutely awful. I can’t get my head off the pelo have been tricked into much the night before. Another was set up for your sake. And another one was really known that when you know, and then they came to me and said would be us out, again, any of that. So I just don’t feel real. And one of them talk to me, and he said, You better watch.

Lou 2:23
I don’t feel real. What do you mean by that?

John 2:25
I said, Yeah. It was just how I felt I just don’t feel as if I’m in reality the next day.

Lou 2:34
Right? Okay. So something happened that shifted you into a kind of a sense of not being

John 2:40
the world, just doesn’t feel kind of real. One of them said to me said you’ve got a problem. And I said, you’re the one with your head down the pan. And you’re telling me and on I went. So there was signs, you know, I mean, when I when I got sober, I had looked back and thought why I think of another problem for the last two years. You know, and the longer to go sober, the more looked back and the signs were all there. They were all there. But I think one of the things that you know, I do remember so well, is that even when I saw I’d have a problem. One of the things I would say to myself is, yes, this is me today, but tomorrow, I’ll be different.

Lou 3:29
So this is the beginnings of a denial statement. If that’s is it one of the arch denial statements in that realm of addiction.

John 3:37
No, it was actually sort of an admission of the problem. The denial was about I need the solution today. Yeah, you know, and everything was Manyana. Manyana Manyana

Lou 3:51
Did you mean the Manyana? Or was it? It’ll be better tomorrow?

John 3:55
No, no, at the time. Very often. I did mean tomorrow. I’ll change. However, tomorrow’s became today again, you know, and tomorrow became the day after, and the day after, and the day after, and the day after. And there was always this sense of I can change in time. In time for what I didn’t really know. But it was I can change in time.

Lou 4:21
So can I just say what would you say? Because the teenager culture. Like, I am a counsellor, and I’ve got a couple of people at university and it’s obvious that the drinking really notches up and drug taking. And, you know, that can be really dangerous. They don’t understand, for example, that it flips over to the next day. So what would you say to them? With all their drinking, that is a stage that they’re going through and how can they be sure they’re going to get out the stage at the other end?

John 4:55
Well, I think, there was a PhD student of mine Yep. and myself we did stuff on which we called social norms. And social norms surrounding drinking is yes, you’re very, you’re correct. There’s all these teenagers and they are getting, you know, well wellied on a regular basis and you think well, as teenagers, that’s what they do. But teenagers stop being teenagers and they start to grow out of it. If you’re still in it, then that’s a problem. It is a problem. And I think if you look around about, and you are different from everybody around about you, then yes, I would say there’s a problem. But the problem with that is when you’re drinking, you can always find somebody that drinks the same as you. always, and very often, and then and I talked about more on drinking here is that I started in quite flash, you know, posh pubs in Glasgow, and ended up you know, in the Stab Inn and, you know, real dives of places. Yeah. And the reason for that was because I was different from the people in the posh ones. And then the next one, and then the next one, and so

Lou 6:15
your gradually it went into decline, and

John 6:18
I choose my surroundings, so that I wouldn’t stick out.

Lou 6:24
I think I would say, as a counsellor, that I think the psychological aspect of drinking too much, is people that carry around a great deal of pain, they begin to learn that when they are drinking, the pain that they carry around has an anaesthetic. And in the end, the anaesthetic becomes more and more important, and they use it to block out the pain completely. And I think that that’s true of people that you work with, are often people that carry a lot of pain. Yeah, that’s, that’s true. Yeah. So the pain is the problem, and then they drink to anaesthetise the pain, and then the drink becomes a problem in itself

John 7:05
to become dependent on alcohol. And it’s not just physically dependent with established, you know, shakes or sweats. And all of that was to become dependent on alcohol to do things. You know, there was one person I was talking to, and, you know, there are a few who used it as a performance enhancer. By that, I mean, it helps them in their job, if they have to talk to people they have got to, you know, do things in their job that requires them to be in the limelight, you know, that alcohol, just kind of gives them that confidence.

Lou 7:39
Okay, so you actually you were beginning to go into denial, your comparisons with other people. And force that denial. You used it to feel better about yourself and to feel confident about yourself. Yeah. I think one of the reasons we do lots of these videos, is if they’d been a place where people were constantly giving the signs and saying, you know, just watch out this, then you your information would have been, but there’s not much out there, really to kind of arrest people and say, do you know you’re drinking too much. And we have a tool actually, that you have to do that?

John 8:17
Well, we’ve got a tool that does it. But we’ve also got a couple of articles – 25 signs of problem drinking. It’s actually two articles, because it’s quite long, and split up. And it goes into all the different signs. But there’s a tool called CAGE, which is

Lou 8:37
not on our website, it’s not

John 8:40
it’s just an a general, public key, just, it’s, it’s a very small tool, just for questions. And one of the biggest sort of predictors is has somebody ever told you, you’re drink too much. And that is the best predictor of the whole tool. And yet, that’s one of the things that we tend to ignore. Yeah, you know, we tend to ignore that one. And that’s, you know, if we listened to the people around us, then we probably would not go down as far as we go down.

Lou 9:15
Okay, so to sum up with the direction you took, okay. What do you wish? If we could change that time, and you could change what what would you do? Would you go down the road of, it’s just getting out of control?

John 9:33
I think every get into the fantasy world, you know, time shifting and all of that. If I could go back and see my 19 year old self, you know, and say to him, Look, this is what’s likely to happen. you know, In Alcoholics Anonymous, they have sign up in the wall Yets, thee yets. You know, what does that mean? And when somebody says Oh, I’ve never done and somebody would say yet. I’ve never yet Not yet.

Lou 10:06
Because that is not as bad as them. Yet.

John 10:09
Yeah, there’s an almost a grim inevitability, if you do have a problem, that is no good to just get better spontaneously, you can have to do something about it, it doesn’t just go away, it’s not like a cold, that it can run this course. And then it’s finished, you know, you’re gonna have to actually do something about it. If I could go back and say, Look, this is what’s going to happen. You know, then, yeah, I wish I could do. Now, obviously, I would be sitting there going, Yes, I know, you’re from the future. But I can change tomorrow, you know, I would. Yeah, oh, and by the way, is how are Apple shares. and what’s going to win the Derby,

Lou 10:55
yes. But also, don’t panic, don’t go to the opposite extreme. If you’ve got a kid at university, that’s going out a lot, doing a bit of drinking, that doesn’t mean to say he’s going to become an alcoholic, there is quite a large amount of students that come out, they get jobs, you know, and you know, they have families, and that drinking really does settle down. So don’t panic, we don’t panic, you, we just want to inform you and help you

John 11:23
the research, again, if we go back into the research tends to show that there is a very large proportion of teenagers or, you know, so young adults, who, if they took an alcoholism test would probably pass. And you would say, yes, you are an alcoholic. And those same people, you know, 10, 15, 20 years later, if they took the same test, then they would be clear. The reason being, what happens is that people start to change. Why? Because of what’s happening around them, because they got married because they had a kid because they got a different job, you know, and they change. The thing is thatthere are a hard core like me, who didn’t, who didn’t change, and who continued wanting to be 19, you know, and that will and that that’s, that’s also a big sign, I think, wanting to be 19, rather than wanting to be 25 when they get married, or 30. When you know, it didn’t want to

Lou 12:28
know and a lot of people, I mean, even at university, okay, you’ve got to pay back your, your loan, but it feels like out there. And so, though there’s a lot of responsibility. I’m not sure that’s so true in the States, because they have to really, really save up for their secondary education, you know, and so I think they take it a bit more seriously, in this country is a little bit more easygoing. But when you get your job, and you get your first flat, and everything, it’s down to you. So you have to turn up you have just not been responsible.

John 13:01
Yeah. So, in short, I think, you know, I had to look back now and say, Well, you know, what do I wish, and I wish I had recognised when alcohol became more important than anything else in my life. I wish I’d recognise that moment. Because it was at that moment, I crossed some lines on Well, occasionally, it was important, but other things were important. Then, all of a sudden, I crossed this line where it was the most important thing,

Lou 13:31
right, and we’re going to now just do a part second part of this and we’re just going to talk about what you wish you knew further on in your journey. Okay, so come back and join us. Thank you for listening. Bye bye.

John 13:42
Okay. Bye

Transcribed by

2 Replies to “Problem Drinking Signs I Wish I had not Ignored”

  1. These videos are invaluable to me to understand my last relationship. Alcohol bottles don’t even have a warning on them that its detrimental to our health. Is there a special type of personality that is more prone to drinking? My ex was so stubborn and stuck he wouldn’t listen to anyone about anything ever. All of his family have told him to quit drinking numerous times but deaf ears. He is caring alot of pain that has never been dealt with but like most men won’t seek therapy. he is afraid of his own vulnerability. I haven’t spoke to him in a year but am sure the pattern is repeating. I wish him the best but the writing is on the wall I am afraid.

  2. I used to have a lot of fun out and about, but after the novelty wore off, so did the drinking. It was fun while it lasted, but I am glad it’s over….been over for many years. Many people start off like this but continue. I feel like when I grew up, so did my desire to be stuck spinning and living that bar life, over and over. Boring! I didn’t see it then, but now realize what a waste of time and money it was. When I met my hubby in my mid 20’s, we were having fun. The difference between us, is that I grew out of it and he never has. He is in his mid 60’s now and still feels the need for the party life, although he would not call it that since he stays at home and does it. I have pissed and moaned on here before, (sorry) but I am stuck wondering why some refuse to change or refuse to see life as it really is. Besides selfishness, (and I am convinced it is selfish) there is and immaturity and an irresponsible need to continue. Just because someone goes to work, it doesn’t make them overall responsible, and that’s the end. Hubby feels he has done his part and that’s it. There is nothing left in him when he gets home.. He goes straight for the recliner, eats, regroups, and then it’s drinking time. The life comes back to him as he moves around and talks non-stop; mainly about music. Yeah, we all love music, but…anyhow, he is transformed into a different personality. The gloomy, quiet man now turns into a chatterbox of music talk, intermixed with the daily nonsense of work. Sure, we all need to vent, but this is a 7 day a week habit. I usually go for a walk after dinner and clean up, and then retreat to my own room for my sanity. He says we are good and that we have a good relationship, when I have made the mistake of pointing out that we are distant. I have learned to keep my mouth shut and stop trying to talk about anything. He wants no part of the hard stuff, just the fun music trivia stories he wants to tell me about. I’m bored with it. If I want to know, there is Google. Bottom line. He is obsessed with drinking. He feels it is the magic that makes his day and changes his attitude. He truly has two different personalities; maybe a third! Alcohol gives him this over confident attitude that he knows more than he has looked into. Is that what makes him feel good? Idk..I only know he cannot function without it and I now know that trying to get him to see is a waste of time and energy. It is easier to walk away. Some of us are not in a place to walk away for good. Alcohol has certainly ruined us..that, and a stubborn, selfish outlook. I love your videos and your interaction, but there is little that can be learned when there is only one in a relationship. Thank you.

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