Thursday, November 18, 2010

How one guy made the choice against alcoholism

What happened on the way to the grand old Oprey

Floods had destroyed the Grand Old Oprey. It was being re-invented although many said it couldn’t be done. And on my way to the new venue I found out that people are always re-inventing themselves. Bill Glasser and his Choice Theory came to mind again.

Getting a lift from the Choice Theory Conference to the Grand Old Oprey, the chauffeur driver quizzed me.

He said: “I’ve been looking at a book from your bookstore at the conference on CT and alcoholism.” He asked: “Do you believe alcoholism is a disease?”

I replied “No I don’t. Choice Theory would say the consumption of alcohol is a choice

You choose to buy the alcohol, you choose to pour it down your throat, and you are not controlled by some mysterious brain disease.”

The taxi driver said, “This goes against modern medical and psychiatric beliefs because everyone says alcoholism is a disease!”

I explained to him that Choice Theory says that we choose all we do in order to get what we want. A person might choose alcohol to deal with a difficulty in their lives and it becomes a habit. There is one thing you can do, “Stop drinking!”

He shook his head. I said to him, “Tell me your story.”

He replied, “When I came back from Vietnam, I was an alcoholic. I married and got on with my life. It seemed to be working for me until one day my wife said to me “If you continue drinking, the children and I will be leaving”.I stopped drinking that day and I have never drunk since. I own a fleet of hire cars and run a successful business.”

I asked him, “How did you stop?”

He said, ”I just did it”

I asked, “How did you do it? Were there any withdrawal symptoms?”

“For a few days but I didn’t pay much attention to them.” “What kept you on the straight and narrow?” I enquired. “I decided that my wife and family were more important than drinking. It’s as simple as that.”

I said, “That is great. That really demonstrates what we teach in Choice Theory. We choose all we do because it is the best choice we can make at the time. When you realised the consequences of your decision to continue drinking you chose a more satisfying option!”

I mentioned to him that in Dr. Glasser’s book “Positive Addiction” he says that we need to replace negatively addictive behaviours with more positive ones.

He nodded, “I chose my wife, my family and my business. But most of all, I chose myself.”

And I had had a great night at the Grand Old Oprey, in more ways than one.

A real life experience from Ivan Honey, Psychologist, Senior Faculty WGI-Aust. with assistance from Gary Garnaut.

In his spare time Ivan embraces the beauty of our natural world and can be found bushwalking or biking around his home town of Bendigo. He also loves spending time with his ever increasing family and grandchildren meeting his ‘Fun’ & ‘Love and Belonging’ needs. Ivan’s preferred mode of transport is his VW Volkswagen bus which was much of his inspiration for the Cars’R'Us Cards.

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