I was interviewed by one of Australia’s most trusted journalists last week and here’s what they said to me – “Tom, can alcoholics live with choice like you?”
It’s actually the most common response I hear when I tell someone DLFF is all about choice & freedom rather than abstinence or need….
“Does it work for alcoholics?”
Which is quite unfortunate. When it comes to alcohol reduction, it’s always about ‘alcoholics’.
In fact, I think it’s one of the biggest problems in the industry.
That alcohol reduction support is almost ‘reserved’ for individuals that are ‘alcoholics’ or ‘addicted’.
– If someone goes to the gym to loose weight, it doesn’t mean they are obese
– If someone attends a meditation class, we don’t assume they’re diagnosed with anxiety
– If someone sees a nutritionist, it doesn’t mean they are so unhealthy they can’t get through life
– If someone see’s a financial advisor, we don’t assume they’re broke
– If someone wants to stop drinking coffee or eating chocolate, we don’t assume….
You get the point.
The alcohol reduction industry & traditional support services are often usually always reserved for ‘alcoholics’.
And there’s a million other individuals that wish they drank less but wouldn’t call themselves alcoholics. Scratching their heads wondering if they should continue drinking as they are or should they maybe ‘admit they are an addict’ even if they don’t feel they are.
This is incredibly debilitating. To influence individuals to feel they should either know how to drink less alcohol on their own, or they must be alcoholics.
Imagine signing up at the local gym meant you first had to admit you have commitment issues & simply can’t look after your health without the gym.
It would deter people from signing up, wouldn’t it?
Just like the approach to alcohol reduction massively deters thousands of people asking for help every single day.
It’s the most unattractive approach to improving one’s health the world has ever seen.
Which is all we are doing. We are simply looking at improving our health and wellness. Right?
I think we’ve grown so fond of alcohol, as a society, we’ve created a huge disconnect for people that no longer want to be drinking.
It’s a sneaky way of separating drinkers from non drinkers.
Non drinkers have to admit they ‘aren’t as capable’ as drinkers.
Almost like, for some reason, they can’t get a handle on life and alcohol at the same time. They are different and shouldn’t touch a bottle or the world will collapse.
“And we can say this whilst we’re chugging a beer because we aren’t alcoholics. We are fine with alcohol”
Unlike the majority, they don’t gell well with alcohol so they shouldn’t dabble in it.
Unlike the majority, they must have Childhood trauma or unresolved insecurities.
“Surely there must be a reason why they can’t handle their liquor like the rest of us good old folk”
In short, wanting to change your relationship with alcohol, in the public eye, might just be one of the most unsportive and unattractive categories of taking care of your well-being.
And it ain’t your fault. It’s a reflection of a broken system that’s more concerned about upholding the Australian drinking culture than it is concerned about supporting individuals to live with choice.
Wow – Thank you for diving into a topic with me that matters so god dam much.
Let’s hope one day, that putting your hand up to drink less alcohol is championed on as much as we support someone for signing up to the gym or eating better.
Isn’t it funny I even have to say that