Thursday, 20 February 2014

I slipped - alcohol passed my lips.

I have a confession to make: I drank alcohol last night and I didn't even realise until this morning.

"So what?" I hear you ask. "What's a couple of white wines between friends?"

Ordinarily it wouldn't be a problem, except that this February, I am participating in FebFast and my chosen poison is alcohol. I've been very diligent and conscientious and then I experienced something that I told happens for people with an addiction to alcohol often.

I was at a networking event. The formal bit was over and we were mingling, business cards in one hand and beverages in the other. This is a familiar environment and there's a ritual that goes with the environment. When my colleague suggested that we get a glass of wine, I agreed. When she offered to fetch me another, I agreed.

It's hardly a major breach. The bit that was most interesting to me was the automatic nature of my behaviour in that setting. I was speaking with one of the mental health nurses with whom I work (she is very experienced in dealing with people who are addicted to alcohol) and she told me that I had a set of learned behaviours and had experienced a "slip". I just did what I normally do in that situation.

The other thing that struck me about my behaviour was that I wasn't even aware of my slip until this morning. Here I am, being so mindful of not drinking alcohol for a whole month, and I didn't even notice when I broke my pledge.

This is one of the benefits of the wave of behaviourally based awareness and fundraising projects. Participants gain a tiny insight. I will never judge someone again when they claim say they "forgot" or were "unaware". It's completely possible.

I'll be paying a fine as penance for my slip all in the name of raising funds to support programs for young people who have problems with addiction. Thanks to those of you who have already offered support, either morally or financially. There's still time to consider how you can support this wonderful organisation.

Are you doing FebFast? What have you given up? Have you "slipped"?

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