Monday, January 02, 2006

My respect for Jim

Jim was an alcoholic by the time he was 15. And a chain-smoker too. When he first told me that, I was REALLY taken aback. I could not imagine this self-respecting, 潔生自愛 of a man standing in front of me had once inflicted so much damage on his own body. But he did.

Up until that conversation, I already knew that Jim doesn't smoke nor drink. Not even a social stick. Not even a single drop. He exercises regularly, swimming distances that'll put many of us to shame. Recently, he told me his doc said his cholestoral levels was a tad high, so he has been watching his diet as well. It is certainly making a difference, for he has lost quite a few kilos and certainly look leaner and "meaner" now.

He is so comfortable with his past now that he entertained all the questions I asked him.

How did you manage to work if you're inebriated all the time?

Oh, the body only needed to keep the alcohol levels in my bloodstream above a certain level. I didn't have to drink till I was dead drunk. Just enough to keep my body happy. But it was a continuous kind of thing. I couldn't stop. I could still do my job ok. No problems.

How did you quit?

Cold turkey.

How long did it take for you to quit? I meant both "habits".

6 months for drinking. Around 2 years for smoking.

Which did you quit first?


Which was more difficult to kick?

Oh, definitely smoking. But drinking worsens the problem of smoking, so I quit drinking first. When you drink, it washes away the nicotine. That's why you see people in pubs chain smoking. They need to replace the nicotine. Then they drink more and it is washed away again. It becomes a vicious cycle. (I don't smoke, so this piece of info is entirely new to me)

Did you try other solutions when quitting drinking?

Yes. I've tried things like counselling. Those fellas aren't drinkers themselves so they don't understand the problems. They couldn't give me any solutions. At the end of the day, I just realised I have to do it myself.

So why don't you even have a small tiny drink now? Is it a fear of relapsing into old ways?

Oh no. In the inital few years after quitting, there was that fear. But after that, it was just a general feeling of disgust towards alcohol. I feel disgusted by alcohol now.

So you were an alcoholic and smoker for like 20 years?

Yes, before I told myself enough is enough. I've come to realise that we need to love ourselves first before we can love the people around us. It took me quite some time to figure that one out but at least I figured it out in the end.

Jim, I've always respected you as a person, but after this conversation, I'm going to be respecting you even more.

*Big Grin* from him.

Akan Datang: Torch Light (part 4)

88 days to go.

P.S. This post is NOT a dig at smokers and/or drinkers. But if it acts as a catalyst or provides encouragement for even just one reader to quit, I'll be elated.


Blogger ChroniclesofChaos said...

I sometimes feel that quitting smoking is easy, provided you have found the reason that motivates.

Arguably, it is the same with drug addiction or any other addiction, finding the reason to stop.

I am still searching for the reason to compel me to just wake up one day and say "Enough!"

Mon Jan 02, 02:33:00 pm 2006  
Blogger Acey Deucey said...

Well, when you do, come back to this post and put in a comment. I want to share the happiness of that day with you.

And thanks for dropping by.

Mon Jan 02, 02:43:00 pm 2006  

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