Catching Up with Alcohol Explained and William Porter
In Episode 51 of “Breaking the Bottle Legacy” host Molly Watts emphasizes the goal of utilizing real science and leveraging one’s own cognitive abilities to initiate positive changes in alcohol consumption. She welcomes guest William Porter, known for his work in “Alcohol Explained,” for a discussion that covers various aspects of alcohol and moderation. The conversation explores the impact of alcohol on sleep and energy levels, the role of cravings, and the importance of understanding the science behind addiction. William shares insights into his perspective on moderation and abstinence, highlighting the physiological and psychological factors involved. The episode also delves into the concept of triggers and the challenge of avoiding them in a society saturated with alcohol-related cues. Both Molly and William stress the significance of conscious thought in recognizing and addressing unconscious urges and habits related to drinking.
You’re listening to breaking the bottle legacy with Molly watts, Episode 51. Hi, I’m Molly, after a lifetime living under the influence of family alcohol abuse, spending more than 30 years worrying about alcohol and my own drinking, believing I had an unbreakable daily drinking habit, I changed my relationship with alcohol forever. If you want to change your drinking habits than breaking the bottle legacy is for you. My goal is to help you create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, past, present, and future. Each week all focus on real science and using your own brain to change your relationship with alcohol. Nothing has gone wrong, you’re not broken, you’re not sick. It’s not your genes. And creating peace is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello, and welcome or welcome back to breaking the bottle legacy with me your host, Molly Watts coming to you from a pretty sunny and cold Oregon still working without a furnace around here. So we’ll be great if it doesn’t get much colder, but it is sunny and beautiful. So that is happy. Hey, I just want to jump on real quick before my guest is here today and ask you to check out my private Facebook group. It is called alcohol minimalists, change your drinking habits. And there you will find all sorts of resources and tools and accountability and support. You can find it on Facebook, just search for in groups for alcohol minimalists, and you will find us so I invite you to please come over and join us in changing your drinking habits and creating a peaceful relationship with alcohol become an alcohol minimalist. So today on the podcast, I am delighted to be speaking again to William Porter. Many of you who have been trying to figure out your relationship with alcohol have undoubtedly read Williams books alcohol explained and alcohol explained to and I talked to will the first time back in January of 2021. When I was first launching this podcast, I was smack in the middle of dry you weary and gosh, I was like just so excited to speak with him because he was a really big name in this work at the time for me to actually talk to. And now. It’s just nice to revisit that conversation to revisit some of our shared beliefs and also to ask him about some of his own decisions and kind of his view on my work as an alcohol minimalist. So I think you will really enjoy hearing from him again, I always enjoy speaking to him. Here is my conversation with William Porter. Hey, we’ll happy to have you back on the podcast. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me. Hi, thank you for inviting me back. It’s so good to see you. It’s so good to just have you back here on the podcast. I think I mentioned to you. Our episode. Our first episode is probably one of my most downloaded episodes. So I really appreciate Yeah, I know. Right? Well, yeah, he’s good. And so I wanted to just catch up with you. And first of all, just share a little bit with what’s been going on with you this last year with regards to alcohol explained and alcohol explained to and I know this year, you’ve published a workbook. Yes. So absolutely. So it’s been all go so did the workbook. I then moved on to another book, which I’m co writing with Annie grace, but this one’s about nicotine. Wow. With Annie grace, yeah, yeah, exactly. So that that’s going to be coming out. I think current indications are it’ll be full next year. So we got just over a year to go. So that’s, that’s all in the wings, that’s kind of the manuscripts down, I’m just doing some rewriting on it. And also, I’m now working on an online course as well. So I’ve tried to amalgamate everything that’s in our call explained one and two, and kind of cobble it together into a into a course and interactive course. So people can sort of go online and work through it. So it’s kind of a mix between a work book a book and an audio book. Yeah, so it’s proving to horribly big tasks much bigger than I know how that’s gonna. When that will be in you know, coming out. I feel for you, you and I talk about we we even in our just emails back and forth because you and I both have full time jobs outside of all this work that we do, and I think we might be the the, you know, we’re kind of alone in that respect. Are the this isn’t the full focus of our lives? No, no, no, it’s yeah, it’s fitting it around everything else, isn’t it? And as things get bigger and bigger, every, everything seems to get squashed a bit more. Yeah, I can’t imagine for you because that’s a big deal. That’s a big deal. I mean, any grace is pretty much the biggest name in, you know, at least here in the US. I feel like, yeah. And so it’s yeah, it’s been it’s been a Yeah, it’s been a challenge. It’s been, it was okay. When I was working in an office, because I’d have an hour on the tube on the underground, the subway to work. And now on the way back, so I always had two hours a day to work. But then when I’m locked down, kicked in, I’ve even lost that. So it’s become more and more difficult to fit things in to be honest. Well, it’s amazing. But your your Yeah, and we talked a little bit too about your your Facebook group has gotten really large, I think. Yeah, I thought like, I think I remember back at the beginning of the year when we were when I was looking at it, maybe it was around, I don’t know, in the low 1000s. And now it’s like, over 15,000 Yeah, it just it’s flown up. I found it funny enough. I saw a posting there. I can’t remember when it was it was only a year or two ago. And I was saying well, the group’s at 3000. Yeah, nearly knocking on the door. 16,000. Now, so it’s yeah, it’s big. It’s really big. It’s big. But yeah. But it has to make you feel good. Because you know that the I mean, I don’t know, that you ever set out to to be, you know, a person of interest in the alcohol sobriety world, but definitely that’s happened. It has yeah, I’ve always kind of, I’m always happy sort of sitting in the background, trying to pick things apart and think about things and sort of do that side of it. And I’m not overly good at like publicity or self promotion or anything like that. So it’s kind of it’s a bit of an odd mix for me. Because as I said, I’m happy kind of sitting there thinking about things and trying to unpick addiction. Right. But yeah, the other side of it is a bit more. Yeah. A bit more alien to me. Well, it’s working. Are you well? Got it. Something’s happening. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Well, one of the other reasons that I wanted to have you back on is because I was listening to our first interview, like I said, and it was when I was really new, launching this program really new, launching my podcast, my book wasn’t finished yet, my book wasn’t out. And I was back. And funny enough, I was smack in the middle of January. So I think I told you, I’m like, in this middle of this first month of me being, you know, not drinking for 30 days. And, and now my, my evolution in my journey has really even still concert continues to evolve and has continued to evolve throughout this year. And I feel very convinced and very firm in what I do. Now. I consider myself an alcohol minimalist. And I stick to those low risk guidelines. I don’t drink more than seven standard drinks in a week, and I don’t drink in consecutive days, and I don’t drink more than three drinks in any one in any one setting. And, and I do have multiple alcohol free days in a week. And I do I tell my my followers, I take one alcohol free weekend, at least per quarter, and I take an alcohol free month per year, which is primary. And for me, I have found that I am completely at peace with that I don’t have any, you know, I don’t have the negative side effects, at least to the extent that I feel like it’s that I am worth or it’s it’s willing to do the trade off of being completely alcohol free. As far as like the my sleep and things like that. I feel like I have, you know, a balance. A balance. Yeah. Balance. Yeah. So and I wanted to explore that more with you. Because I know in your in in alcohol explain to at least you you’re pretty clear that you don’t think that moderation is possible. But you also say it’s more for people that maybe were heavier drinkers in the beginning. So tell me a little bit about what you think about that. Yeah, so I suppose there’s a few points there. I mean, one would be a question for you. Really? How do you I mean, do you how do you find your sleep and energy levels the day after you’ve been drinking? Do you find that the same as normal or slightly lower? And I know you’re talking about balance, so I’m not suggesting that Yeah. Yeah, I don’t feel like I have a real any any, you know, serious uptick nor any serious downtick, but that’s also again like guy said, I don’t really like for me to even have three drinks in a in a particular evening would be a non issue. Yeah. Usual. So, you know, it’s really probably on any occasion would be one drink or potentially two at the at the I say okay, you know so like, Yeah, I think for me, certainly a lot of it was picking apart the reasons why we do drink. And so for me, I started to get to the stage where I didn’t see any benefit to drinking. So I think that was one of the big parts for me in if I saw alcohol as attractive or desirable in any situ, like in a certain situation, I kind of would would then want it in other situations, but for me to to, to have just made a decision not to drink any more, I think has made it a lot easier. And also, I think for me, there’s a sort of a simple physiological side, I mean, as you know, because I speak about it in both our core explained and alcohol explained to about when an alcoholic drink wears off, it leaves a kind of an unpleasant, out of sorts kind of twitched up fleeing feeling that needs then another drink to relieve it. So for me, I think when you reach a certain level of drinking, and it’s I kind of see this for for any addiction, because for any drug. So take something for example, like smoking, which most people consider to be addictive. Even smoking has a take it or leave it stage when you first start, not many some people do but not many people start smoking 60 a day on day one and can’t do without it. What most people find with smoking is they smoke when they’re out with friends. So they start smoking in the evenings at weekends. And then they can go a week without smoking. And it takes a while for the addiction to kick in. Now for me that addiction in inverted commas, the meaning of that word is when you reach the stage where you’re conscious and subconscious brain interprets the feeling of withdrawal of withdrawal or that unpleasant feeling as I want a drink or a cigarette or whatever, to relieve it. Because ultimately, that’s the chemical side of addiction. It’s when one dose of a drug wears off, it leaves an unpleasant feeling that needs another dose to relieve it. And when your brain catches up with that, for me, every, every drink creates a desire for the next one as it starts to wear off. So for me, I just found it easier not to have anything to do with it any more to sort of to kick it into touch entirely. Yeah. And I and I respect that. And in fact, you know, I thought about that after the fact I don’t know if I know your I know you went to AAA at some point, but I did you when you stopped drinking. Did you just stop cold turkey all the way? Yeah, I did. So So to explain. No, I was never a regular drinker. Yeah, I was a binge drinker. So but but when I say binge drinker, I mean, my binges were getting more and more ridiculous, because we spoke a bit about not like waking up in the night when you were drinking. And what I discovered is when I drank, I’d wake up and feel really anxious and couldn’t get back to sleep. And then I’d have a drink and managed to go back to sleep. But that kind of crosses a line, quite a bad one in that you as soon as you wake up, you start drinking again. So when I was binge drinking, I was literally drinking until I fell unconscious and then waking up and starting again. And my last one of those went on for about five days. So it was you know, it wasn’t binge drinking is I went out for a couple of nights and got quite drunk both nights. This was continual drinking for five days. And at that point, I stopped completely. And utterly I’d been to AAA for a stint previous to that. And I found it was I found it was really useful to have that human contact with people that had been through it. But what I struggled with, I think was the the steps and the kind of the philosophy behind it. Yeah, and we’ve talked, we talked about that. And I agree with that completely the, you know, one of the things that I, in watching my mother’s struggle with her addiction was just the idea that she was powerless. And I like you know, that part to me was always really hard to digest, and I just don’t believe it, and I still don’t believe it. And I don’t I believe that people, you know, you took control, you have the power. You did what you needed to do and you chose to be alcohol free. And I always tell people in this in my group and on this podcast, I’m not telling anybody they should go out and drink alcohol. That’s not the message. I think that in fact, but I do want to make sure that the that when people include alcohol in their lives, they’re doing it in a mindful way and that they’re doing it with the, if they’re going to include alcohol in their lives, they do it with the very minimal risk that they can. And so what I fear when I and to some degree, and I know I’ve actually, you know, did a podcast on kind of dissecting a little bit of Annie grace, because sometimes I feel like the messaging has gotten has gotten very convoluted that there is only you know, that the only answer is she, in the book, she kind of takes you into a journey and thinking that you that you might want to drink again, or you have control over it, and that you are in control. But ultimately, the message is, you can never drink again, and so on. Yeah. And so my fear with that, and my, the reason that I want to get a message across to people that choosing to include alcohol in your life and making that decision in a mindful way, and even in a low risk way is certainly a better way of doing things. If you’re not if you are not paying attention at all whatsoever to what you’re doing with alcohol right now. Now, obviously, as an as a binge drinker, and I think I said that to you before. I wasn’t a binge drinker, I’ve never been a binge drinker. And I never really, I was a regular drinker. So I was somebody that was drinking all the time, drinking daily and still passing the the guidelines for low risk drinking, I was drinking, you know, in excess and drinking heavy what would be considered heavy drinking, even though I didn’t get to the point where I was blacking out or not remembering, you know, anything like that. But definitely to a point where what I appreciated most about alcohol explained and about your work was the connection between the science and the neuroscience and the trend, neurotransmitters and how alcohol impacts us as it’s dissipating from our system. And that, that reflex in anxiety, and I’d never really associated my aunt at drinking three to four drinks a day, it was very noticeable to me when I stopped doing that how much better I felt in terms of not, you know, not having that rebound anxiety. No, I completely agree with you. I mean, for me, it’s about giving people knowledge. And then really what they do with that knowledge is up to them. So I believe it or not, most of the time, the people that come to me, you know, they are clearly better off for stopping drinking. Yeah, but for most people, I think there’s a lot of there’s a massive knowledge deficit with alcohol. Yeah, people don’t understand the dynamic of how it works. If someone is drinking, that’s, as far as I’m concerned, that’s entirely their decision, and nothing to do with me. But I think they do need to have the knowledge to make sure they’re making the correct decision. Because ultimately, you know, say, for example, I don’t know I want to buy a new car on, you know, everyone’s buying electric cars these days. So I need to buy an electric car, but I don’t know anything about them. If I just go out there and buy an electric car, it could well be completely the wrong car for me. So I have to do a lot of research, I need to know what they you know, how long it takes to charge them how expensive they are, how far they can run all these different things. So I can choose the right one for me to make a decision. You need to have knowledge and accurate knowledge. And for me, that’s what it’s about. It’s about having people understanding what alcohol does, and what it doesn’t do. So you strip it down to exactly what it is give people that knowledge. And then really, it’s up to them what they do with that knowledge, whether they continue drinking, or they stopped drinking, or they cut down on their drinking. But I mean, as you’ve said, you know, in my books, I do kind of I’m fairly clear that abstinence is the best option. And it certainly certainly was for me anyway. Yeah. And I don’t like I said, I don’t begrudge anybody that I if for some people being alcohol free is the best option, it’s the option that’s going to be the most peaceful for them. You know, and while I definitely lean towards being more alcohol free than I do, including alcohol in my life, and I think that’s, you know, people when I say alcohol minimalist, it means that I have taken alcohol out of the equation enough so that it isn’t something that I have to I don’t make a decision. And I know you can you’ve talked about this before to just kind of that decision fatigue where you’re constantly, you know, will I or won’t I or will I won’t I? For me, there’s never a moment when I’m thinking oh, I’m going to go in and have you know, I’m not I’m gonna go overboard with alcohol. You know, I’m not I’m never going to that’s not something that’s on the table. It’s never a situation where I think oh, if I drink one drink, I’m going to keep wanting to drink another one because I have a lot of knowledge in the deficit. You know, the the science is very clearer, there is scientific therapeutic benefit for alcohol if you keep a blood alcohol content level of point, 055. And below, and really for most people, that’s going to be one drink or less, anything over that. And all the detrimental side effects of alcohol start to kick in. And the further down that slope you go, the higher those, those offset, you know, negative activities are going to or aspects are going to be. So for me, I use the same exact kind of mindset. They are the things that you think are the knowledge that you use to maintain sobriety, I use to maintain alcohol, minimalism, you know, and it is the same, but I think people sometimes when they hear, I think the comp, the problems with moderation, become people thinking that they’re going to still be able to drink to excess, and include alcohol in their lives. That’s ever gonna work for anybody. No, you’ve got to, you’ve got to change your perception of it to even even get there I think, yeah, because I so since I stopped, one time, I had a flu or something. And I took what? Yes, yeah. And there was alcohol in it. So it was the equivalent of having like a glass of sherry or small glass of wine or something. And it didn’t cause me to drink again, because I didn’t particularly like the effects of it. I regretted having it. I wasn’t very well at the time anyway. So I didn’t really notice it. But so theoretically, I know it is possible because I have done it. I did have that alcohol on that chart, that occasion will be it by accident. But for me, I think it’s almost like a catch 22. Because if I had wanted it, then I would have wanted it on other occasions. Do you see what I mean? So it’s kind of yeah, as I say, almost like a catch 22 thing. I think the only people who can safely moderate are those who actually don’t particularly want to drink in the first place. Yeah, so that’s interesting, because I think about that I and I know you in your books talk about whether or not people can really do this. I truly, like I’m totally good having a drink and not having another drink. And I don’t feel like I’m like gritting my teeth, you know, white knuckling it through the event, I’m not like there’s not like willpower. And there’s, and the reason that’s there now, I really truly believe is because of all the education that I’ve done on alcohol, I have reprogrammed my subconscious I’ve reprogrammed how I see alcohol, I don’t see it as like, so when I’m doing that, even if I’m having a drink, it’s not the focus of my, of, of what’s going on. You know, before I think I probably put a lot of attention and a lot of focus on what I was going to drink and how much I was going to drink it. If I was going to a party, you know, it was all about like, oh, oh, they’re serving beer, and you know, they’re serving beer and wine and it’s free. Okay, woohoo, right? I mean, we’re gonna go and we can drink to our little hearts contents. Now, I don’t like that doesn’t you know what I mean? That’s not anywhere near my thought process. My thought process is okay, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go. You know, I can’t wait to go. I want to see my friends. I can’t wait to enjoy the music. Does that make sense? So that the, for me has been pivotal in changing my relationship with alcohol is figuring out the thoughts that I had, that were driving the desire to drink. And I think that’s kind of what you’re talking about is you’ve you know, for you, you’ve changed your desire, because you’ve got a lot of thoughts that that you have, so that you have zero desire, right? That’s, that’s what Yeah, but your thoughts and your thoughts have really driven you there, your thoughts and your thinking have really created that feeling. And I think for me, that was one of the things that I didn’t really understand prior to doing this work was how in control I was of creating the thoughts. And also, and I know you talked about this a little bit in alcohol, explain to about like, in that chapter on moderation, like, how you set yourself up, right and what your expert or maybe it’s in the conclusion, I think is where you’re talking about how you’re, if you’re, you know, positive thinking about how this kind of idea, right of putting it into just practice is, you know, how you perceive what’s going to happen when you go to something or do something. If you choose to see your life without alcohol as miserable and awful. And you’re going to have to, you know, it’s going to be drudgery, right? Yeah, that’s that’s kind of what’s going to create that’s what you’re going to create but you can choose to to frame it in a completely different way. Yeah, that’s it. I think that’s one of the key things because you know, we talked very well we’ve talked about the you know, the physiological the chemical side of it. But obviously, that’s just one part because the other part It is I refer to it in the books as craving. And it’s that, you know, essentially a very strong desire for something. But it’s that almost obsessing about something. So the thought of a drink enters your mind. And then you’re just fantasizing about it thinking how great it will be. And then usually you move on to then the possibility of having one and what you’re really doing is torturing yourself with it. Now, that’s a big part of addiction. And it’s, I don’t think people appreciate how big a part of addiction it is. I was watching something the other day, and they were talking about heroin addiction. Now, we generally think of heroin as being something that’s really really highly addictive, right. But what they were saying is a lot of people who have serious accidents or illnesses go into hospital, and they’re essentially given heroin. And it’s, it’s the same thing. In fact, it usually much stronger than what, what people buy on the streets, because what people buy on the streets is often cut with all sorts of other things that aren’t heroin. So actually, people can go into hospital for a few months, weeks, whatever be given regular doses of heroin. Now, a lot of them do struggle with addiction when they come out, but many of them don’t. And actually, the reason for that is, in my view, it’s that craving process, because in the same way that when you start, like we talked about smoking, that you know, you will have a withdrawal from nicotine, it will be there in the early stages. But crucially, what is missing is that it triggers the desire to have it. Because when nicotine wears off, it leaves an unpleasant feeling that another cigarette, and another dose of nicotine will relieve that. So it will make you feel lots better. But there’s lots of things in life that make us feel a bit uptight, not very good. And most of the time, we just get on with it. So in the early stages, that feeling is there. But we don’t interpret it as I want a drink or I want a cigarette or I want some heroin, so we don’t start obsessing with it and craving. So that that part of it is absolutely missing. Yeah. So that’s Yeah, yeah. No, I think that I actually did it. I I did a podcast not too long ago, and I was talking about a study. And the study was talking about it was it was it’s talking about naltrexone the drug yet, right, and it’s supposed to help toned down the cravings. That’s one of the it’s one of its claims. Yeah, it impacts or blocks those opioid receptors in the brain. And so, but what was interesting about the study was that what wasn’t clear, and that’s one of the things I think is, is that when people are physically dependent, right, one of the one of the characteristics of being physically dependent on alcohol is having cravings. Okay, so, but what they didn’t say as well, it is, is it the craving that comes first and then the physical dependence? Or is it the physical dependence that then creates the craving? And I think that’s the, you know, there’s a there’s a question there, because it’s, is it like, it’s like, what happens first? Is it the craving that leads to somebody becoming physically dependent? Or when they are physically dependent? Is that how we’re getting the cravings? Does that make sense? Absolutely. And I think certainly, for me, the answer is it can go either way around. So take myself as an example. So I would start drinking Friday, lunchtime, Friday evening, Thursday, whenever it was, when each drink wore off, it would, my brain would interpret that as I want another drink, I want another drink. So I would keep drinking, drinking, drinking. But for me, I could never do my job with a hangover, I’ve always needed to use my brain to do my job. And I always knew that. So what I would usually do is go into work incomplete pieces on Monday, and not really be able to do much of anything, or even bring in sick and then Tuesday would be the same. And I did end up doing three days to work over five weeks work basically Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. But then the time Friday came in, I caught up on sleep, I felt a lot better. I had no physical withdrawal. But I would still start craving because the process is that withdrawal. All that will do is put the thought of a cigarette heroin, alcohol. Let’s talk about alcohol because obviously that’s what we’re talking about at the moment, that physical withdrawal will pit the thought of an alcoholic drink in your head. Okay, and people who have been drinking regularly, their brain will interpret that as I want to drink, but that on its own is quite a minor thing. It’s what comes after in our conscious mind that is important and that’s when we start fantasizing about it and really wanting it and obsessing with it. So in that situation, it’s withdrawal creates the thought which creates the craving, but actually you can miss The first two completely well, not the first two, the first one, because you may be someone like me who doesn’t didn’t drink all week. So you may sit down on a Friday, or you’ll have no physical withdrawal, but you still want to drink. Yeah, because it is your night for drinking. And instead of So say, for example, you go out with your friends, you’re not listening to the conversation or enjoying their company or thinking about having an alcoholic drink and you can’t engage in what you’re doing. While 90% of your attention is taken up with that unpleasant kind of mental tantrum that is the craving process. So when you have that drink, it releases you from that thought process, because you no longer have to think about should I shouldn’t I, because you’re already doing it. And then it frees you up to do what you should be doing, which is enjoying the company of your friends or TV or whatever it might be. So for me, craving doesn’t necessarily need the physical side to at all, you can crave something that you have no physical dependency on. If you know, if you’re sat there thinking about it, wanting it unhappy because you can’t have it and unable to engage in what you’re doing being watching TV or relaxing or a meal or socializing. Because your attention is taken up with wanting something to ease the craving. Yeah. Okay, so I talked about this in my book, I talked about undoing the urge and talk about urges and cravings and things like that. So what am I not sure about what you is, whether I hear you saying is the craving the fantasy part or is the craving the feeling that the feeling of desire, what happens is, so if you’re in a chemical dependency situation, when one drink wears off, it leaves that unpleasant feeling. So that unpleasant feeling is physical. And it’s caused by a chemical imbalance, which is itself caused by the previous dose of the drug. So that needs another dose of the drug. Okay. But that unpleasant feeling, is just a feeling, it’s how we react to it, which is to want another dose. So I kind of see it as a completely separate process, I think it helps, you’ve got the physical withdrawal, which is an unpleasant feeling, which will be relieved by another drug, another dose of the drug. But the actual the May the backbone of prediction, if you like that craving feeling, that’s our fantasizing about it, that’s when you sit there, and you can’t think of anything else apart from a drink. That’s all you’re thinking about. And you’re miserable, because you can’t have one, be you know, you’re out with friends or relaxing after a hard day at work or whatever it is. Okay. So it’s interesting, because though I look at it this way, so I totally hear what you’re saying, I agree with that. I agree with the, the physical wear off, and that, you know, that the that for people that that are physically dependent, especially that the having another drink will relieve that unpleasant, you know, feeling and that’s that triggering of physical craving. Right? The the thing that I think is interesting, so you talked about that about how you would be you know, you’d go through the whole week, so you weren’t physical, right? There wasn’t a physical urge there. But there was that that craving would come the fantasy, right, the thought process. Yeah, and that’s the part and I still, I believe that’s true for most people, whether they’re regular drinkers, or binge drinkers, there comes a weather if you have an established habit of drinking at a specific time of day at a specific you know, if you always drink at the rugby match, if you always drink you know, wherever it is, if you’re, you know, or being at the soccer match, or the football match, you’re going to be or you always drink at a holiday event, if you always drink you know it after work on Fridays, you and you do that over enough time, right? For me, I drink pretty much regularly every night came home from work, it was the way I would unwind. That was just my pattern. And I know for other people, like you, it’s more like the weekends, right? And it was to access that regardless of whether it’s to access or not, once you establish a pattern your brain because that’s the way our brains are designed. They’re designed to commit things to have it so that it’s consumed uses less energy and that our you know, our brains don’t care whether or not it’s good for us or bad for us. They’re just like, oh, okay, you do this repeatedly, you’ve done this repeatedly. This is how we deal with this is what we do when we are off work. This is what we do when we are confronted with negative emotion we drink and so that that pattern that habit pattern in and of itself will create a craving or an urge you’re triggered just by the time of day by the time of you know by the the circumstance and that’s and then that’s where I focus on recognizing that unconscious urge that unconscious habit and applying conscious thought to it and logical thought to it and say to myself, Okay, oh, there it is. I see you I see you or I see This has come up, this is coming up because I’ve trained my brain to want alcohol in this situation. I know alcohol won’t actually do what I used to think that it did all the time, it doesn’t actually help me and relax and unwind, it actually creates a rebound anxiety effect. So I have a decision here. You know, that’s where the conscious part of craving comes for me. Not so much the fantasizing but also just being able to recognize those subconscious urges. Hmm. I think the I think that’s, that’s right. They’re definitely there. And that, yeah, I think that that’s definitely correct. It’s trying to get to grips. So So for me, having that being able to counteract those was about not wanting out alcohol anymore. Because, for me, I know a lot of people try to avoid triggers, I struggle with the concept of avoiding triggers to drink in a society where 87% of people drink, right, where you open a book or put on the TV, you know, watch something on Netflix or TV, social media of songs, there’s so much about alcohol, right? All of these things, put the thought of alcohol into our mind. The key is what we do with that thought. So I probably think about alcohol 90% of my waking hours, right? But I never ever think about the possibility of having a drink. Right? So that for me is the difference. I just, it just doesn’t interest me anymore. I think of it more in the abstract trying to sort of pick it apart more and more. Yeah, I definitely. I mean, I agree with that, too. Obviously, you and I both spend a lot of time talking and thinking about alcohol if I if I you know, if our drinking habits reflected how we talked about it, it’d be really bad. Yeah. Terrible. So I, before we go, I want to ask you one last thing. And that’s because I was reading this and alcohol explained to again, just before our talk, and, and I think it’s important, because I really want to the way that I see this, the way that I live my life now. And I know you do, too, this whole notion of one day at a time. Again, don’t want to ever, you know, whether it’s a AAA or anything that’s working for people, if it’s working for you, and helping you change your drinking habits, then you know, go right, it’s all positive. But I struggle I don’t, I really don’t. I don’t encourage people to look at it. You know, I don’t like that whole mindset that one day at a time mindset, because I think it sort of makes it sound as though this that that creating a new relationship with alcohol is going to be awful, you know, it’s going to be painful, and it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to be miserable. And my experience has been completely the opposite. Yeah, absolutely. I completely echo what you’re saying, if something’s working for people keep doing it. And you know, it’s better to be not drinking and drinking, however you do that or drinking less, whatever that might be. But I also always say that recovery should be it’s not a fixed menu, it’s a buffet, you should be going in and picking the bits you like from you know, alcohol explained any great whatever. If you come across a book or a philosophy that works if you’re 100%, then fantastic. But other than that, you pick what you need from different different parts. Having said that, The problem I have with one day at a time, there’s several issues with it. The first and most obvious one is, if you’re making a decision to change your relationship with alcohol, you have to reconcile with that. So for me, I’ve quit drinking, and I’m never going to drink again. And I need to be happy with that decision. Otherwise, I’m living in kind of a half life at best. So I think if you make a decision, my life is better off without drugs or alcohol. Why would you go one day at a time and I can see how people and what and I do recommend it sometimes to people in the early days just to get those first few days, those crucial days of sobriety under your belt. So you start to feel a bit better, and you get a bit more on top of things. But what you’ve said is exactly correct. It shouldn’t be hard work. It shouldn’t be a slog. And we know one of the reasons behind our call explained is to try and give people the opportunity to quit drinking without it being hard work or to be as easy as possible. And I think taking one day at a time. It’s just saying it’s so difficult. It’s so impossible to do. I can only go a few hours and then I have to keep lumping these hours together together to gather to get through things. And really for me, that wouldn’t have worked. If it had been like that for me or honestly, I would still be drinking again. I, you know, I’m eight years sober in February, I wouldn’t have got there. If I’d had to struggle through eight years, you know, 365 times eight, whatever that comes out with. Yeah, exactly. And it’s just for me, that’s no way to live. You should, you know, we only get you know, whether you believe in life after death, or reincarnation or nothing, whatever it is, we only get one shot at this particular life we’re living and you want to be doing the best life you can and getting the most out of it. And kind of limping from one day to the next. Kind of feels like you’re doing something wrong. Yeah, no, absolutely. You and I agree on a lot. And we’ve always said that I thought we agree on a lot. And I never want to steer people away from that. I, my drinking habits have been born out of a desire to cut back originally, that was, you know, the very first reason that I ever took on this work in the first place is I knew I needed I knew that the relationship I had with alcohol wasn’t working, it wasn’t creating a life of happiness and peace for me. And so I hope that people use science, I hope they listen. And I hope they they get a clearer message than the the messages that are seen on TV and you know, advertised everywhere. There’s there is real knowledge out there, there is real information about alcohol. And you need to take it you need to take it get work from the buffet as long as and figure out what’s going to make, you know, help you create the best relationship with alcohol you can have, whether that’s complete sobriety, whether that is sticking to low risk limits and becoming an alcohol minimalist. You know, I gotta say either one of them, I think works great. And I appreciate you. I appreciate you taking the time. Well, and being back on the show. It was really great seeing you and so there’s no coffee explained book coming anytime soon. A few people have asked me about I haven’t quite gotten to be honest. I did. I’ve cut out coffee, but I still drink quite a lot of tea. I’ve managed to kind of I’m kind of working my way towards it. I managed to do I think I tried to go caffeine free a few months ago, and it just lasted a day or so. It’s yeah. I know. I should do. I haven’t quite got there yet. Yeah, well, it’s not happening. Like I said last time girls out here in the Pacific Northwest. Gotta have her coffee. So that’s not gonna happen anytime soon, either. So why there? Yeah. Well, I will of course link everything in the show notes on how you can find William find alcohol explain to and there’s the book with Annie Grace have a is it just nicotine explained? I think it’s the working title. Is this naked mind nicotine. So yeah, and as I say, supposedly it’s going to be out in autumn next year. So just over a year or just under a year. But it’s been traditionally published this one with Penguin. And it’s a lot slower than self publishing. All right. But also bigger. So congratulations. Very much. You know, hopefully we’ll you know, after you’re a big time, regular traditionally published author. Hopefully, you’ll have time to come back and talk lately. All right, fantastic. Thank you so much. Thanks, William. Thank you for listening to breaking the bottle legacy. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Take something that you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol. Now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com