The Reality Of A TSM Drinking Life – The Snowflake Effect

A lot of people ask me the same question over and over in interviews: “How much do you drink now?”

I have been on TSM since 2009 and every year has been different so it’s difficult to answer that question without sounding vague but if I claim to drink 16 drinks a year that would be misleading…do you remember how many drinks you had last year? (Presuming you are not sober of course)

There have been times that I will go two or three months with not a drop of alcohol nor will I think about it. There will be a week when I am in London or Italy where I will drink every night with dinner. There have been holidays I was abstinent and holidays where I got buzzed more than once, in other words I am back to being the same sort of drinker I was before the physical addiction crept in.

Think about your drinking life before it became a drinking problem. For me I was a social drinker who occasionally had some wine when I went out and when I cooked I might have a glass. I loved red wine so during the summer I rarely drank because red wine in summer just seemed wrong. Because Los Angeles is mostly summer, I was not a huge drinker but I was known to tie one on at Renaissance fairs and the occasional party at my house. At that point in my life (from my 20’s until my late 30’s) alcohol did not ruin my life, adversely affect my life nor was I compulsive about it. I did not hide alcohol, lie about it nor make myself sick from it.

That all changed in my late 30’s and early 40’s when I became a binge drinker. I would go months without drinking then I would relapse – typical addict behaviors.

I realized that I was alcohol dependent and desperately sought help in many forms.

When I began TSM I was afraid to drink, but I did and eventually I caused pharmacological extinction to occur by following TSM to the “T”. I then began to relax.

Have I been buzzed in the last five years? Yes, absolutely. In fact I did a podcast at 2am from London on a combination of wine and a supposed flu medication the host of the party gave me (which I found out later was not a flu medication!).  In the podcast I sound like the Lucky Charms guy; fake Irish accent and all. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not sound like that on wine and I do not lose my temper easily… so I blame that on the combination of jet lag, respiratory illness, booze and an unknown substance that was given to me.

My fiancée and I have the occasional drink together and it’s fun. We’ve never been “drunk”, nor do we drink often. In fact, in the near year and a half we’ve been together I think we’ve had about ten drinks together… but the great thing is we can.

I like the fact that I feel normal and can occasionally have a beautiful glass of wine or a cocktail. This is why I do not understand why some people do not believe that you can drink normally on TSM.

It is true that if you take your medication incorrectly you can and will relearn the addict behavior. It is true that even if you DO take your meds correctly you might have a night where you “tie one on”…but didn’t you have one of those nights on occasion before you became an addict? I did.

But it wouldn’t spiral into a binge or cause me to miss work or make me sick or land me in a detox center… so to me that is not considered alcohol abuse.

As long as alcohol does not rule my life, as long as I do not crave it, think about it, abuse it or hide it; I believe that TSM is working and I am cured.

Many people on various forums disagree. They believe that “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic”, but I disagree. I KNOW the difference between alcohol being a pleasant, once in awhile treat and alcohol ruling my life.  There is no comparison.

If your goal is 100% abstinence, you can achieve that on TSM.

My personal goal was to be “normal” again – something which I have now achieved with TSM.  That means that I can have the occasional drink and if I really want to have a few shots of Cinco de Mayo tequila, then I can do that too…but you won’t find me drinking in the morning, hiding liquor, lying about my consumption, having to detox or any of the awful actions I associate with my past life as an addict.

Every addict is as individual as a snowflake and must be treated as such.

If your goal is to drink once a week, you can do that on TSM. If you never want to touch alcohol again in your life, you can achieve sobriety on TSM. If you want to get drunk once a year on your birthday you can do that too (just don’t drive, please!).

No one is the same in their biology, nor their goals; no one addict represents us all… so do all of us a favor: concentrate on your own treatment and use TSM for your benefit and your goals. Do not judge how the rest of us use TSM. We know what’s right for US and you know what’s right for YOU.

I don’t tell people how to bathe, eat or drive – nor would I tell them how to drink. All I can tell you is that with TSM alcohol moves from center stage to being a person in an audience of thousands. Alcohol no longer adversely affects my life, it does not rule my life and I do not think about it. To me, that’s a cure.

We snowflakes need support, love and compassion. TSM might not work for everyone, but it works for the majority of people who try it and do it correctly.

I hope that someday it becomes as mainstream as conventional rehabs and A.A. is now. I have seen the joy that TSM has brought people, the relief, the rebirth, the joy in the simple things in life. I know it gave me back my life and I can honestly say that I have never been happier – free from the chains of addiction and living life with so much gratitude that I feel like I am going to burst at times.

I wish all of you out there the same happiness.

 

Claudia Christian

Claudia.Christian@cthreefoundation.org

www.cthreefoundation.org