We're programmed to believe that if we like doing something we should do more of it.
Whenever one of the smalls shows any interest in anything (that doesn't involve an electronic device) I leap upon it.
#2, for example, is big into dinosaurs. So, we've done the Natural History Museum. We've watched ALL the Jurassic Park movies several times. I've bought dinosaur books. We've drawn dinosaur pictures.
We've had endless debates about who would win in a fight? A velociraptor or an angry T-Rex protecting her young? Anyone? Brains versus brawn? Speed versus a mother's instinct to protect her young?
(See how much time and enthusiasm you have for all this stuff when you stop drinking?)
#1 loves cooking. So we've done Bake Off - watching it, and recreating it at home. We're constantly trying out new recipes and debating the pros and cons of different ingredients and various chefs.
You get the picture.
BUT the irony of addictive drugs (and alcohol is very much one of these), is that the more you love doing it, the less you should.
I really, really liked smoking. So I did more and more of it until I got hopelessly addicted and had to give up for good.
Meanwhile, my friends who weren't that bothered, who could take it or leave it, still have the odd fag (English slang alert!) after dinner all these years later.
The same is true of alcohol.
I LOVED drinking. It was my absolutely favourite way to while away the time (once I'd quit smoking). So I did more and more of it until I got hopelessly addicted and had to give up for good.
And it's really easy to think why me? Why must I be punished, while all these other people carry on drinking away with no problem? How is that fair?
BUT, here's the truth: those 'normal drinkers', the ones who can have a teeny glass once in a blue moon and stop, they're the ones who aren't that bothered. They've never been a big fan. They can take it or leave it. They're not properly enjoying it anyway. Not like we did.
(I was like that with dope. As a student I really tried to like smoking spliff. There'd be a short period of time, after a few drags, when everything would be quite funny, and I'd want to start debating existentialist questions, then, fairly quickly, all I'd want to do was... go to sleep. Each to their own.)
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that's not true, SM! I have a friend, Joe, who loves booze just as much as I did! He talks about it all the time, and drinks all the time, no problem.
Okay, but I bet if you look closely at Joe, you'll realise that he's following exactly the same path as you. It's affecting his health, his moods, his sleep, his weight. It's beginning to make him miserable. He's started to secretly Google 'Am I an alcoholic?'
Might I be right?
There is a momentary 'sweet spot' with addiction. That period of time when you're really, really enjoying doing whatever it is, but it hasn't yet begun to bite you in the arse. (For me that was my late twenties).
But that time does not last.
We spend years, decades even, trying to recreate that wonderful era when the highs came without the corresponding lows, but once it's gone, it's gone.
So please don't feel hard done by, or believe that everyone else has it better than you.
Because the truth about drugs is that, like gambling, only the dealer wins.
If you love them, you'll eventually get addicted. If you don't love them, then what's the point anyway?
Those people still drinking? They're not the winners.
Love SM x