Think Royal Marine Commando: think strength of character.
To complete the Royal Marine training you need willpower, discipline and what the Americans call intestinal fortitude. Weak people don’t get into the Marines. To move from there into the Special Boat Service requires an elite level of strength and determination.
Sitting opposite me was one of the strongest people I’d ever met. Yet since leaving the forces his drinking had started to increase as the pressures of running his own business increased.
You wouldn’t think that someone who had the willpower and discipline to join the elite of the British Armed Forces would have any problem stopping drinking. After all, willpower and self-control should be able to get you through.
Despite the fact that he had everything else in his life under control he was struggling to control his drinking. For some people that wouldn’t make sense but for me it’s not even surprising. You cannot use guts to control drinking.
What I helped him to do, was rethink his attitudes and emotions towards alcohol. He started to accept that alcohol was taking more than it gave. That changed the emotions that sat below his thoughts and ideas about drinking. Once the feeling and the thoughts had changed it was easy to change his actions.
Now he’s no longer drinking, he’s found that he has regained the strength, focus and energy that got him into the special forces in the first place.
If someone as strong as him can be made weak by alcohol, then we all can. No shame. Anyone can have a problem with drinking. The good news is that it doesn’t require an elite level of mental toughness to stop.