David came to me with problems with drinking. He was a "problem drinker". Once he started to drink, he could not stop.
"I have one drink and then...... it carries on. From one to two. From two to four and so on.Then I lose track of the count. Can you help me?"
I felt sorry for him.
"Yes. I can. But....." I paused. "You will have to help yourself too. I can guide you through your recovery.If you believe you can, you will". I promised him.
Then I realised I am a medical practitioner. "There are no guarantees though. If you believe you need to change, you will". Medical practitioners do not give guarantees. Because in medical practice, there are none. Doctors promise probabilities and possibilities based on science and experience.
David looked confused. "How do you help me do it?"
"You simply have to be yourself. Simply be honest. You need to be ready to face all the lies and hurt you have been running away from".
"Is it going to be painful?" His question was genuine.
It was now my turn to be honest. "It will be painful for a short while, maybe for a few hours and then....... Boom. Your pain fades away. But it is about each issue of emotional trauma or hurt you have gone through in your life".
"Wow! That could take years doc. I do not want to see you for all those years. I want to live". There was a lurking fear and surprise in his voice.
I smiled. "Theoretically it could take years. Practically it takes a few weeks. Are you ready for the journey?" I now wanted to test him out to see if he was ready.
"Everyone can do it David. But not everyone will. Most of the people are too afraid to challenge themselves to change". I tried to assure him.
"Just imagine the rest of your life, without any craving for drink.......you can spend time and money on the things you love doing, on the people you love. Is it not worth the effort?" I wanted David to look at what lay ahead.
"I want to think about it, doc. I want to address my drinking habits but I am not sure if I can face my hurt and lies, as yo u say".
"Can I have time to think?" It was a genuine question.
David had a lot to lose- especially his identity- of an alcoholic. He had a lot to gain as well. He was going to gain happiness. He was going to gain back control of his life. He was going to get back his relationships with his loved ones.
What decision do you think David took? What would you have done if you were in his place?