I will always drink. The only variable will be the amount

Schalk Neethling
3 min readJan 23, 2022

The story of an untrue statement and the last ~5 weeks of my journey

Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

In other words, fear doesn’t go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day. — Steven Pressfield

Firstly let me apologize for two things. Firstly for taking so long to provide any kind of update. Secondly, the click-bait-like title of this post. The message is the very one the hungry ghosts have been trying to sell me on for the last month or so.

Since roughly December 18, 2021, life has been pretty damn infuriating, torturous, and just plain shit. It was a combination of family turmoil, old habits around the festive season, and bad decisions. I was 57 days sober when everything went to shit.

57 DAYS!

I try not to think about that too much, as it just plunges me deeper into the pit of despair. That is, of course, no good because who keeps you company way down there? Alcohol, of course.

My life over the last, let’s say 5 weeks, have been an endless cycle of:

  1. Convince myself that the occasion calls for a drink and that I can keep it to just one or two. No sweat. This failed(surprise, surprise), and I ended up over-consuming. Mind you, nothing like in my pre-57 sober days, but enough to cause a hangover.
  2. The above leads to my medications not working as effectively as they should and anxiety trying to consume me alive.
  3. I try meditation. I take the medication prescribed, and it does help for a little while, but then anxiety peaks around the corner of my mind.
  4. I was not on leave from work so, I still had to function. That means that by midday, the only thing that could stop the torture was a drink.
  5. I would drink less than the day before, but still enough to turn the next day into groundhog day.
  6. On day three, I would eventually succumb and have a drink but keep it to even less.
  7. Day four breaks, and I feel a lot better. Phew. Ok, I got this, I say to myself.
  8. Day five. One day sober again. 🎉
  9. The evening rolls on, and who walks in the door but party me. Let the good times roll, me. Forget about the last couple of days. You can have just one and call it a night. Common, don’t be the party pooper. You are already vegetarian, now you also want to be the teetotaler?
  10. Willpower eventually fails me, and we are back to point one above. And around and around we go.

There you have it. That has pretty much been the last 4–5 weeks of my life.

I am back at point seven from above today. Something thing has changed, though. Some gear has turned over in my mind. I can feel it.

No more bullshit excuses. No more mister party guy. No more feeling guilty for my life choices. I get to choose how my life plays out. I deserve better. My family deserves better.

I deserve to live a life of purpose and meaning. And I will take it, thank you very much. In a rather large nutshell, that is what you have all missed. 😁

I am almost back at one day sober. Next stop, 6 months. Stay safe, everyone, and be sure that the decisions you make are indeed yours. Live your life on your terms, no one else’s. Life is simply too short for that.



Schalk Neethling

I write about mental health, addiction, sober living, living your best life through an active lifestyle and a whole food plant-based diet. Psychedelic curios :)