One of the most gratifying things about writing and vlogging about The Sinclair Method these last 5 years has been the many wonderful people that I have become acquainted with and the privilege that I have had to hear their stories. Dominik is one such person.
A Polish ex-pat living in the UK and a relative “newbie” to TSM, I first became acquainted with Dominik on my YouTube channel and we quickly established a really good, fun rapport. I have come to find that one of the things that I most enjoy about my YouTube channel is the comments section. I love engaging with people on it and I took a real interest in Dominik’s story, recently asking him whether I could use his drink diaries and drink graph for this website – and also asking him to write a little biography about himself, his struggles with alcohol addiction and how he came to use The Sinclair Method.
‘I have been drinking everyday for the past 10+ years. I have had some periods in the past where I remained abstinent for a couple of months but it never came out from me. I was just afraid to lose girlfriends. Even though after a few months of being abstinent I was always the first to arrange barbeques or parties just to have a drink.
My desire to drink was higher during abstinent periods. I am a beer drinker, although in the past I was on vodka for a while. So after losing another girlfriend due to my drinking habit in October last year I realised I had a problem that I couldn’t handle by myself.
I started to look on the web to see how I could help myself with this addiction. That day I didn’t find anything about TSM. I didn’t even think that there was something like TSM. The first things I found were related to AA, being an alcoholic and not touching alcohol for the rest of my life. I was ashamed to call myself an alcoholic, therefore I joined an online AA forum just to have contact with people who suffer from AUD (which is what I now call it instead of “alcoholism). I also visited my local wellbeing centre Compass, which helps people to recovery from alcohol addiction.
For a few months I had ups and downs. My longest AF [alcohol free] period was 3 weeks. I couldn’t pass that barrier. Straight after that AF period I dived into daily drinking again for around 2 months. Average 6 beers a day. I was getting depressed while drinking and feeling brilliant on my AF days.
In march on my holiday in Poland I went to my first AA meeting. I was surprised to see normal people, some of them even younger then me who looked “normal”. I did like it there and it kept me away from alcohol for nearly 3 weeks while I was on my holiday. I attended a couple more times before I came back to the UK.
I was energised back then, but after I came back the demon woke up. Of course I had to catch up so I was devastating myself with beers. I couldn’t stand the fact that there is nothing there to help me – only AA, and that “I am an alcoholic” on every step was making me feel like shit.
After the holiday I had ups and downs again. I went to few meetings in the UK, but I did not feel that energy like at the beginning. It was more like a sad atmosphere making me feel evn more sad and wanting to drink, so after a few meetings I literally went to the shop to get some alcohol.
Finally on one of my appointments at Compass I found a leaflet about naloxone. I came back home and googled it. Naltrexone popped out into my eyes and your video on Youtube. So I started to watch you, Claudia, Katie and I found a book [The Cure for Alcoholism]. It got to me straight away. I was and I still am energised and motivated by TSM. I had to wait a couple of weeks until I got my nalmefene, but during this time I was studying the book and teaching myself about TSM so that I knew that I would be ready and have the knowledge to succeed.
Since I started TSM on 16th of June my drinking dropped massively. By now it’s down by almost 80%. I also practice mindful drinking and always take my tablet at least 1 hour before.
I came back to my old hobbies, started to enjoy everything without alcohol and I am on my own. I have no girlfriend who can tell me to stop or we will break up. I have no one here, yet I was able to stand up on my own and do it. I am grateful for TSM and I have no words to describe how happy I am now. I started to control my drinking and I quit drinking during the week, moving to weekend sessions only. I also started to drink as late as possible, which can be seen in the last weekend of my drink diary where units are very low. So my long term goal is to become abstinent, but I am focusing first to decrease drinking below UK safe limit of 14 units. I couldn’t be much more happier than now. Its been 6 weeks and I cant believe how my relationship to alcohol has changed. I even keep beer at home and I can say to myself “I don’t feel like having a drink. Even if I wanted to, I don’t want to feel rough in the morning. I will wait till the weekend”. And its working ! I can do my stuff and don’t think about drinking.
It is letting me go. Thank you Dr. Sinclair!’
Despite some concerns that Dominik mentioned to me around the fact that English is only his second language, this is a very good testimonial that’s quite easy to follow – but what really got my attention was the extinction graph and drink diaries that Dominik shared with me:
Wow. “A picture is worth a thousand words”, right?
Just look at the difference between that first point on the chart (the week before Dominik started TSM) which shows a massive intake of 117.5 British units of alcohol for that week… and then, fast-forwarding through time, where he’s at by week 6… consuming just 12.5 units on that particular week.
As is typical, there’s been some little peaks along the way, but the overall trend has been one of quite a sharp reduction over the course of 7 weeks.
For a more detailed day-to-day breakdown, here are Domink’s drink diary entries (again, click on this image to see a much bigger version in a new tab on your browser):
These are really good, aren’t they? What’s interesting is that Dominik chose to also list how much he spent on each drinking session, which gives an interesting picture of how his spending has decreased a great deal over all these weeks.
I really look forward to seeing what the pattern’s like another 6 weeks from now (ha! I feel a follow-up article coming in the not-so-distant future… “Domink’s Journey: Part 2”!).
Many thanks, once again, to Dominik G. for making this article possible. It’s been a blast collaborating with you on this, Dom.
Okay, that’s it for now. For anyone who might be interested, click HERE to check out my old extinction graph and drink diaries.
“Choosing the red pill” – Seth’s story Hello readers and welcome to this continuing series of interviews that I’m conducting with different people at different stages of recovery with The Sinclair Method...
Gary Bell is a writer, illustrator and teacher based in Hartlepool in the north east of England. The Sinclair Method (a revolutionary pharmacological treatment for alcohol addiction) saved his life over 5 years ago.
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