The Wise Why

Episode #68

Episode #068

#Ep 68 | Duncan Bhaskaran-Brown, I Stopped Drinking Alcohol

by | 20 Oct,2023

About This Episode

Duncan Bhaskaran-Brown Talks Sobriety and Sociability with Kirsty van den Bulk in an eye-opening episode of The Wise Why.

Duncan @RealMenQuit. He candidly explains his relationships with alcohol and the complexities and struggles he faced as he understood the impact alcohol had on his life and is now dedicated to helping individuals achieve sobriety. As we navigate through Sober October, Duncan shares insights on why some people choose temporary abstinence and the value it can bring.

Duncan’s journey began in his early teens when drinking was synonymous with social confidence and adulthood. However, as he grew older, the friendly aspect diminished while consumption increased—leading to isolation and overindulgence. This personal experience fuels his passion for assisting others in their path towards sobriety.

We explore common misconceptions about alcohol’s role in social situations and how societal expectations often pressure individuals into drinking—especially within professional settings where industries may inadvertently promote alcohol consumption at events or meetings.

Our conversation also touches upon the rise of non-alcoholic beverages as socially acceptable alternatives that allow people to enjoy social gatherings without compromising their well-being or next-day productivity.

Duncan emphasises that choosing sobriety isn’t just about abstaining from alcohol; it’s a transformative process that brings clarity, energy, focus, peace—and most importantly, an abundance of time previously spent under its influence. His upcoming book, “Real Men Quit,” aims to empower men struggling with this issue by offering guidance rooted in personal anecdotes and practical advice.

The podcast wraps up by acknowledging childhood influences on adult behaviours around alcohol but promises more detailed exploration once ongoing research is completed.

Key Takeaways:

Understanding our intricate relationship with alcohol.
How societal norms shape our views on drinking.
The benefits of embracing non-alcoholic options.
Sobriety has a profound impact on one’s lifestyle beyond mere abstinence.
Upcoming literature from Duncan aimed at aiding those seeking change.
Listeners are left contemplating not only their habits but also society’s broader acceptance of certain addictions—a thought-provoking session indeed!

Episode #68 : Full Transcription
Kirsty van den Bulk
Hello and welcome to The Wise Why. I am sitting or rather we’re streaming with Duncan Bhaskaran Brown. Let’s hope I got that right, right, Brown now. I like meeting people by starting up a conversation just in a coffee shop and this doesn’t happen. Other people normally look at me like I’m some kind of. Who is this person? And as it happen. Duncan’s the same, but as usual, the why is why? It’s not about me. It is about my guest. So thank you for sharing that cup of coffee with two total strangers in the middle of Abingdon. Over to you, please introduce yourself and explain why I would have invited you on to the Wise Why was in during October when it’s sober for October.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Well, I just want to clarify that we weren’t in a coffee shop. That’s actually my office. This and people are always coming in and buying coffee and making noise. It’s real nightmare I I get so little work done. No. So yes, my name is Duncan Bhaskaran Brown. I help people to stop drinking, which is a very sober october, sober october, whatever you want to call it. Kind of a a a thing. So. Yeah. I mean, I like to do it all year round, but some people like to do these kind of resets and I think there’s there’s there’s some value in those as well. So yeah, I’m happy. Happy to talk about all things alcohol.

Kirsty van den Bulk
And you’ve had, I mean, I think we’ve all got an interesting relationship with alcohol. You know, you you kind of grow up as a child and you watch. And now I grew up and we were allowed to have a glass of wine watered down with our Sunday dinner from probably about the age of eight or nine. And it it wasn’t like we were drinking, it was just like in a tiny, tiny thimble glass. And we were allowed to have it so we could feel growing up. But there is this strange relationship with alcohol. I know I’ve got a complex one. Can you explain a little bit more about? Yours.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Well, I think you hit on something very, very important there, haven’t you? You’re like, so we can feel grown up, you know, it is totally and utterly associated with being an adult. And thus when kids are young, what they want to do, they want to grow up, they want to be adults. So they tend to drink and. The evidence is pretty clear on it. Generally, drinking under about 25 is not that sensible. Heavy drinking in your early teens is a terrible idea. I know, because that’s what I did and it didn’t go so well for me. I mean, it started off. You know, all fun and games. It’s parties. It’s giving me a little bit of confidence, removing the social anxiety, making me better looking, all of that kind of stuff. And I thought it was brilliant, but as the the years and the decades rolled on, the amount of sociability went down and the amount of drinking went. And in the end, you know, I was just sitting in my flat on my own, drinking a couple of bottles of wine, and that is not a good place to be.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Think you’ve hit something really interesting there about being able to cope in a social environment because everyone who meets me thinks I’m over confident and I can handle anything. But actually I’m an introvert. I’ve just learned skills to get over it and I know many people turn to that glass of wine or that they call it. I’m married to a Dutchman, but let’s get some Dutch courage and you know, I think that’s quite a pressure on us in in some.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Yeah. So there. Are a lot of illusions around alcohol and the fact and the idea that it helps you deal with social occasions is one of them. It’s one of the biggest ones. It’s something that I spend a lot of time getting to grips with. People around I. Think there are. There are various different ways of thinking about it. You you you can say a lot of people, they wouldn’t. Enjoy a social occasion without a drink, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re enjoying it because. Have the drink. They just feel a bit bad if they don’t have a drink because they expect to have the drink and expectations are very important, particularly around drinking. What you expect to get from alcohol dictates the amount of it that you will drink. So there’s that kind of part of it. But I mean ultimately, you know, you ever. Been to a kids party. Two ways you know 6-8 year olds, they all start off the the the the event. They’re all kind of nervous. They’re hanging around the edge. They might be clinging onto mummies leg, you know, give it five minutes and they’re playing. Who can tear the radiator off the wall quickest? And like that is what life is like. People are like that. We are nervous at the start of social events. And then as we relax and ease into the to it that nerves, those nerves, they disappear. But a lot of people, because they have a drink in their hand as those nerves are disappearing, they tell themselves it’s the alcohol that’s done it.

Kirsty van den Bulk
And it’s interesting because I’ve just started a well, both my husband and I. Actually, there’s a group of us. We started drinking more alcohol free products. You know, we’re we’re gonna have a dinner party tomorrow and I know that there will be alcohol free. I think I can’t say the brand, but alcohol-free Prosecco and and we’ll all be sitting there drinking. But we’re not drinking. And I quite like that when I wake up in the morning. Where and I’m here, I’m I’m only being 17 and going to the parties cause I was driving and taking my bottle of alcohol free wine, but also being frowned at a little bit.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, the fact that it’s more socially acceptable, I I think that’s great and there. There’s a real. Schism in the kind of like the sober sphere as to whether people think that drinking alcohol free stuff is a good idea or not, I think if it works for you, then crack on my friend. I’ve got a I’ve got a good friend who stopped drinking. He’s very into real ale, AA connoisseurs, the way you’d think of himself. So when he stopped drinking it. You know, it was that that kind of trying new things and learning about it. That was a part of his identity and he needed something to replace that. And he’s probably not gonna get into fruit juice. So this kind of rise of alcohol, free craft beer has been so good for him because it’s allowed him to, like, indulge his obsession in a much. Much safer way. So my rule is that I will drink alcohol free products if they are made by a company that only makes alcohol free products. I don’t support the alcohol industry and frankly I think things like Heineken O, Guinness O, they’re a way of trying to make their brands look more reputable. It’s kind of like health washing. Thing or I don’t know what the appropriate phrase is, but they advertise the alcohol-free one to make themselves sound virtuous. But what they’re really trying to sell you is the original product with the alcohol and they’re called line extensions. If you’re if you’re boring and into your sort of food marketing, but that’s all they’re doing.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah. I I really like that taking it so one of the things I was gonna ask you is I know and and I don’t have it now because I’m I am my own boss and my boss says to me, of course, you don’t have to drink. I’m I’m going out tonight and I’m I won’t be drinking so my boss doesn’t force me to drink. But there is that thing where in a work environment you. Can feel that there’s a pressure. Or it’s it’s socially accept expected that you should, yeah.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Absolutely. I mean, there are some industries out there that that flat out have a drinking problem and need to address it. But if you if you actually really get down to brass tacks it it, it is very, very. Pervasive. So if you go to a sales event, you know wearing big Expos, there will always be a free bar in one of the evening things. So there is this expectation that you will drink at events like that. If you take clients out for dinner, there will be free bars. There are plenty of industries where you know you get a credit card and the expectation is that you’re putting that behind the bar to entertain the clients. You there are there are. There are lots of events run by companies that revolve around alcohol. The other day somebody told me the first day of his MBA, they put all of the students on a boat with a free bar and told them to get to know each other. Now what message does that send to our future business leaders? You know, it’s so incredibly ingrained in in everything that we do that I think. Companies need to wise up to the fact that if they are giving their their employees alcohol or if they are sending them to situations where alcohol is involved, they have a duty of care to provide alcohol information, alcohol screening interventions and ultimately their kind of therapeutic coaching approach that will help people to stop drinking. After they’ve developed the problem that they developed at work.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Really interesting. So I were talking before we came to the studio about tactics that I used to use when I was out with clients where I would order 10 shops, a tequila and one shot of water, or I would ask for 10 vodka and vodka lime sodas and 1 lime and soda, please. And you know, I’d still look like I was having a drink. I would be in control of my face. It’s because I don’t like being. I don’t like losing the next day, and there have been times and you know, there’s a couple of my colleagues that would, if they listen to this with her ex- colleagues, we’ll go. Hey, I remember that day when I woke up in the morning and it’s like, ow, I’ve gotta go to work and I can’t function because there was at an event and I was with clients and I didn’t get to bed till 6:00 and now it’s 9:00 in the morning and I’m supposed to be at work.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Yeah.

Kirsty van den Bulk
I I find that really challenging.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Yeah, the the statistics are pretty grim. 55% of the highest earners report having come into work, either hungover or actually after drinking. And 39% of people have spotted their colleagues being hungover or having drunk and being less effective. And I mean, you know, you know, all of the the, the symptoms that go with that, you know, you can’t focus, you can’t really do very much. Can you’re tired, you know, you’re inefficient. Everything’s a bit blurry. It’s that kind of like you’re not gonna get anything done till lunchtime, are you? But but the. That’s that’s just when it’s so obvious, isn’t it? It actually the effects are even more insidious than that. You know, just just one glass of wine that’s gonna raise your cortisol levels. It’s gonna reduce your GABA levels, and it’s gonna reduce your dopamine levels, and it’s gonna mess with your sleep. Which is a fancy way of saying. It is going to make you more stressed. It is going to make you more anxious. It is going to make you less happy and it is going to make you tired and you know what do you want from your employees? You don’t want stress, anxiety, misery and tired.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Brilliant. So you’ve. Got a book on this, haven’t you?

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
I’ve got I’ve got a couple of books. I mean the the next ones coming out the 26th of December, Boxing Day. That one’s called Real Men Quit. That is the armchair macho guide to getting over alcohol. Before that, I wrote a book called Get Over Indulgence, which is it’s it’s my story. It’s sort of the journey of my learning, if you like. It’s the what happened to me and a little bit about what I learned about it. And I I I. Like to think it just shows people that there is a different way. And it’s short and it’s kind of funny.

Kirsty van den Bulk
It is short and it is funny. Can you talk a little bit about your journey because you don’t drink at all now, do you?

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
No. So I haven’t drank for 8-1/2 years now. Yeah. Like I said earlier, you know, I I started drinking parties teenage years. I studied it quite extensively at universe. City and you know it, it kind of it grew and it grew and it grew and and and in in one way if you looked at my life you’d have gone uh Duncan is really, really successful. You know I was I was tearing it up but that was just the the public facing image. You know nobody really saw me sat at home late at night getting my. Way through the 2nd bottle of wine. And obviously you know that that was it was starting to get like the the problems were starting to get a bit bigger and bigger and bigger. But what really triggered it I guess is that my wife and I, we were trying to have kids and she’d had a miscarriage. And I mean that was very, very hard for her, obviously. You know, I didn’t really know how to help and support. I didn’t know how to talk about it, so I did what I knew, which was of course drinking and I didn’t really help and our relationship was getting increasingly strange. Till eventually it got to a point where, you know, at the back of my mind there was this decision that needed to be made. Either I was going to have a drink or I was. Going to have a child. She’s 7-1/2 Now, so you can tell that I made the right.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Decision. It’s really interesting because I don’t if I’ve had a glass of wine I don’t like going in because I always took our daughter, who’s similar age and we always check on her just before we go to bed just to that’s what parents do and I don’t like going in there. If I’ve had a glass of wine. Because I don’t want to. Lean over her. And have and breathe alcohol over her.

Kirsty van den Bulk
It’s good and and what you’re saying about, you know, one glass of wine and you’ve got tension and you’ve got headaches or you’re you’re not sleeping as well. And I see that, you know, I don’t if I drink three glasses of wine, there’s a problem for me. Two glasses of wine and I’m in control and I’m I’m. I’m OK at that level. If I go to the third, I can be a complete idiot.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah, and I know that, you know, at the same time, I might find the table and start dancing on it, and I have to remember not to be a fool. But then at the same time, I can dance to a table when I’m sober. So.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Well, yeah, yeah, that’s what I was going to say. Yeah. We’re like, let’s find a table. Yeah. Actually, next time we go for a coffee. I’m telling my mind only if you join me.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah, 9:00. Well, has its own Lydia, just as proof that we have actually danced on the table in the middle of. Can you imagine R&R? ‘S face. If we did that.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
It’s alright, I they all know me like I literally it is my office. I’m there every day. They wouldn’t even be surprised.

Kirsty van den Bulk
I may just hold you to that. I’m I I can see that we’re coming. So along your journey, you made the big decision and you stopped drinking 7 1/2 years ago. What has it given you?

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Ah, I mean, how long have you got? I mean, on on one level. And what I talk about a lot with people is the increase in energy, massive increase in energy, but also in terms of focus in presence. You know the, the my mind just works so much better.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Yes. That I am I have much more peace in my life. The the way I sort of like to think about it is I spent years and years chasing something. You know, I was chasing booze, I was chasing food. I was chasing cigarettes, you know? But. But. And you always chasing you can never catch up with them. It’s like you’re running after a train like you know the train in the movies. The one that’s going just too fast for you. To to catch, I spent 20 years doing that and that is incredibly stressful. So the increase in peace, you know afterwards was like massive. But I I think the the things that people tend not to notice so much. It’s time if you’d ask me, I’d say I don’t spend very much time drinking. What are you talking about? Because I worked hard, you know, I’ll be up in the morning and I would. Well, I would take a little while to get started, but once I got started, I would be flat out till nine o’clock, 8:30, something like that. I’d work hard and then I’d I’d drink. And I think I’d just have a few drinks. And if you actually add up 830 till midnight. Every day that’s 24 hours. You know, that is like an entire day, including all the bits that you’re asleep. So it it was for me. It was like, literally like, I discovered a new day. I like to call it dry day. But even if you’re only drinking on the weekend, you know, it’s not that hard to drink for. Four or five hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That’s a part time job. You you are working for the alcohol industry, and they’re not even paying you. In fact, you’re paying for the privilege of having a side hustle. That makes you feel bad.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah, no, this and This is why I asked strong because I know some of the people who watch. Otherwise why have stopped drinking completely? They like me, they they’ve discovered I I have reasons why I don’t particularly want to get drunk any longer. You know, I don’t. I have done it. I’ve I’ve been that fall. I’ve partied all night. But. When I got my when, when? When my daughter came along, it was kind of like I don’t want to. Be drunk around. I don’t want to set that. But I don’t want ever want her to see me drunk. Actually. I don’t think a child should ever see and it’s just personal. I don’t think a child should ever see their parent so drunk that they can’t function and also your child needs you. What happens if there’s an emergency?

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Do you know that? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’d like. That’s the great thing about children. They are really effective at finding ways of needing to be driven to a hospital at appropriate times and they and look, I’m, I mean, it’s so tied up with, with, with parent and not for everybody, but a lot of the. But I mean they they want to give up and it’s either starting a family, had a had kids, wife is pregnant, is is quite a common one. She stopped drinking and it’s kind of like really shown up how much he’s drinking, that that’s quite common. But, you know, like my good mate David. So the superstar really, really rocking the world around, helping men to understand emotions. But he stopped drinking because his daughter showed him a video of him drunk and he just went, Oh my God, a I look like an idiot and B, my daughter is so aware of what is going on.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah, it it’s it’s it can really rip that that out of you. So I’m wondering, apart from obviously your wife has inspired you and and I’m sorry about the miscarried, I think there’s lots of people who’ve been there and including myself. And it does change the way that you look at life. And my big one was a an ectopic and it completely. Changed everything because one minute you’re walking down the street and you’re not pregnant. You find that you’re pregnant, and then you find it as an ectopic, and then you find it. You could die and it’s not. It’s it’s a life changing moment. And I you’ve talked about your life changing moment, but I’m wondering who’s inspired you along the way.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Hmmm. So I think you know my wife has a lot to answer for. She’s she’s an amazing human being. When we first met, I wasn’t too sure about her because she’s a bit weird, you know, she doesn’t really drink. She eats chickpeas, she does yoga. You know, like, properly weird. And as our relationship developed, he. Kind of very gently started pushing me in the right direction and I am so lucky. And blessed that she is actually quite an enlightened human being, cause she never gave me a hard time about it. She just sort of, like pointed out that maybe things could be different and it it it really started with smoking. And when we started living together and I was smoking in the house, you know it it, it became quite obvious. Quite quickly that that really was having an effect on her, never mind, kind of like the indirect knock on stuff that we all try so hard to ignore. Like genuinely I was smoking where she was living and I have heard of second hand smoke so. That was the that, that that was the starting point for me. So she kind of gently pushed me in that direction. And then I stopped smoking. And then, you know, that that that improved things a little bit. I felt better after I’d stopped smoking. But it what it really did was it started a process. And one of the things I was trying to get across to people is that it. Is a process. The. I spent probably about five years stopping, drinking, stopping, smoking, stopping, eating rubbish, stopping, listening to terrible music and you know, it’s a journey. And if you just do one, you will find yourself back where you started. Because I’m not saying you have to give up everything just simply. You have to keep walking. You know you have to keep moving. It is. It is a lifelong commitment to making yourself a better person and and. You know when you get when you get, you get to a point where it’s no longer really about recovery. As such, it is just of course, I keep walking. Of course I keep trying to improve myself because that is life.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Thank you. I think that was a really good insight. And and it’s interesting what you’re talking about though about you. It’s not just one thing because the addiction it’s, you know, we only use the word addiction cause you get addicted cigarettes, you get addicted to sugar, you get addicted to to alcohol you it it is an addiction. And yet it’s in some ways we’re not so much smoking, but alcohol and sugar are almost accepted addictions.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Yeah. Yeah. And you? You you don’t have to go that that far back when smoking was accepted. Addiction. And I like to think that you won’t have to go too far forward before people start to view alcohol the same way that they view cigar. Threats and yeah, I mean they they are, they are addictive substances. That’s a fact. I tend not to use the word addiction that much because what I think it does is it sort of puts it as something separate and that I think this is a problem with mental health generally that we sort of think well, there’s problems with your mental health that’s over here. That’s something separate. That’s something different when actually it is simply a part of. The human experience, I mean, if you ask yourself, why would you want to read Hamler I? Mean do you like Shakespeare?

Kirsty van den Bulk
I love Shakespeare. Of course I do.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
OK, great. So why did you watch Hamlet or read Hamlet, you know, partly you want to distract yourself from the pain in your life, the problems, you know, the issues, and partly you want to give yourself a little bit of pleasure. And that is, like, just fundamental and like we are, we evolved to do that. You know that is wired. And to us, avoid the pain, maximise the pleasure and we do it with hamler. But few people get to the point where they’re they’re reading six Shakespeare plays at night, so it it tends not to develop into that problematic area. I think if you look long and hard enough, I bet you you could find some academic who basically ignores his wife to read Shakespeare and it’s causing the bottom. But in general, you know. Basically, it doesn’t cause a. Problem but it it it it it it’s. This very normal human response to something avoid the pain, maximise the pleasure. That’s all we think we’re doing with alcohol. Of course. Alcohol. It’s an illusion, you know. You, you you you’re mortgaging the. Pain. You know, you’re you might escape from it for a little bit, but you pay a lot more back in the morning. You know, you feel like you’re getting pleasure, but it is genuinely like a mortgage because for that pleasure that you get, you get one unit of pleasure the night before you pay 2 1/2 times that. Just like you do with your mortgage. It’s quite sensible when you’re trying to buy a house. But not so great when you’re talking about pleasure. Hi.

Kirsty van den Bulk
And I love that energy. I really do. We’ve had some lovely comments. I always go to them about this point. So and we’ve had Annette joined us and she has said I did this during my student days, but now I stick to the occasional glass of wine. I kicked my smoking habit. My clubbing days are over and that’s OK.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Fantastic. Well, Annette, come and join us. Dancing on the tables. Nothing stronger than coffee.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yes. You know, I would still, I, I I love going clubbing even now. And I know when I go people look at me because I I know I’m not dressed the way I should because you know I’ve got a few extra pounds these days. But there is that real lovely thing about dancing. Tonight and Jill Geike has joined us, he said. Can’t wait for that video dancing over. Her coffee, Jill. You said to us that the way to be happy in the morning is to dance. I’m sure it was you or it was Sharon. Either way, you’re coming too. So I think we’ve got a group of us we’re about to go and do a hit squad in.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Nine. Abington and dance so. We’ve talked about. A lot about, you know, the journey, the relationship with our car. I’m just wondering, so most of us know that our childhood has an impact on the way that we are as adults. And I wonder if you could just touch lightly on that for the view is because I think that’s an important, there’s always a link in.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Know why I went into a destructive relationship and it was because of childhood trauma. Yeah, I I I I think it’s it’s very, very interesting. I mean, I think it’s impossible to divorce the person that you are now from how you you grew up with, you know, it was such a a formative time. We learned so much. And I am in the middle of a research project. We’ve asked about 400 people, why they started drinking in the 1st place and I haven’t finished coding the responses. Yet, but I looking at the data, it is kind of obvious. There is a big bucket of people who started drinking as a result of unprocessed childhood trauma. And that doesn’t surprise me at all. You know, many of the people that I’ve worked with, you know, they, they, they’ve had difficult, difficult upbringings, often involving parents. The drink. So that that’s one big bucket for another group of people. There’s another big bucket of trauma that happens to you. You know, when you’re an adult that can revolve around a a lot of it can revolve around pregnancy, miscarriage, that kind of thing. It can also be around grief. It can be around divorce. It can be around. Business and employment problems, but that that is slightly different because it’s obviously adult trauma rather than childhood trauma, and and then finally there is another bucket of people who. Probably just started drinking for something like social anxiety to fit in because it was a part of the culture they they they wouldn’t they they wouldn’t score any of the points on the adverse events of childhood scale for example. So they might, like me, have a few issues in their childhood. You know, I didn’t really get on with schooling. You know, I I don’t like it might come across, but I don’t really fit in. I don’t really like, like, do what people tell me to. So school was not a happy hunting ground for me. So that was difficult, you know, but it’s definitely not one of those adverse events of childhood.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Thank you for that. We’ve had a few more comments and then we get to turn the tables, which is always where I’m gonna panic. So Hayley’s just said I love this. Sobriety was the best accidental gift I gave myself. Dry, dry, dry, January white knuckling as wine was my best friend until February, when the effects I’d lived unknowingly with with with. Hit me like a tonne of bricks or I just. I didn’t decide to never drink. I decided to give myself the beautiful feeling swerving alcohol gave me. Amazing. I and in that yeah.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
No, that’s great. That’s great. I mean I I meet quite a few people who do dry January and accidentally do dry February and dry March and everything like that. I mean, one thing I would say is that you do not have to white knuckle it. There are various ways of stopping drinking. One of the most effective, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. But one of the most effective in my opinion, is cognitive realignment, and that that’s a way of getting to grips with the beliefs that you have around alcohol. If you remove those, you remove the desire to drink. So white knuckling is quite common in some recovery modalities, but it doesn’t have to be. Why?

Kirsty van den Bulk
Awesome. And then, Annette says that she still likes rock concert, and Jill has said that she’s going to come and dance with us, which is.

Kirsty van den Bulk
OK. Awesome. I can see it’s let’s do a tick. Tock. This was so funny. This will be ridiculous. So the tables get turned and you get to ask me a question and I get to sit here and panic a little. Bit so the floor is yours.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
OK. Well, the question is not, are you familiar with IKEA, but are? You familiar with IKEA?

Kirsty van den Bulk
Am I familiar with IKEA? Yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, yes. And I avoid it like the plague.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
OK, so if I gave you a Billy bookcase, you know better flat pack furniture and asked you to build it. What would be your approach?

Kirsty van den Bulk
So now I’m married to an engineer. I’d actually read the instructions. Prior to to being married to an engineer and having a a pet, parents who lose instructions, I’ve learned to have to build flat back without them.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
OK. So would you say naturally you just kind of get stuck in and you just like figure it out is, is that the way you approach life in general?

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah. Ohh I completely jump into the black hole and see so I I have a whole thing where I talk about Alice moment and I talk about how I follow the white rabbit in and this is this is because of a life change that happened to me in my early 30s. Where I I decided to leave my first marriage and when I took that decision I decided that life was worth living. So I’m I’ve I’ve got a different mindset and so I jump on my surfboard and see where it lands or I follow the white rabbit down into the white hole and as I’m going down there, I love experiencing the eat me the drink me. I don’t mean to excess and I love when I get to the bottom and I can suspend myself and I’m looking down, going well. I didn’t hit the bottom. So where am I gonna go next? And I quite like not know. Thing because then I’m not afraid to do. Yeah. So yes, I do have that. I’m just gonna jump and see what happened.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
That’s. That’s cool. That’s cool. You are what I technically call a Dynamo. So you just like to to, to do it, see what happens. And and and that’s cool. But the reason why I ask this is because my podcast is called flapjack sober. And I always ask the guests right at the start how they build IKEA furniture. And then I get funny looks. But what I think it does is it helps people to understand where they’re coming from and it helps them to see. The either the guest is very like them, they’ve got a similar approach to life. You could have a more kind of thought based, you know, you could like the books, you could be more reflective or you could be more social. So they they either see that the person is like them or they see that they’re very dislike them and that actually if they want to increase the their areas of their life, that they’re not that great at. This would be a great person to listen to, but for my money. The problem with the world is there’s too much information we need to give people tools and techniques to actually understand this information because I met so many people then. They go. Ohh. Yeah, but I’m a failure because I’m not journaling and I’m not meditating and I’m not drinking smoothies and it’s like, well, you look if your main problem is, you know.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
Overthinking. Then try journaling. You know if you need to boost your nutrition and smooth, it’s probably a good idea. If you want to increase your focus, then you know, meditate, but only if that is your biggest problem in life and don’t do it just because some dude told you to, because the chances are they’re completely different to you. So that’s why I. That’s my my current complete obsession, and if people are really interested, we created a a quiz called the So the styles and you can find out which one you are at flatpacksober.com.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Can you drop that link into the into the feed both on here and on YouTube. Thank you so much for your time. I have thoroughly and I knew I would. I knew it would. I would enjoy this, this ride. I knew it was an important message to get out there because it is so before October and I really appreciate your time this morning.

Duncan Bhaskaran Brown
No problem at all. I have enjoyed myself, although I I am not going to be able to put that in the comments. That’s far too technically minded for me, but it’s just flatpacksover.com it’s.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Send me the link.

00:27 Welcome to The Wise Why
00:58 Duncan Bhaskaran-Brown
02:15 Alcohol and Adulting
04:21 Sober Socialling
06:07 Alcohol-Free
10:10 Work Drinks and Hangovers
12:01 8.5 Years Sober
14:17 Dancing on Tables
16:26 The Hours Add Up
18:37 My Incredible Wife
20:07 Started with Smoking
22:14 Mental Health and Addiction
26:11 Childhood Trauma
28:05 Giving Up Alcohol
28:54 Billy Bookcase
29:58 Alice Moments
32:31 Close

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Duncan Bhaskaran-Brown

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Real Men Quit

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