Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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I’m the Changingman! Paul Weller says going teetotal changed his life for the better

Paul Weller’s life has completely changed since he quit drinking.

The 66-year-old singer “definitely” classed himself as an alcoholic and while he didn’t opt for formal support from Alcoholics Anonymous, he is proud to have not relapsed in all that time.

Paul – who agreed to quit following an ultimatum from wife Hannah Andrews – told Big Issue magazine: “I stopped drinking 14 years ago – 1 Jul.

“Everything changed when I stopped drinking. It’s like night and day, it really is.

“First two years were hard.

“I didn’t have any relapses and I didn’t go to AA, though I would have done if I felt I needed to.”

The ‘Changingman’ hitmaker had told himself he needed to stop drinking “many times” over the years, but it took a “bigger force” inside him to quit booze for good.

He said: “It was something in my body that said, ‘You’ve got to stop now.’

“It was a bigger force than me just consciously saying, ‘I’ve got to stop’, which I’d said many times.

“It was a much stronger force than that.

“It brings so much more clarity to your thinking and your actions, how you view the world. I’m glad I’ve got to this point in my life.

“When you’re younger, you’re just a funny p*******. Then you cross a line at a certain age and you’re just another old drunk.

“It’s a hard thing to admit but once you do, it gets easier.”

The former Jam frontman has found “more spirituality” in his life as he’s got older, though he doesn’t follow a formal religion.

He said: “Faith to me is multifaceted. It’s got many faces. More spirituality has come into my life in recent years.

“Whether that’s an age thing or because I stopped drinking, however it works, it’s come to me.

“But I don’t particularly like any organised religions. If I picture it in my mind, it’s a big rock and sometimes you get further away from that rock and lose faith and then you come back to it and feel alright again. Whatever that is.

“I can find it in a lot of things. I find it in love. I find it in kindness, in music, because music unites the world, it’s strong and powerful. Lots of little things make me believe.

“What do I believe? I don’t know.

“When I say prayers, I’m not saying them to a Christian god or any other organised religion, I just praise and give thanks to this life and universe and why we’re here. Perhaps we haven’t got a purpose.

“If we’re lucky enough, while we’re here we get to enjoy it.”

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