Alcohol - are you in control of your relationship with alcohol?
Today I celebrate 18 months since I had my last sip of alcohol! Yay!!!
Interestingly, also 18 months since the last sniff or cough or sore throat…I have not been ill or had a cold or anything for so much as 1 day in the last 18 months. You can draw whatever conclusions you like from that.
As for alcohol, it feels good to banish that crap from my life, I’ve never felt better and I have no intention of going back. Now that I have banished alcohol and refined white sugar from my life, the fog has lifted from my brain and I see the world through clearer eyes. You might like to try it some time. It feels good.
I drank very heavily as a teenager, moderately heavy throughout my 20s and early 30s. Even up until just 2 or 3 years ago, I could still put away several bottles of wine in an evening if I was out for the night. I wouldn’t say I had a problem with alcohol…but that was my perception.
A good friend of mine put it to me this way. He said “If you are fully in control of your relationship with alcohol, think about this for a few minutes. How would it make you feel to make a decision right now to go one month without a sip of alcohol?”
He let me think on this for half an hour, and then I had to confess that the thoughts actually truly filed me with dread. To not have a large glass of red wine at the end of a busy working day…to not enjoy a few cold bottled beers in the evening sunshine after a day gardening, to not enjoy a cold pint or two after a summer day out rock climbing or hill walking…to not share late evenings doing paperwork with a bottle of wine…to go out to social functions and have to stay entirely sober while making conversation with people who were drinking…these thoughts scared me. While not ‘a drunk’, alcohol clearly played an active part in my life.
Around that same time, another very good friend of mine described alcohol as “an insidious poison” that takes a small hold and then slowly grows, and ‘infects’ so many people this way without them realising it. I totally understands this…I know a LOT of people who like to think they have no ‘problem’ with alcohol, they just enjoy a drink…the trouble is, they enjoy it every day, and they don’t realise they are quietly addicted…rarely able to go 1 or 2 days without any.
So think about this. How is your relationship to alcohol?
Could you go a month without a single drink? Right now?
When I quit, a lot of people said “how boring” to not drink. A lot of people, including some good friends, said I was being boring, I would be boring, I was being a ‘part pooper’.
Yet now, 18 months without a drop, I now see heavy habitual drinkers as some of the most boring people I know - incapable of facing the world with a clear mind, incapable of having fun, rarely capable of making genuinely interesting, intelligent conversation.
Removing alcohol from my life, has changed my social life. I have only been inside a pub a handful of times over those 18 months, mostly of family meals, and I find myself avoiding social gatherings where I am likely to be the only sober person there. Why? Well as much as the drunk people might think I am boring, to me they are just ‘pissed idiots’ and I find myself thinking a little less of these people, who’s idea of a fun night out (and it used to be my idea of a fun night out…) it to trash their brains, trash their bodies, talk crap, stagger about and feel like crap the next day.
No thanks. Water, anyone?