As I near the end of my month-long abstinence from the demon drink, I thought that I should update you on my progress. It’s true to say that a small amount of alcohol has passed my lips. Just two pints and two rum and cokes in 28 days. So, technically speaking, I guess you could say that I have failed. But have I really?
It was on day 21 that I was invited for a drink with a couple of friends. I fully intended to avoid drinking. But then, on the day, I had a change of heart. It was a Saturday, after all. That day is designed for drinking.
I started to analyse why I was yearning to break my self-imposed exile from Booze City. Was I weak? Could I not enjoy a night out without alcohol? But then I realised that the whole point of taking a break from drink, was to cut out unnecessary drinking and to (re)learn more healthy drinking habits.
I wasn’t doing this for charity. No-one would be disappointed in me if I broke the booze ban. So, after three weeks, what was stopping me? I quite fancied a couple. Nothing wrong with that.
And it has to be said that four drinks is a shining example of self-control. I didn’t feel the need to keep drinking for the sake of it. In fact, I really didn’t want to wake up with a hangover. I just wanted to socialise in a pub or two and have a relaxing drink. I also felt the effects of the alcohol a hell of a lot quicker than I would normally, so that certainly helped! I’m now officially a cheap date.
So, all in all, I would say that this four week period has definitely been a success. I’ve achieved my objectives. I just need to continue the sensible drinking strategy. Not that there won’t be occasional lapses, of course. That’s what new year’s eve is for.
I have been surprised at how easy the abstinence has actually been. Friends and acquaintances have generally been very supportive. Special mention here must go to someone who I met, who claimed that he was also on a self-imposed break from alcohol. “But I haven’t always managed to avoid drinking. I’ve usually had a few drinks at weekends.” Great. So you’ve basically still had a drink almost every time that you fancied it. Well done sir.
I can imagine that if I was single, I would have found alcohol free evenings a whole lot tougher. Not because I would drink myself into a stupor watching X Factor and crying at the Whitney Houston covers. But because it would have been genuinely unpleasant attending singles nights or dates, without the cloak of ambivalence that alcohol provides. It’s tough being judged when you’re sober.
I’ll drink to that.