I’m cheating today, as I’m going to post something I wrote last December, long before I started this blog experiment. But today marks an important anniversary, and I wanted to share my thought from them. One year ago today, I quit drinking. Here follows what I wrote a wrote a few weeks after that. Some of my unsocial media friends may recognise my self-plagiarism. Reflections on the past year to come tomorrow.
Seeing as I’ve been asked the same question multiple times over the last few weeks, and with the holidays coming up, to save having the same conversation over and over again, here’s (the short version as to) why I’ve quit drinking:
1. Sick of feeling like shit after even a few drinks. My metabolism has obviously changed over the years, and now I can feel exhausted for a few days after even a small amount of alcohol. There are other physical symptoms that manifest when I go on a serious drinking session, and I’ll spare you the gory details.
2. I’ve experienced mood swings and periods of anxiety since I was a teenager, and while previous periods of abstinence prove that this not simply due to drinking, I can deal with these an awful lot better when I’m not recovering from weekend binges.
3. Practically, I shudder to think how much money I’ve spent on booze (not to mention the associated junk food, unnecessary taxi journeys, missed flights, lost phones, glasses, and everything else that goes hand in hand with it). My choice of career is not going to see me end up wealthy, so I’d rather save now than literally piss my disposable income away. I’ve already effortlessly saved a lot more money in the last six weeks than I had before.
4. I’ve discovered over the last couple of years that I get much more of a buzz from being outdoors; running, hiking, cycling etc.; than I do from drinking.
5. While I’m pretty stubborn/strong-willed (you choose) when sober, that resolve is eroded when I’m drinking, and can lead to indulgence in other ‘chemicals’ from time to time. Not something I want to do anymore either.
6. I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, and a disproportionate amount of them have happened while drinking.
7. I make much better decisions when I have had a few days/weeks to think them over when I have a continuously clear head to do so.
8. I have a lot of personal and professional ambitions, that will be better realised without wasting time in pubs, and recovering from the pub the next day(s).
9. I changed my diet a few years ago, and, the odd slip/cheat-day aside, I’ve been pretty much on a plant-based diet for close to three years now. As well as for environmental and ethical reasons, I did this for health. What’s the point in doing so if I continue another unhealthy habit in tandem? Also, I now don’t have to check whether the beer I’m buying has isinglass, or the wine albumen, etc.
10. I can be a dickhead at the best of times, but a lot worse when drinking. Now, if I’m being an asshole, at least it’s consciously.
This is not even exhaustive, but that should save having to answer the ‘why’ question over and over. And yes, for the sake of balance, I did make a list of what I liked about drinking. It was an awful lot shorter. I made this decision a few months ago, with plan of starting after my holidays a few weeks back. It’s definitely been the right one.