My Month Without Alcohol

I recently raised money for Cancer Research UK as part of their nationwide Dryathlon campaign. After being inspired by Tobias van Schneider and his interesting and much longer period without alcohol (and caffeine) I decided to write about my own experience.

Before I just started, I evaluated my drinking habits. What hit me most was that probably since I was 18, I have had an alcoholic beverage at least one a week. Thinking about that really struck. Now I am being lenient on myself so that’s why it struck me even more. All the student nights, long weekends, touring etc.

So over the course of 4 weeks, I discovered 4 unique things about my life when I am not drinking alcohol.

1. I did feel slightly less confident – ‘Dutch courage’ as they say. I did still go out, but staying in seemed more appealing as the weeks went by.

2. All I really needed was something in my hand – A pint of water just becomes a clear through beer. Hydration City!

3. I did start to see my friends less – It’s true, we Irish love a drink. But, what is always misconstrued about this is that we love a drink and a community around us. There is nothing better than sitting down with your close friends discussing the wonders of life with a freshly poured Guinness.

4. It made me re-evaluate my use of alcohol – I think my friends would back me up on this that I am not a massive drinker. But, you are your own worst critic. My alcohol intake can vary. From a Tuesday or Wednesday midweek pint to possibly a Friday and Saturday night consumption. And a cheeky Sunday post church pint. Even writing that makes me want to change my habits more. There is nothing wrong with drinking. It’s all about self-control.

Now I did mention a cheeky post church pint. What limited readers that I may get from this who are Christians may disagree with that weekly ritual. To me, it is continuing my pursuit of community within my church and learning more about them and myself. Why can’t the pub be a place to find Jesus let alone encourage someone who finds the ‘church building’ or the church itself a difficult place to open up about their problems? After all, didn’t Jesus go into the homes of non-church attending people?

I am so glad I took the decision to take part in this. Not only to raise money for a worthy cause, but to see where my values are and where they lie within my life.

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