Why I haven’t touched alcohol for a month (part 2): Reasons to carry on.
June 12, 2016
In yesterdays blog I wrote about my drinking habits up to the age of sixteen. I want to finish the story of my drinking habits, but feel to do so would be boring for me and boring for you, so instead I will paraphrase a female friend of mine from university, who pretty much summed it up:
“You never seemed accessible to girls because you were always on another level of drunk to everyone else. Focused on having as much fun as possible. You never wanted to miss a party and you always had to be the last to leave.”
She got it pretty spot on.
As time went on, however, it began to drain me more and more — physically and emotionally. I would feel depressed for two or three days after. Then anxiety came, which was much much worse, and a heavy weekend would result in horrible anxiety until Wednesday. The night itself would still be brilliant — anxiety and inhibitions would disperse, I would still go hard and have as much fun as possible — but I began to do it less and less often as the after-effects grew worse and worse, and as it slowly dawned on me that it just wasn’t worth it.
I started to associate alcohol with a distraction from reality. Using it as a means to shed my inhibitions and put on a mask of confidence that I perhaps didn’t feel inside. Using it to have an evening completely free from anxiety and worry, but ultimately to feel it ten times harder the next morning. To escape the future and the past for the night, to live fully in the present, which is a fine thing to do, but not if you need booze to do it.
Alcohol also became an excuse not to get shit done. To wallow in an anxious hangover and put off doing the things I need to do or the things I want and like to do — the things that I like to do when in full control of my faculties, not just when they are dulled and drowning in tequila.
So, on Sunday 10th June, after a four day holiday of all day boozing which ended in a stupendous panic-attack, I decided enough was enough — and I quit alcohol. My initial plan was to do so for a month. I now plan to continue indefinitely.
It may be just a few more days or it may be a few more months or a few more years; all I know is that I am enjoying it so far. I feel more balanced, more productive and more efficient. For one thing it is one less excuse to not write. For me, alcohol comes with a severe dip in self-discipline. A hangover is an excuse not to get up and go for a run, and an excuse not to sit at this here desk and write something I care about, and it is even an excuse not to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the world around me. I’m sick of excuses. No more excuses.
Originally posted here.