Monday, September 15, 2008

Mission: Complete

So today is day 101 of no booze. Hooray for me! I already have some sparkling-wine market-research lined up for Thursday night so that should be a nice way to ease myself back into the swing of things before my birthday on Friday. Before I fall off the wagon I want to make some notes from an alcohol free POV.

Firstly, I feel pretty good. It's probably a combination of walking to work and keeping a bit of an eye on my diet but I can't deny that getting out of bed in the morning is much easier without a hangover. I went out to a club on a Thursday night a few weeks ago and struggled to get out of bed after a short sleep. As I dragged my arse out of bed I thanked my lucky stars that I didn't have a hangover to deal with on top of my sleep deprivation.

I had mixed reactions from people when I told them I had chosen not to drink for 100 days. I had 3 main reactions:

1) Support/praise. "Excellent, Tim. What a great idea"
2) Self-examination. "I could never do that"
3) Intolerance. "What is wrong with you?", "Have a drink"

I got sick of telling people that I wasn't drinking, and on occasion I told people I was on antibiotics and couldn't drink but they still encouraged me to drink. People who I work with were very supportive but one in particular disappointed me greatly at a very extravagant work lunch. The Bolinger was flowing and we were celebrating a number of things. As I was offered a glass I said "no thanks" and my co-worker said, "go on, you can have one, no-one will know"

I was very frustrated by her words but it only confirmed my suspicions that she is a fuck-wit, but I digress, I guess she just didn't realise that I was doing this for myself.

Australia is full of people with alcohol problems, but because alcohol is legal, people forget it is a drug, and alcoholism is accepted. Eg. Several of my workmates (including my boss) come to work with hangovers and have no qualms about mentioning that they have hangovers (whenever I came to work with a hangover I never mentioned it, it seems unprofessional to me).

I came to analyse my own alcohol use, and why other people use it. In social situations where I didn't know anyone I found myself a little uncomfortable at first but as soon as people loosened up a bit (after a few drinks) I felt quite comfortable with my sobriety. I can socialise for hours with people when they drink (even heavily) but at a certain point I tire of their beer breath and bullshit stories. I am suprised, however, by how long I can enjoy their company.

I also realised how much I love beer. On several occasions when I was out dancing/partying I was truly craving a beer. About 2 weeks ago and I even seriously contemplated having one after about 10 diet cokes/soda waters.

It is harder to say no to free booze.

I enjoy a social drink (getting a little bit tipsy/relaxed and catching up/talking shit), and I also enjoy drinking to get drunk. I think after a few social drinks I had no problem in finding an excuse in getting completely smashed. In hindsight I realise that this was affecting my quality of life. I had gained weight from drinking (heavily) several times a week, and I was also working with hangovers, not to mention how much money I was spending on booze.

How will I alter my behaviour now that I feel a little wiser about alcohol? I'm not entirely sure. I am not going to rush back into drinking heavily, that is certain. I think whenever I part-take in a drink I should decide before I have my first sip exactly how many drinks I am going to have. A few months back the government released a study saying that any more than 4 drinks is binge drinking. I laughed when I first heard they had reduced the number from 5 drinks, but now I think any more than 4 drinks is probably when I'd decided it might be a good idea to buy a case and get annihilated.

If I so desire to get drunk for the sake of getting drunk, I need to make that decision before I start drinking. If I do get drunk I should only do it a maximum of once a week, and never during the working week.

All in all it has been a really positive experience and I am proud of myself for sticking to my guns.

Now somebody get me a fucking beer ;)


At 6:17 PM, Blogger Muzbot said...

Woot - Congrats on the 100!
Any idea what you'll challenge yourself to do next?

At 12:45 PM, Blogger joe*to*hell said...

i think this means happy birthday

spanks for you


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