So I wrote a few posts on why I quit the drink and thought those who read them deserved an explanation to why I got back on it.
These are my own reasons and not judgments against anybody else and there’s no deeper meaning than these meanderings.
So firstly the good things about being off the drink. I felt healthy, fresh, thin, energetic, relaxed and motivated. All great feelings and ones you want, I’ll return to this at the end.
What was missing though? I think people strive to be different but in some ways they simply don’t need to be. Sitting in the corner sipping on your fourth pint of Lime and Soda is just not the same. Yeah, I didn’t say anything controversial, yeah I wasn’t obnoxious but that’s drunk anyway it’s not necessarily drinking.
There’s a connection you share when you sit and have a beer with a mate that isn’t quite the same when one of them is drinking pop. It’s just the same at the coffee shop when you both have a Latte. People like people who are the same as them and I was not about to go and sit at the table where everyone was drinking diet coke to find a connection.
That was huge for me. You also need a beer to relax, to give yourself a break from the world. Yes you could try other methods and you should but ultimately a beer is not going to hurt you or the world if you need to unwind.
Money, now everyone tells me I must have saved a fortune off the beer and I did, well sort of. I’m one of those people who earns when they need to and doesn’t when they don’t. So bizarrely my business suffered by being off the drink. When I didn’t need the dosh I didn’t chase it. I probably didn’t provide the service I needed to that makes the money. The figures showed it. So sometimes you have to spend to drive the need to earn. A stupid thought but it was one smaller reason.
Now lets get down to some real truths.
There’s a huge difference in going to the pub and having two or three beers with your mates than what I was doing. I would walk into the pub at 9pm and ask “what’s the bell ringing situation?” this was for one reason only, I wanted to work out how I was going to down 6 or 7 beers in the next two and half hours, and I usually managed it three times a week. So that’s not drinking socially that’s getting drunk.
And that leads me into something I noticed off the drink, that it’s not the drinking that is the problem it’s the drunk. The only people who were a pain to be around were the drunks, and to be honest there weren’t many of them. I also noticed that it generally looked to be down to the speed people were drinking as to how drunk they were. Ever notice how when you go on an all day sessions you feel less drunk than that two hour blast with your mates after a football match? The speed and the shots are what lead you to the pain of drunk.
So still nothing above to really convince you changing my mind makes sense, well I think this is the part you were waiting for.
If you drink a lot or completely stop then the drink has full control over you. Just sitting in the corner not drinking isn’t mastering a drink problem; it’s just a piss head not drinking. I hadn’t dealt with the drink issue I had just stopped doing it and I’d disconnected from my friends and family at the same time.
So you know I have a theory and a flexible set of rules for my reintegration into the drinking population and it all comes down to how I was feeling off the booze.
I simply trust the feel. Firstly I know that speed is the drunk factor so I always make my first drink a pint of Lime and Soda. If I’m so ready for a drink that I’m just going to down it then I make it a soda. Then I move on to a steadier beer that I enjoy.
From here on it’s all about the feel. I don’t let beer take me to where I don’t want to be. I’m not drinking to get drunk I’m drinking to chill out and have some good times with my friends. There’s never going to be the need for out of the blue shots. Celebrating something yeah! But just because you are bored and FEEL miserable hell no. If I feel low, fat, unmotivated because of too many beers then I reign it in again. If I feel I’ve had too much the same I just slow down.
It’s funny in life how many things can be seen more clearer by slowing down and trusting the feel. And it’s the only real truth of your life. How you feel trumps everything else. If you feel fat then there’s nothing someone else can say to you when it’s how you feel. Nobody else can tell you how you feel too, so it’s the true reflector. You should really look at it with open eyes though because one of the the easiest feels is feeling sorry for yourself and I was a champion at that. Take control of how you feel and act upon it as you feel you need to.
Here’s a final thought and one I think youngsters should take on board. You may feel you are special because you can party like a rock star and you are the life and soul of the party. Well that’s great, but the reality is you can’t sing like a rock star. Getting drunk is easy, being a pisshead is easy, it’s not a talent. Eventually the world will catch up on you and you’ll realize it. Always enjoy your time but work on something that you want to be outside of the drink. Work on that and then when you come to having a drink it will be the thing that in some dumb way is what others will use to define you. You become the writer, artist, singer, golfer, footballer, entrepreneur that likes a drink with his mates, not the pisshead who could have been something if he didn’t get pissed all the time.
My final, final thought though is a simple one.
Everywhere you go, everything you do – there YOU go.
Everything Is A Gift