I wanted/needed a lifestyle change. A healthier one.
I was growing increasingly tired of feeling that drinking regularly was a heroic activity. Same old routine. The waiters didn’t even have to ask what I wanted. They’d put a quart of my brand of whisky and a bottle of soda on the table and go to get the ice. So often, almost every day, for the last 15 years I drank alcohol. I don’t think any occasion was complete without alcohol. In fact, if there wasn’t anything to drink, it wasn’t even an occasion.
I was the most enthusiastic drinker I knew. Always ready to drink. I used to drink with ALL my friends… guys, girls, everyone. And then there was those two-three times in a month when I’d be by myself and say, “Let me drink in peace today.”
I knew I wasn’t an alcoholic, but I also knew I wasn’t the guy who could have a pint or two every Sunday or two small drinks every night and go home. I’d drink till the booze was there, every day. It was time to find a new way to look at life. Where I could see things clearly and remember how I fell asleep the night before. I was done with calling my mum to say I’d have dinner the next day, and then rushing off to a bar by 7, coming home wasted and then waking up feeling like shit the next morning. My friends laughed every time I announced I was going to quit smoking. I said that every night for around five of the fifteen years that I smoked away. They’d ask me if I was quitting the next day and then they’d laugh, and they’d tell each other, “He’s quitting for ever”, and they’d all laugh.
Then I quit smoking cigarettes, grass and hash on April 7, 2011. World Health Day. They thought I’d get back to it in two-three months. They’ve stopped laughing. They’d even laugh when I used to tell them I was sick of drinking. They didn’t find it funny when I announced it on the blog, because they know I never bullshit on the blog. Nobody’s fucking laughing. Ain’t nobody ever gonna laugh now. I don’t miss getting drunk. I miss drinking good beer and writing beer reviews. I was the only guy in this country doing it. But I know I can’t have another beer again. Not one pint, not one sip. Because then there’ll be no end, and I’ll have to start all over again. And I can’t think of a better way of setting an example for others. I mean, I’m not a lifelong puritan. I’m a reformed sinner. I don’t want to sound righteous or anal. I’m never gonna preach to kids or my friends. All I can do is set an example with my actions.
I didn’t quit smoking when girlfriends wanted me to. I quit smoking and drugs when I felt ready to make that change. It was the same with drinking. I was ready for another way of life, and for this new way of life, I had to remove alcohol from my path. It was supposed to be harder than quitting cigarettes and drugs, because smoking had become a pain, while drinking alcohol was always pleasurable. But it was very easy to quit drinking alcohol because my body, mind and spirit were not enjoying it anymore. In fact, they were pleading to be freed from it. The same way I didn’t try to quit smoking, I didn’t try to quit drinking… I just quit. There was nothing to control because there were no cravings or urges and I had simply lost the will to drink. I quit, that’s it.
More than anyone else and anything else, I owed it to myself.