19
Jun
12

A Former Borderline Alcoholic, After Six Months Of Sobriety

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 quarter 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!” Then 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.

The Day I Gave Up Alcohol How To Quit: 5 Ways To Stop Drinking


19 Responses to “A Former Borderline Alcoholic, After Six Months Of Sobriety”


  1. 1 Amit
    June 19, 2012 at 04:53

    haq !!!

    Like

  2. 2 ashwin
    June 19, 2012 at 05:01

    Respect brother. I hope everyone who wants to give up drugs reads this and understands that giving up in drugs is not difficult at all..

    Like

  3. June 19, 2012 at 05:06

    I am very proud of you! Congratulations!
    And what an inspiring article.

    Like

  4. June 19, 2012 at 06:05

    Fantastic! Seems like the old saying ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ is true after all. I used to be a grass smoker. I used to feel Nothing was worth doing if I was not smoked up. Watching a movie, going out with friends, listening or playing music…everything. Then one day I got tired of the whole routine of scoring, rolling, getting high and the works. And I quit. Been off the Grass for over one and a half years now and don’t intend to go near it. You’ve done well by kicking the bottle Mehta, though your beer reviews will be missed…:)

    Like

  5. June 19, 2012 at 06:29

    awesome man, congrats on your farewell to alcohol…

    Like

  6. 6 Rohit
    June 19, 2012 at 07:08

    Bravo!! This is my fav post on your blog

    Like

  7. June 19, 2012 at 07:08

    You are One big Example, man.
    One line I think of..”self hatred, guilt doesnt accomplish nothing,it just stands in a way of change.”

    Like

  8. 8 madhur
    June 19, 2012 at 09:30

    a really inspiring article sir … now that the beer is gone ,more restaurant reviews .will ya 🙂

    Like

  9. June 19, 2012 at 09:32

    Congratulations Mehta! This is fantastic news. And pretty awesome inspiration! 🙂

    Like

  10. 10 Anonymous
    June 19, 2012 at 19:31

    The Mighty Mehta has totally conquered his vices. All the way to the hills of hash dreams, he did not touch a drink or a joint in spite of rampant usage all around. I tried playing “devil” too. Didn’t work a notch. Bravo dude!/
    this is not a comment but a testimonial.

    Like

  11. June 20, 2012 at 03:06

    Good for you, mate. That was one of the sanest blog posts I have read. More power to you!

    Like

  12. 12 Ritesh Mayekar
    June 20, 2012 at 05:29

    Mehta is now old and wise 🙂 GODspeed to you 🙂

    Like

  13. 14 SS_Mehra
    August 3, 2012 at 15:47

    I reflect your sentiments exactly. Started drinking in 12th, coz it is almost a cultural thing among Punjabis, a kind of rite of passage to have that first peg with your old man. Even more so in my case, what with me being from an Army background (that means just about everybody in the last two generations and the current one too, except for me the Dark Sheep).

    For six years through college, work and B-school (in that order), I was in an almost constant alcohol induced stupor. Even a single day that went by without drinking (till I fell, mostly) actually had me making up ‘withdrawal symptoms’ I could ‘feel’ happening in my body. My girlfriend of six years breaking up with me in the first year of MBA was yet another excuse I needed to binge and ‘drown my sorrows’. Of course, that was when we were not celebrating something, and there was no lack of occasions. The one saving grace was that I never smoked (not actively at least), that being a taboo among Sikhs.

    I started playing (and winning big) on various online poker sites, so that just meant I was getting drunk on more exotic stuff. It also helped that booze is cheaper in the city where I was at the time.

    Post-MBA work life was somewhat different than the one year I worked after grads, so I wasn’t drinking every day but when I did, I did it till last call or till the booze ran out or I simply passed out. Every weekend was spend in recovering from a hangover the size of Rajasthan (no offense).

    Then one day, I just stopped enjoying it. No traumatic experience, no life changing epiphany or even a lecture from somebody. It just stopped feeling cool or even good.

    There was a time when my roomies couldn’t put a pint of their own in the fridge without me grabbing it, promising them a refill later. Out of the five booze free months so far, I’m staying on my own for the past 4 months, and the two cans my last roomie ‘forgot’ in the fridge are still there. It doesn’t take any kind of willpower, coz it has simply stopped being tempting.

    Unlike you, I don’t have a blanket ban on it. I call this period being ‘booze free’ because there’s no urge to drink. I don’t feel like it. In these five months, I have had exactly 2 pints and one scotch, not just because I was a social do but also because I wanted to see if can stop at one. I wanted to see if the first time I smell beer, if the old voices telling me to drink would come back. They didn’t.

    Phew, it’s been a very long post, and I’m sorry for dropping this megatonner on you.

    But it felt good, never having talked about it to anybody before.

    Thanks

    Like

    • August 3, 2012 at 16:12

      Thanks for taking the time to leave the lengthy comment, Mr. Mehra.

      It’s great to hear from someone who has had a similar experience with alcohol. I think the best thing that can happen to a drinker is that s/he lose interest in the ritual and effects of drinking. To simply not want to be buzzed on a couple of pints or to not want to turn to liquor to unwind isn’t a feeling all problem drinkers get; some of us are plain lucky. I too felt liberated when I realized that I didn’t need willpower to abstain from the booze at all because I was done with drinking. It was too much in the way of all the things I wanted to achieve; it was a barrier between me and true happiness.

      I’m not the kind of person who can have one or two drinks and stop, but hats off to you for reining in your drinking habit and bringing it completely under your control. All the best!

      Like

  14. August 23, 2012 at 17:46

    “I was the most enthusiastic drinker I knew.”
    : )

    Like

  15. November 11, 2012 at 18:41

    Hey Aditya, I can relate well with much of what you’re currently experiencing with withdrawal symptoms of alcohol consumption and smoking. I never smoked or took liquor in college (except for maybe some brief fun encounters with friends) but as soon as I started earning and got independent, I took to these vices like fish do to water. It’s been over 6 years of relentless torture on my lungs and liver before I felt that, hey, something doesn’t feel right. This isn’t who I am. On average, I would smoke 7-8 cigs in a day and 12-14 on exceptionally stressful/fun periods. As I read on your blog, I also found it more pleasure/fun drinking alone than with friends. Today, I feel a bit mature and no longer have the need to binge drink in order to keep my co-drinkers happy. There are serious limits now – smoking, it’s been done and outlawed by my inner authority! Even if I drink on occasions, I generally prefer mixed drinks today over neat Scotch which used to be my favourite….I’m perfectly happy raising a toast with Thums Up among former friends who knew I was a confirmed alcoholic. I refuse cigarettes when offered to me without lecturing them on the merits of quitting. Self-control is an absolute necessity if you want to wake up every morning to feel like a million dollars.

    Well, if you need more counselling on this topic, hit me up, I’m your man and can help you quit. I read some other portions of your blog, your ideas make me smile 🙂 And yes, your film reviews are spot on. Check mine on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/user/ur16409549/comments

    Like


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