This isn't due to excessive party times or a dearth of funds, but because when I got sick at the start of the year I came dangerously close to developing a permanent and very uncomfortable inflammatory condition.
My doctor has told me to stay away from caffeine and alcohol for the foreseeable future (possibly forever if a particular blood test score never recovers) to avoid getting sick again, possibly for keeps.
Being booze-free has been easier than I expected it to be.
Part of the ease comes from knowing how I could feel if I decided to risk a tipple and that tipple sent me on a trip to Relapse Town.
Relapse Town is not a place I wish to visit. I drove by it briefly in June thanks to a small amount of chocolate and this reaffirmed my commitment to stay as far away from the poxy place as possible.
Yes, I definitely miss booze but for the most part I think I miss the ability to choose booze more than I miss the booze itself*.
I miss the idea of being able to have a glass of wine at dinner or when travelling. There's something wrong about not being able to have some red if you find yourself in Tuscany or Catalonia** or try the local liqueurs or cocktails of wherever you happen to be.
Anyway, in order to 'celebrate' my six month No Drinky Drinky I've decided to list some of the nice things about being booze-free.
Some Of The Nice Things About Being Booze-Free by Ricochet, aged 28
- You save a bunch of money.
- No hangovers.
- When they put out articles like this you breathe a sigh of relief and when you stumble across articles like this you feel like less of a social pariah.
- You can drive yourself and your friends home at the end of the night instead of having to wait forever for a taxi or having to crash at someone's house when you'd really rather be curled up in your own bed.
- You never accidentally tell a deeply personal story to someone and then spend the rest of your life wondering if they were sober enough to remember it but not willing to ask them in case they'd forgotten or repressed it and your question brings it back to the forefront of their conscious mind.
- You drop a few kilos.
- You don't spend your entire party night ducking to the bathroom to tinkle after 'breaking the seal'***.
- You realise that 'breaking the seal' is a myth after you see how few drinks you actually feel like drinking when they don't have booze in them. You don't need to go the toilet because you broke the seal, you need to go to the toilet because you've imbibed over a litre of liquids.
- You know that the friends you have or keep are the ones who you genuinely like and who like you as a person and aren't just 'OK to hang around with/interesting after a few drinks'.
- You remember everything you did at parties.
- Less photos of you looking like you're a half-melted Madame Tussauds mannequin will exist to haunt you.
Tips For Making Being Booze-Free Less Painful For The Previously Appreciative Drinker by Ricochet, aged 28)
- DON'T decide you should check if that bottle of Baileys that's been sitting in your fridge for the last six months has gone off before offering it to your parents to take home. DO NOT sniff that bottle of delicious Baileys.
I guess if you have places that you went out to drinking with friends and they're boring if you're not boozing or if going there will only cause you I'm-missing-out sads, you should avoid those too.
But apart from avoiding sniffing booze and checking the ingredients in desserts and some foods that aren't cooked at high enough temperatures to evaporate all the booze, that's about it for me at least.
They smell like the ghosts of Christmases past, the Christmases when you could guzzle Baileys.
*Always nice to find out that you don't have a chemical dependency that you've been in denial about.
**As we often do, amirite? *Pops on monocle*
***Breaking the seal = peeing for the first time during a night on the booze after which you'll have to go to the bathroom over and over again. I have no idea if this term is used in the US or UK, it probably is.