Stone cold sober? I don’t believe it!

 

Today, on the 7th of January 2019, I stopped drinking alcohol. I’m not sure this will turn into permanent abstinence, but certainly for the rest of this month I don’t intend to imbibe.

My main goal is to lose weight, preferably at least a stone. Christmas has turned my half acceptable pot belly into a beach ball sized monster. But there’s several other reasons too.

First of all the cost:

I was in Asda on Saturday, looking for a piece of pork for Sunday dins. As I walked through the door and glanced over to the freezer section, I could see the tops of all the bottles of alcohol on the shelves, multicoloured and shiny. The alcohol section is specially lit to make those bottles look extra delish. It reminded me how much of a con buying alcohol is. Everyone knows how much duty the government makes from booze, and how little the ghastly shite costs to manufacture. We pay vast sums of money to cop a buzz, to get fucked up or to forget, whilst slowly damaging our bodies, sometimes irreparably. Meanwhile, Johnny Asda and his evil pals in government laugh manically and rub their hands together with delight, getting richer and richer whilst we get poorer. Then die.

There’s another major reason behind my quitting alcohol. A lot of the time over the weekend, with no partner or friends that live local, sheer boredom dictates I drink at least a box ( in the UK that’s 3 bottles ) of Pinot over a 12 hour period. That’s 3 bottles on a Saturday, plus at least 2 on Sundays. Oh and let’s not forget the 2 bottles of Merlot, for Sunday night/Monday, just in case. Sure, most of the time it’s rather nice, but certainly not healthy. Plus by the end of the 3rd bottle I go into the dark zone, a place close to the black out but just about sentient. My sleep is very disturbed in that condition, and I often wake up feeling guilty about some dreadful deed I didn’t commit. Put simply, the weekend passes in an alcoholic fug. Sure, I usually have a minimum of 3 days without alcohol, but sometimes that feels just like a count down to the next drink…..

 

10-1-2019

Well, so far so good. But I can see the weekend on the horizon, and I have minor trepidation. This week has been very busy, and I’m sure if the weekend is similar I’ll be fine. I keep a picture of my tummy in my mind, nice ‘n’ flat, and not distended as it is currently……

And I had another thought about sobriety: sometimes it seems like everyone’s off their tits on something, in my experience usually alcohol or weed. The gals who work in Asda in the evenings continually complain about certain young guys who come in ( no doubt in search of serious munchies ) smelling of ganja. Personally I’m too busy avoiding the ones who smell of tobacco smoke! Drugs and alcohol are so prevalent in our society now sober people are definitely in the minority. And whilst I’ve enjoyed walking around in a Rock’n’Roll stupor most of my life ( “I’m a shock trooper in a stupor yes I am!” – Dee Dee Ramone ), sobriety seems like an agreeable and better way to alter my conciousness at the moment. Oh and just for the record: I guess it must be over 2 years since I smoked weed. The ghastly, modern super strength shit is fine if you want to feel like you’ve just been wacked over the head with a baseball bat. But otherwise, no thanks……

( Ten hours later……)

Well I went to see my number one quack earlier. I got pushed off my bike in Heybridge street by a young boy in July last year. He must have been all of 12. He grabbed the handlebars of my bike and threw me into the oncoming traffic. I landed on my left arm, and fractured my radius head. When I picked myself and my dignity up, I couldn’t straighten the arm, and so I had to manually unfold it, which was just as well as I put the fracture back together, according to the bone doctor. Of course, if the car that stopped a couple of feet from my head hadn’t been a BMW I doubt whether I’d be writing this now, but I digress……

I proudly told no.1 Doc I’d quit the sauce, and he said, great, well done! But I did tell him I thought sobriety made my OCD a degree worse. He then asked me why I’d stopped drinking and I told him it was mostly to lose weight and save my hard earned. Oh well he says, if you don’t have a drink problem and you’re simply doing it to drop weight, don’t worry, have a couple of drinks ( !!! ). Better that than Beta blockers or anti depressants, he says. He also said I’d probably been self medicating my OCD for years……

 

11-1-19

Well, there were a couple of times today when I thought “fuck it, I need a drink!”. It was mostly down to dealing with an unpleasant personage, who really tried to complicate a scenario which could have been so easy. Eventually, their humanity got the better of them, and things ended fine. I guess it was another insight in to why I drink sometimes, and I’m sure it’s a reason that many will identify with: sheer frustration! I try and keep calm and well mannered when people become unpleasant and awkward, but really, what I want to do is wring their fuckin’ necks! But better to have a drink than commit homicide, ay?

14-1-19

I seem to have made a whole week without touching a drop of alcohol. I have to say, generally speaking, it was a breeze, a walk in the park. Sure, there were a couple of times on Saturday and Sunday when I thought, hmm, a glass of vino would be nice. But I didn’t start climbing the walls or experience delirium tremens. I felt no anxieties whatsoever……

I guess I’ve always had the thought in the back of my mind that I was dependent on alcohol, if only psychologically. I’ve been accused of it, many times. As it turns out, Quack no.1 was right, I’m not an addict. This is something of a revelation for me, and it feels good to know. I really can pick it up or put it down at will, and that’s very empowering.

I definitely was seriously physically addicted to tobacco: it seems unbelievable to recall, but I used to smoke 150 grams of tobacco a week, minimum. 150 grams!!! But because of that hypnotic implant given to me by my therapist, and because I made the decision to quit, I was able to let go of smoking without any cravings or bad side effects. I guess quitting alcohol was much easier, all I really had to do was make the decision to quit, my brain and body took care of the rest.

As I said in my Addict piece http://terenceruffle.co.uk/20151023-addict there’s a huge amount of shame attached to addiction, which never helps, quite the reverse. I look back on my life and recall the attitudes of certain “friends” towards my drinking. They were aggressive, bad mannered and unpleasant, and if they thought they were helping me in any way, shape or form, they were more deluded and intoxicated than I was. Of course, if any one behaved like that towards me like nowadays, I’d give them a jolly good slap!!!

And another thought about drinking: any one who knows me ( and few do ) will tell you I have a psychopathic aversion to being told what to do, in fact I’m more likely to go the opposite way. I don’t want the government and the alcohol industry telling me what/when I should or shouldn’t drink. I’ll take this opportunity to say fuck you and god bless to both parties……

UPDATE: 28-1-19

It’s been 3 weeks since I quit the booze. I wanted to drop weight and save a few bob, and certainly my weekly housekeeping bill has dropped to £50 or less, which is jolly good news. I feel fine: it really hasn’t been that hard for me, which is very empowering. I feel less miserable than I usually do: not happy ( can someone define happy for me? It’s been a long time……) but certainly not as depressive as is usual. I feel a mental clarity too, tho’ I’ve noticed I’ve been hyperactive at certain points, speedy almost. And weight loss, well, I’ve dropped a whole……1 pound 14 ounces! And that’s really the only disappointing part of my abstinence. I’ve lost so little weight, yet I’ve not tipped the usual 6 bottles of vino down my neck over the weekend. How the fuck does that work? And I reckon it’s quite possible that had I had not resumed working out 3 times a week I may not have lost any weight at all…..

I’m never going to tell anyone to stop drinking or drugging, because I realise more than ever, “whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright”. Life is a cruel mistress, and sometimes it feels very dark and painful. If people need to medicate themselves, or just get a buzz, I’d rather they use booze or weed than the array of “medicines” available on the NHS. It’s their choice, it has to be: they have to make up their own minds, just like I made up mine.

From my point of view, in terms of booze intake, I’m probably better off using a little, occasionally. Of course, whatever I believe is real, is real, I could be way off the mark and just imagining things. Whether it’s because I have less guilt, or my head is just better without it, I don’t know. I guess the next few months will show me, because whilst I won’t be totally abstaining from the sauce, I’ll be spending probably 70+% of my time dry.

Life, as has been said many times, is a bitch and then you die. It really doesn’t have to be, but for most people the way out of the unhappy mire is beyond their grasp. However, it’s not beyond mine, I’m just still working it out. But I’ve got to say, if having a drink or a spliff makes you feel better, and takes the sting out of life’s tail, please, be my guest. I’ll raise a glass to you later! But take it easy, yeah?

One Response to “Stone cold sober? I don’t believe it!”

  1. I’ve been having more revelations concerning my alcohol consumption. Having drastically reduced my intake I’ve come to the conclusion that drinking any more than a bottle of wine causes me to become depressive, it’s that simple.

    I spend most of my time sober, and it feels really good. Not happy exactly, but certainly not miserable…..

    I have a feeling that my major love affair with booze has ended. That’s not to say I won’t ever drink, but where as it used to be a couple of bottles, it will now be a couple of glasses.

    I went to a pub yesterday to meet friends and enjoy some live music. Sure enough, on my third glass of Pinot I started to feel miserable, so I made my excuses and went home.

    As I left the boozer I realised I associate pubs with that miserable feeling nowadays. Aren’t they sposed to be feel good places? Not for me any more, not that I’ve regularly frequented pubs for 10 years plus, except for work.

    So for all you poor buggers suffering depression, and still drinking, try a little abstinence, it might work wonders…..

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