It’s 982 days since I’ve had an alcoholic drink of any sort whatsoever. Apart from an addiction to Diet Coke and Diet Dr Pepper I’m fine – don’t miss the drink at all. I do miss the social side of things like going into pubs, but then lifestyle changes would have ruled that out by now anyway. My brother-in-law also is a constant reminder of why drinking is bad given his ‘bottle of rum + white cider’ a day habit. The very very occasional time I’ve said out loud at home “I fancy a beer” I’ve kept talking about it – mainly to myself – knowing that the thought and desire for a beer will pass just as fast as it leapt into my head. It really doesn’t last that long and with the state of my mind it really doesn’t need alcohol adding to the weirdness in there – I’m bad enough without that stirring up anything. Anyway, I don’t miss it. Until the other day.
We called into a shop to get something, and it’s a shop I don’t use that often so I’m unfamiliar with the layout – I avoid the alcohol aisles in supermarkets and the local shop. In fact in the local shop he has soft drinks on the lower 2 shelves and alcohol on the top shelves and we all know blokes don’t look at top shelves 😉 So, in this shop I’m waiting for J. Turning around I’m immediately facing one of the stands they put at the end of the aisles to catch your attention – and this one grabbed my attention with everything it had. On the top shelves were row upon row of Newcastle Brown Ale and the shelf below was laden with Theakstons Old Peculiar. Two of the best beers I have ever drunk. Proper beer. I had my first pints of each when I was 16.
If someone had handed me a full glass right at that moment I would have drank from it. I literally stood there for two minutes just looking, imagining the taste, picturing myself drinking and enjoying the beers. I wanted a beer. I even glanced down a shelf, saw some bottles of Grolsch and thought “Don’t want you” then continued drooling at these objects of forbidden desire. The Newcastle Brown was at eye level. I stared and stared. Since I stopped drinking I have never felt that way before about a drink. I had to remind myself where I had been and where I was. J actually said I should get one. Buy just one. Maybe even go to the pub for a beer, just to get this over with or just to make it a small habit – but I know it would open the floodgates. I honestly do not think I can do that: one = many. Very many. I’d be back to waking in the morning wondering what I’d said on irc or IM, wondering what I’d said in phone calls, what I’d agreed to, who I’d disagreed with. That’s not a place I want to be. It’s not a place I can be with what is going on. So I might want, but I will not have. I can do that. No sweat.
I never said I was giving up drinking. I never said I wouldn’t drink again.
I just won’t have a drink right now.