This is neither a resolution nor a promise. Writing this, I imagine being a reader of this story, scrolling and seeing the “hitting rock bottom” part — you know, a picture of a passed-out drunkard with a glass by his side. I’ve seen several of these stories, so they come to mind.
No, this is not that kind of a story. I’ve not been drunk in many years. I can’t imagine drinking to any excessive degree, however, you define “excessive”. For me, it’s jeopardizing the quality of my running, which I love passionately and do every day.
But like I mentioned in many of my stories for many years, I’d have a couple of drinks every night. Say I’d have a beer after my run and then some wine. I’d never drink during the day. I’d never drink hard liquor, even if it’s in the form of a cocktail. And like I said — I’d never get drunk. Of course, I’d feel alcohol relax my mind and body, but I never felt I got to the point of an addiction.
A year ago, I tested the not-addiction hypothesis. One Sunday evening, I came home from my long run, and instead of doing the usual thing, downing a cold beer, I drank electrolytes and then green tea. I didn’t have alcohol for weeks, and I was fine. In the initial couple of days I missed my habit just a little, but it took half a week to completely adjust.
Subsequently, I was on and off my evening drinks habit. That “dry” experiment was valuable. The purpose was not to give up but to explore my relationship with alcohol and my habits. This year, I’ve drunk less than ever before, thanks to many of these dry stretches. There are no longer experiments. I don’t follow a pattern, and I don’t have a purpose. Sometimes, I just don't drink, period. Say I’d have a bottle over the weekend and then I wouldn’t buy alcohol for many days. I wouldn’t buy as part of my grocery shopping, and I certainly wouldn’t make a dedicated errand (something I did in the past). And by the way, if my wife buys some wine as part of her grocery trip — fine, I’ll have my couple of drinks. No extremes. Moderation.
The most significant benefit of not drinking, in my experience, is reduced fatigue both in the evening and the morning. You think that the fatigue is relaxing. It is actually. I’m not bashing the indulgence of drinking, if done in moderation! But I get more done when I have no alcohol in my blood. The moment I have a drink, I can pretty much write off the possibility of…