Drinking/Not Drinking

Why did you used to drink so much?

Because I thought it was a fast track route to forgetting stuff and relaxing.

Why didn’t you just stop when you’d had enough?

I couldn’t – when I drink, my brain doesn’t compute the fact that I should stop when I’ve had enough; instead, my desire to drink went into overdrive and it became all I cared about.

Are you an alcoholic?

I used to be addicted to a substance that alters my behaviour and mood, and which I craved on certain occasions because I misguidedly believed that it would help me get through a given situation. Since I stopped drinking, I never have those thoughts anymore as I am now fully aware of the fact that my body and mind operate at their optimum when they aren’t subjected to alcohol.

Is it difficult being teetotal?

I am more aware of the fact that we live in an alcohol-mad culture than I was when I drank. As a drinker you slot into the norm, but when you give it up you become part of the minority. That bothered me at first but now I feel very proud of being teetotal and I wouldn’t want to drink alcohol, even if I knew that I could drink it without all the negativity that occurred as a consequence back in my boozy days.

What are the benefits of not drinking?

I could say that the benefits are more energy, better sleep, easy weight management, brighter eyes, clear skin, even moods, no depression and no anxiety – they are all fantastic and valid benefits to be found from giving up the booze. But the really amazing thing is that I have discovered who I am; I didn’t need to go on a 6 month trek round India to find myself; I just had to put down the bottle. I love the world and my life, I care about my surroundings, and I’m passionate about things outside of my immediate goings-on. I have remembered how to engage properly with people and how to love others with my whole heart, instead of just the bit that isn’t thinking about alcohol.

Giving up alcohol has given me back my mind. That’s the best thing about it.

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