I gave up drinking 6 months ago. Well, to be more exact, I gave up binge drinking 6 months ago. Since then I’ve had probably eight or nine drinks, but never more than one in a night. My girlfriend announced she was going to cut it out, and I thought I’d give some moral support – I was a little curious too about how much of a challenge it would be. Also no binges means no hangovers – the last time I got drunk (just over a year ago) the hangover was a truly horrible experience, partly because it included both a high-pressure meeting and a transatlantic flight.
Here are a list of things I have learned in the last six months…
1. There are very few actual non-alcoholic drinks in pubs. Unless you’re lucky enough to get proper lime in your lime-and-soda, every drink involves obscene amounts of sugar and/or caffeine. If you’re matching people round-for-round, after about three lemonades your teeth are stumps and you’re so hopped up on sugar you can see the future.
2. Unless you’re going out to eat or to the cinema or theatre, there’s actually very little to do in town apart from wander around. Thankfully I love wandering around.
3. People will (when they get past the sheer disbelief) always ask you the same question when you tell them you’ve stopped drinking. “Do you feel better for it?” – and when you tell them no, not really, although you’ve lost a bit of weight and probably gained a lot of wasted hangover-time back, they will feel slightly disappointed but secretly delighted.