I haven’t had an alcoholic drink for [checks notes] oh, several weeks now.
OK, now I have really checked my notes and it’s 9 and a bit weeks. And this is aside from one glass of really decent Cabernet Sauvignon which went along with this amazing meal.
It’s not something I’m doing for fun, nor am I crowing about it – this post is only in response to a couple of queries via Facebook and email. The story goes a bit like this: after a particularly dodgy evening in Yzerfontein, I had a serious chat with myself about my overall health, and I stopped drinking alcohol.
Simple as that. It wasn’t a planned thing, it was purely a health thing: I’m not getting any younger and I did myself some real damage that night. It wasn’t fun. And so I felt the need to give myself a break from the booze for a while.
And that’s exactly what it is: a break. I have no intentions of being tee-total for ever and ever. But I have to admit that I’m feeling a whole lot healthier since I have stopped drinking, and health is a powerful drug, so I’m in no huge hurry to go back to the beer, wine and brandy. (The Cabernet Sauvignon mentioned above arrived at our table as Jonny’s recommendation as part of the tasting menu that night, and I was absolutely fine with that. I enjoyed it, and then I promptly didn’t drink anything else.)
It has to be said that before that night in Yzerfontein, I was certainly not drinking too much in the are-you-an-alcoholic sense, but I was probably drinking more than I should have been in the stern-look-from-my-GP sense. A quick glass of wine with dinner, a couple of beers with the football, occasionally a late night brandy… it all adds up – especially when dinner is literally every evening and the football is no longer limited to one or two nights each week.
But I think it’s clear that I probably wasn’t in any overt danger because of any sort of addiction, given that I decided one morning that I didn’t want to drink anymore, and I didn’t drink anymore.
My liver is certainly happier. And I’ve lost plenty (or more) weight.
Do I miss it? Yes, of course. Because what’s better than a nice glass of red with a steak or a few beers with the braai? But so far, I haven’t missed it enough to want to go back to it. Yet.
One further point: I’m in no way suggesting that you should do this. How you choose to live your life is completely up to you. I have no say in that and that’s exactly the way it should be.
But wow: the peer pressure from… well… from my peers. It’s been intense, and surprising. You’d think that I was lopping a finger off each time I choose a Coke Light over a Black Label. It’s taken quite a few people quite a lot of time to get their heads around the fact that I can actually choose for myself whether I want a glass of water instead of a brandy and Coke. I’m n years old: I really can make these decisions for myself now.
Anyway, that’s the story and probably all I’ll say about it on here. I certainly don’t plan to announce a resumption of drinking activities, but then I never planned to talk about their cessation in the first place.