38 Days. That’s how long I managed to stay away from alcohol. A personal best. A rather proud statistic. Even though I’ve never considered my consumption to be problematic, I decided to abstain to improve my overall health and even lose some weight. The weight loss thing is hard, damn hard, but I’m exercising regular and mostly injury free (back pain has plagued me for some years).
Even though the next morning I had that all too familiar feeling of not having an interest in drinking for a while I had no remorse this time around. Those couple of mojitos and some number of ales quenched a thirst for a while and I had a fun night which is always my aim.
Now my aim is to stay on the sober path for longer; until my 30th birthday this August. Eventually I can see myself scaling back the alcohol consumption to near enough zero, but I am a writer so bare with me. Plus the social factor is huge, put those two things together and the cocktail of being a boozer appears. As I get older I am trying to be at the very forefront of a healthy lifestyle. Folks are living longer now, medical care is better and that means life expectancy is going up, my Father always said to look after yourself when your young and your body will look after you in older age. Wise words.
Happy health all.
It’s been a month since I last touched any alcohol. I’ve never seen drink as a problem for myself, one can even joke it’s the solution, but I’m on a quest for better health and a better mind. Booze can be awesome, it makes you feel great, you become more confident, funnier and sometimes even more creative; not that I have ever drunk and wrote (I tried once albeit with dire consequences). Some of my fondest memories have been while sharing a drink of two with fine company. But the problem with something that makes you feel good or better about life is simple; you always want more until eventually one day you turn around and realise you have become the drunk in the room; something I cannot handle being named as.
I’ve learned this past month that there are two ways to completely stop drinking alcohol. Firstly you have to understand drinking is something I’ve come to enjoy in life so you must find something to replace that enjoyment, this in most instances has to be better than what you are replacing. My muse for booze replacement is simple and what I have always done; writing. In the past month I have torn into ‘Jack Thorn’ with 1000’s of words drafted. I also count reading and blogging under the writing umbrella; something I do all of the time now.
Secondly and this compliments the fist: Stay busy. I’m a shift worker and much of the time my hours are constant, working and having a job is great. Nobody can really drink on the job or on the commute home (unless you have a big time problem). The theory is that alcoholism has no cure and neither does addiction; even though I am not addicted or have a problem, I found a way to stop doing something that I overall enjoy but in long game terms is destructive. The remorse of the next morning is another huge factor which has turned me from getting drunk. The problem is I have a good memory of my antics the evening before and so I sometimes spend up to a week after reliving and cringing at my conduct. I said to myself ‘this is not me’ and it isn’t because 28 days without something you enjoy proves it isn’t needed and it also proves I am in control.
I don’t know anyone who looks in the mirror and is entirely satisfied with what they see. For some it can grind heavily upon the conscious mind. For others it can be an impossible hurdle.
I’ve stepped up my cardio game recently. Running can be a great mind clearer and that’s something a writer needs and when you hit those targets damn those endorphins feel good. But why else do I exercise? Because that mirror is waiting. That isn’t why I exercise entirely, I know for a fact if you look after yourself in youth, your body will look after you in age. And exercise can have long lasting benefits. With that in mind and the instant gratification of todays society I try to adhere only slightly to the image percieved by it.
I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years. Sciatica the worst and niggling shin splints, something I still suffer from but have leaned into the pain of rather sucessfully. As humans we need to get that heart pumping and sweat flowing. Even for 15 mins a day is enough.
Back pain is the bane of my life. I slouch and of course I sit a lot for my writing so I find myself walking near enough everyday.
My advice is get active and discover a new world where you may just forget about that mirror for a while. Image isnt everything but mind and soul is. A healthy heart equals healthy functions of this vessel we ride through life. Of course indulge, pick a poison and enjoy it in moderation. Dont be a Kurt Wiseman. Be responsible, treat others how you would want to be treated, dont listen to every single word of advice, make mistakes because thats how you learn and more importantly above all, read a lot.