Yes, it was six months ago since I last tasted the amber nectar. I haven’t missed it, no. Given that alcohol doesn’t work well with my medication – which I need to take for the rest of my life – it’s been an easy decision. I wish I had stopped sooner. For years, I flirted with the notion, but it just seemed- well- too difficult.
During this half-year, I turned 40, had Christmas and New Year, holidayed abroad and then contended with lockdown. I have had every reason to succumb, but only once have I craved a glass of wine, but then the desire evaporated.
Churchill famously said: “I’ve gotten more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” But the same is untrue for me. How is it for you? Sure, over the years I enjoyed many a good night out fuelled by booze, but I can, sadly, also remember (just about) some shameful alcohol-induced experiences which still make me blush. Like many people of my generation, I’m glad that we didn’t have Facebook in my younger days.
On alcohol, the only advice I would venture to offer is this: if you think, as I do, that alcohol just doesn’t agree with you, consider quitting. Listen to your body, particularly the next day following a night out!
Today, it’s easier to be teetotal than ever before, thanks to the often-sneered-at “snowflake” generation, one-third of whom are now teetotal. It takes some guts – guts that I didn’t have – to be teetotal.
In due course, future generations will look back askance at my generation’s booziness, just as we recoil when we watch films made before the smoking ban. To be ahead of the curve, it might pay us all dividends to perform an audit of all our activities, then to ask ourselves, “Of the activities I perform today, what would my future self say about that?” I have for two decades known that alcohol consumption, on balance, had a net-negative effect on my life. When I perform my audit, I really ought to ditch a bad habit much faster than the 20 years that this one has taken.