Day 165

I’m so over drinking. After what I am calling the Great Temptation of Galway back in February on day 26 I haven’t had a legitimate full-on craving for alcohol. I know I am supposed to be careful and not get too cocky about it but the reality is I can’t imagine a situation where I would think that drinking would be an option. I used to live in Japan and today I was wondering what I would do if I went back and went out on a typical Japanese food crawl. The drink options are so many and so delicious and go so well with the food. I guess there would be temptation and nostalgia for days gone by when I could drink frosty draft beers in a chilled mug, followed by plum wine and little cups of sake and shochu. Sticking one finger in the air and shouting ‘biiru mo ippon kudasai’ (one more bottle of beer please – one of the first expressions I learned in Japanese. My friend remembers ‘biiru mo nihon kudasai’ – two beers etc – as her first expression as she was with me). Not drinking would really put a cramp in my style in that situation. BUT I couldn’t imagine being so tempted that I would. The upsides of not drinking, specifically of not NEEDING to drink, are so much stronger.

This whole not needing to drink is really wonderful. It is a weight removed. My drinking clock was so precise. I could judge 6pm to within a few minutes even if I had not seen a clock for hours, perhaps even days. It’s so nice for that time to pass by and not be noticed. It is quite literally freedom and so I can’t imagine  throwing it away.

If someone was to ask me how to give up drinking I would say hunker down, do whatever you have to to get a week or two under your belt (that week or two took me decades so I don’t underestimate that effort at all) and see if the temptations don’t just start to evaporate. Even the Great Temptation of Galway was defeated by a bottle of fizzy water followed by chocolate and coffee and two hours holed up in my hotel room. I think one of the reasons why one or two weeks was so hard was that I imagined the pain would go on and on and on and on. But it didn’t. It got a bit easier and then a lot easier. Then it kind of totally evaporated. That was a massive and welcome surprise.

So now it is 9pm. I went for a walk at around 6pm, past pubs and shops selling alcohol but at no point did alcohol even occur to me. Actually the truth of the matter is that I am probably now more programmed to think ‘read sober blogs’ at 9pm now than I am to think ‘let’s get drinking’ at 6pm.

I’ll really kick myself now if I relapse and read this back but I think I am going to risk putting it out there.

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