Why I’ve stopped drinking

About 3 days, 3 hours and 19 years ago I was outside Waterloo station in London at the end of a 12 hour drinking binge when I ran straight out onto the road and into the path of a woman driving home. She hit me square on my left leg and I was flung about 20 metres forward, landing in the middle of the road, smashing a handful of teeth out and knocking myself unconscious. I was bleeding from nose, ears and, well all over my face.

The driver was hysterical as she thought I was dead.

I know all this because my drinking partner, a Kiwi by the name of Chris, was on the other side of the road and pretty much saw the whole thing happen. The paramedics said the only reason I wasn’t killed was because I was as drunk as I was. I ruined Chris’ New Years. I ruined the driver’s New Years, and I most certainly ruined my mother’s New Year’s Day the next day when she called from Sydney and I told her what happened.

I should have stopped drinking then.

In the years before and since, I’ve been stabbed, shot at, robbed and almost maimed myself in more ways than I care to remember as a result of drinking and needless to say I’ve offended and hurt people close to me by things I’ve said and done (or not said and not done) while drinking.

I’m done.

I’m sad to say I’m stopping. Really. I enjoy drinking and I love getting drunk. Start with a martini or two, a few g&t chasers then on to a steady night of beer. But as people who know me know, drinking for me involves drinking till there’s none left. A dozen pints in Bangkok? no problem — I love to get drunk. Don’t bother making me a single, I’ll start with a triple please. There is quite simply nothing like it.

Many a morning, more and more commonly as the years have rolled on, the morning after the night before has seen me swear I’d not drink again, or at least not till that night. My health has suffered, and my kids have probably never seen me in a restaurant for lunch or dinner without alcohol in front of me.

It’s an easy decision to make when you can barely move for the aches and pain, which is why I decided to stop drinking a couple of weeks ago, when I was utterly sober and sensible.

So this New Year’s Eve, I had my last drinks, at a friend’s birthday party cum New Year’s bash.

I’m done.

I’ve spent the last twenty years of my life hammering my body with drugs and alcohol. Twenty years of drunkedness easy. The next twenty years are, for me, going to be twenty years of sobering up. It’ll take the best part of a decade to soak all the tequila, vodka and gin out of my system and at least another decade for the beer.

The decision to stop drinking is an easy one. The method of stopping is more of a challenge, but I’m just as determined to stop as I was once to get drunk.

Expect a lot more mocktail reviews of Travelfish 🙂

10 thoughts on “Why I’ve stopped drinking

  1. I know exactly what you are talking about although after years of perfecting my personal method, I am occasionally able to refrain from going all the way ! A 12 hours drinking binge seems a bit over the top though. But I did spend countless days running at a fraction of my capacities because of, er, indulgence the night before. Talk to you again on the 31st of December 2011 ?

  2. Thanks for sharing… I am sure this will resonate with many. Always good to read about people who are being honest with themselves. Good on you and thanks again.

  3. No matter what happens, remember this proclamation you’ve made. It can be a real source of strength as you move forward in your very important and life-saving goal.

    Quitting any drug is an improbable task, but every day that you’re in control of your actions should be considered a successful day. If you can build on each one of those successes, sooner or later you’ll start to be the person you want to be.

    Conversely, don’t overemphasize any lapses you may have–they don’t mean failure, and certainly don’t require you to feel sorry for yourself (and thus deepen the cycle).

    I wish you luck and I thank you for your honesty. Keep writing about your progress; it’ll be both therapeutic to you and serve as inspiration to others who want to quit drinking.

  4. Giving up anything that you’ve been doing successfully or unsuccessfully for years is hard.

    Drinking, drug taking, womanising in excess are all acceptable and often encouraged pastimes in South East Asia. It can be a lonely place if you’re not part of the majority.

    There are a few of us around though, living, working and enjoying life to the fullest in S.E.Asia who have made the same decision you just have.

  5. Good luck, that’s some brutal honesty there.

    I found I just don’t enjoy getting high anymore, would love to drink and do drugs but don’t like the high.

    Time is limited, think of the extra years you will have with your kids now.

  6. Thanks all for the support — off to a good start of sorts — been buried in work, which, well, is proving very good for keeping my mind off other things!

  7. Hey mate, ditto the above. Our full support in this endeavour. I’ll still ride with you even if you’ve turned your back on Bintang.
    Good luck.

  8. Pingback: 8th January – Travelfish and fast Khmer cars! | All Points East Travelblog

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