I haven’t had a drink for 5 days now.
I decided during my third game of darts (usually we play best of 5...sometimes 7...occasionally 9) on the 29th of July that I wasn’t going to drink ANY alcohol for a month.
So...no booze until 29th August. No rakis. No beers. No gin & tonics. No wine.
Having recently survived the boot camp-esque Krav Maga General Instructors Course, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I decided I needed a new challenge.
So...what better one than going dry in a place that, for 10 years, I have been soddenly drunk in on too many occasions to count.
36 hour hangovers. Waking up in a ditch with a black eye. Waking up next to a woman I don’t remember bringing home. Personal possessions missing. Blackouts. Dancing on bars. Skinny dipping. The works.
So this new test of faith, character and resolve is to stay off the happy juice for 4 weeks, at a time of year when most of my friends are here and the sun is shining. When pool parties, beach trips and days out are par for the course.
So far it hasn’t been too bad.
I still play darts from 11-ish to around 1-ish most days but have a small bottle of water instead of a small beer or two. If I go out in the evening I have one or two small bottles of water.
Result = Sober as a septuagenarian librarian and with clear piss every time I go for a slash, apart from the first one of the day.
5 days in and there have been no major epiphanous moments. No jarring realisations of the joys of a life without ale. Instead I’m actually able to think clearly and have realised that a LOT of my thought processes and interactions with other people were heavily affected by me drinking.
Alcohol is, at the end of the day, a depressant. You need to either be one of the 2% of society that can drink heavily and always be cheerful OR you need to be in a safe place, with people you trust and like in order for the happy side of boozing to stay in effect.
I get paranoid, insecure, anxious, maudlin and horny when drunk. I get those feelings 5-fold when I’m hungover. My sleep patterns get fucked up and I lie awake, contemplating the most meaningless drivel that happened in my life while wondering if a 4th wank is a physical impossibility.
For the last 5 days I’ve slept properly, exercised, eaten healthily and I feel a lot better. Had I set myself a goal of NEVER drinking again or going for longer than a month, then the Gary King within me might have struggled into his black, leather biker’s jacket and ordered a large, cold glass of Mythos. As it is I’m aware that there is an end to this and so is my subconscious. I feel different to how I did before, with the only repeating occurrence being that I still wake up with an erection like a baseball bat every morning.
This isn’t a conversion. Nor is it a new start to a life of purity and H20. It’s something I’m doing because I want to see if I can.
My interactions with my peers are a LOT less paranoid now and yesterday I was recently told that my behaviour when drunk has grated on a few people, hence the Not Being Gary King blog yesterday.
A lot of my feelings haven’t changed, I’m just able to put a lid on them a little more firmly than I did before. I no longer send drunken “I still lvoe you (sic)” Facebook messages to the woman of my dreams or send her links to songs that remind me of her (the last one being “Bette Davies Eyes” by Kim Carnes...a lovely tune nonetheless). However, I still FEEL that way. I just don’t feel the need to blurt it out due to drinking myself to oblivion every night.
Today I went for both a long walk and later on for a long jog. I enjoyed both thoroughly and the irascible chatter in my mind is now a little quieter.
I haven’t reformed. I haven’t converted. I am going to get drunk on the 29th August.
Being drunk feels good.
But this feels good too.