Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 297: sticking it out.

It is a weird little thing this non-drinking experience. Firstly, there are innumerable benefits to being alcohol free. You feel and look better in so many ways. Things don't get on top of you so much. You wake up feeling clear and fine. Etcetera, etcetera. And then there are the tough bits. But here's the weirdness: the tough bits, as far as I can tell, only actually stem from other people's dependence on alcohol. The tough bits are when you feel like the odd one out at a party because not another single soul is anywhere near sober. The tough bits are when you find yourself having to do things alone because no-one else can fathom going a Friday evening with any less alcohol than they would usually sink (note I'm not saying zero alcohol here, just forgoing the extended 14+ drinks boozing session once in a while to do something less mind-obliterating). The tough bits are when you feel unbelievably alone because the entire frickin world runs on turps, and no-one can even contemplate socialising without filling up first. The very interesting thing too is to be in a position to see that the world is addicted to what is largely a bad thing, but to start readying yourself to re-enter the badness quite a lot because the world's addiction is so overpowering. Adult humans don't know how to have fun without alcohol anymore. If you give it a try, the force of the drinking masses singles you out and muscles you out of normal society. They make you a loner. They tell you they feel sorry for you because you're doing it so tough. They constantly point out through their actions and words how awkward you are in their liquored zone. And they do it enough that if you do want to be an accepted citizen of humanity, you learn that you had bloody well better front up to the bar. And so I find myself wishing myself back in to the easier zone that is getting casually pissed, but not really wishing to revert to the mass ways that are so obviously flawed. Surely people, there must be something more we have to offer than this?


  1. I've been reading with interest and must say I think you're doing wonderfully. I too hope to get to the casually and only occassionally state of pissy myself. Dry July conquered, a few weeks off to mark the start of Spring now, I'll keep reading for inspiration.

  2. I think this depends on who you surround yourself with. If, like me and I suspect like you, you spend the majority of your social time since age 16 drinking and partying - you're going to end up with mainly party friends.

    From some random googling, only 40% of Australians over 14 drink weekly, which is a significantly lower than my social circle.

    Hence, I conclude that there are whole other social layers beyond 'the drinkers' who have all manner of things to do on a Friday night without getting hammered. The trick for me is finding them.

  3. Yes, where are they? I could use some of them about now.

  4. I recently went for a two day kayak up the most beautiful rivers camping overnight. It was a brilliant way to socialise and so life affirming and wonderful (apart from the sore arms). Walking with friends is another thing you can do regularly - and the conversations can end up even more intimate than drunken foolery as you spend so much time together in a relaxed setting.