“Oh, what a beautiful mornin’. Oh, what a beautiful day”. Although actually, its blowing a gale and pouring down with icy cold rain, but it is Saturday, and I have woken up with a perfectly clear head, after a really good night’s sleep and I am looking forward to the day. The reward for stopping drinking alcohol is always most appreciated on a hangover free weekend morning, and today is no exception.
Later on today though, are two rugby internationals: Wales v Scotland, and England v Italy. For me that used to accompany travelling to the city hosting the Wales match on the Thursday or Friday, with a large group of like-minded friends; to drink solidly from 11am when the pubs opened, to 11pm when they chucked you out (then onto a club ‘till two-ish), to nourish oneself on a Donner Kebab whilst being ignored by every taxi that passed, and to do it all again on the Saturday, when the match was actually being played. Oh, the glamour of my youth! It has been years since these good ol’ days, and I look back on them with fondness, but it was obviously these 90’s social norms that were the training ground for my present day accomplished binge drinking.
Old habits are difficult to change and I admit that there is, possibly, a little envy for the die hard fifty somethings who still pack themselves into clapped out old coaches to recreate the ‘fun’ of their youth, but I acknowledge to myself that I have moved on, that I know the reality would be (and probably was then), a drunken equivalent of a Zombie apocalypse.
Although, I genuinely am very content to sit at home with the family and watch the games on the telly, my internal addict still reminds me that alcohol is the key accessory to these and all other such events. For many years, the enjoyment would include the purchase of a few fridge packs of beer, to consume at home during the match. It is going to take strong will for the foreseeable future, to just keep replacing all of these old drinking associations with new healthier alcohol free memories. Today I have Becks Blue alcohol free beer and Seedlip alcohol free gin with slimline tonic. (Neither of us have ever drank gin but the alcohol free one called Spice 94 is lovely!)
I am enjoying the freedom of not drinking at the moment and have to admit that I don’t have any doubts about my new healthier booze free choice this morning, but I won’t get too complacent. I know from experience that my internal addict can attempt to overrule my positivity very successfully, and unexpectedly.
I will reassure myself though, that this healthy lifestyle decision is completely under my control. It was me, alone, who made this positive decision to go without alcohol for the rest of my life and no-one, apart from me, that can make the destructive decision to have a drink again. There is nothing or nobody who can stop me achieving my objective – apart from me.
Right now the memory of the donner is calling the loudest.. maybe I should go and prepare a nice healthy breakfast instead.
Come on Wales!!!!