September 14, 2013 by benmblackman
Late in December last year I decided to give up alcohol for a year. I know, I didn’t think I could do it either. Turns out I can – I’m 256 days in, only 109 to go now – easy.
I guessed there would be some up sides to the experiment (as well as the obvious downside – main one being – you can’t drink, at all, for 365 days. That’s a lot of days)!
You know when you’ve got a hangover so bad on a Saturday morning that you can’t face drinking ‘EVER’ again…and then a few hours later on Saturday night you are miraculously back on the wagon? Well imagine actually not being able to drink for the rest of that day…then times that by 365 days.
By the time you’ve past the halfway mark I guess you’ve learnt all you could and you know you can do it, so from then you’re just twiddling your (sober) thumbs really.
By you and your, I mean I and my. Because none of you would ever be stupid enough to give up drinking would you?
The usual questions:
Does bird song in the morning fill my heart with joy? No.
Do I sleep better? No.
Do I feel better (‘you know, in yourself’)? No.
Have I lost weight? No.
Is life one big playground when you see the non-hazy wood through the crystal clear stone cold sober trees? No.
Ok, there are definitely some up sides to it (not least the lack of those Saturday morning hang overs). I just can’t think what they are right now. Instead I’ll give you my one worldly life lesson I’ve learnt thus far during my year without beer:
Saturday nights are made for drunk people.
Sober, they’re a bit rubbish. Once or twice might be fine but this is my 37th. Strangely enough, going out, socialising sober is not a problem. I’ve done Pubs; Clubs; BBQ’s; Dinner Parties; Lad’s Night outs and I would say you can have just as good a time out and about without drinking as you can with it. Company makes a good night, not alcohol. Listen to the sober man – he spekeths the truth (just maybe doesn’t tell you he loves you as much as you all do – again…and again…and again).
But if you’re staying in (and with a small child and pregnant wife I often am) – well Houston, we have a problem. Namely Saturday Night TV.
Have you seen Saturday Night TV? Well of course you have but have you seen it sober? Without alcohol, it isn’t just background noise – it is the main event, your main entertainment. Now I like watching fully grown men stand in giant perspex cubes undertaking feats of drama (such as catching a ball fired out of a tube thing, whilst blindfolded) as much as the next man but, well actually I don’t think I do.
A few weeks ago a new Game Show started presented by puppets, the majority of contestants also being puppets. Seriously? Am I drunk? No – that program really exists. You’re probably getting ready for a night out or too busy to notice what with that glass of wine you’re pouring for yourself.
Britain’s Got Talent. And a lot of shite too if you watched as much as I did with only lime cordial as company!
I watched the one where it’s all about The Voice, not at all about what you look like (until the later rounds when they’re turned round permanently and it is really but we all pretend it isn’t). And what’s that other one called again? Where it’s all about having that little something special, different to everyone else, what would you call that? How would you describe having that special thing? No, it’s gone.
There are only so many people you want to see singing badly when you’re drinking lemonade. ‘The next big thing’, ‘sure to sell out stadiums’. Forget the judges comments, I’m sober as a judge and I can tell you – most of them ain’t gunna sell out a pub, let alone the O2.
Anyway, I’ve got to go. Strictly Come Dancing is on in a minute and my daughter wants me to do ALL the dances with her this week.
Only 15 more Saturday nights to go!