monkey off my back

One guy's experiences as he quits drinking


The Magic Roundabout

It’s time to get off the magic roundabout. It’s hard to even believe I’m back here.

I haven’t posted for months. For most of that time it was because I was doing really well. Alcohol was barely on my mind and I was just enjoying life. Then Christmas happened and alcohol started to sneak back in… it started with flaming brandy poured over the Christmas Pudding. There was pudding each night for a few days. Then I had a sneaky swig… I got on the magic roundabout.

New Year came and I got a bit swept up in the moment and had some Champagne. The roundabout was starting to pick up speed and it was harder to get off. I started thinking 2015 could be the year of moderation and drinking on special events. Oh how quickly things sped up from there – ‘special events’ quickly morphed into sneaky drinking each evening.

For most of January I have had moderate hangovers each day – yuck. My running, cycling and gyming has dropped off the agenda. I’ve put on some weight and my pants are tight. I feel sluggish, tired and a little bit moody – everything is more effort than usual. I started doing that repetitive cycle: wake up, tell myself that I was stopping – then getting home and having a drink anyway. The same old boring cycle.

It’s the end of January so today I’m using the symbolic break to get off the merry-go-round. It’s time to put the cork back in the bottle.

So my action plan for the next week is:

  • I’m posting this blog entry to start and commit
  • All the alcohol is now empty and gone – I won’t restock it
  • I’m running home from work today and will exercise regularly
  • When I feel tempted in the evenings I will read some of the many blog posts that I’ve missed in the last few months
  • I’ll go to the movies on the weekend (sober activities in the evening)

It’s a bit weird – I don’t feel upset like I did when I first quit. This time is more a feeling of dusty disappointment and fatigue. The fatigue is because this is all so predictable and eye-rollingly boring. I can see the achievements of 2014 starting to fade and I don’t want to go back.

I have no doubt I can get of this stupid roundabout – it will happen today. I know this feeling of certainty. In fact that confidence is a bit of a double-edged sword. Knowing I have the capacity to stop also creates a temptation to get back on the roundabout – “I’ll just have a bit of fun and then get off when I’m over it”. I don’t know how to deal with that long-term temptation at the moment but… first thing’s first… one day at a time… one step at a time… Blah blah blah <insert another platitude>

Oh yeah – and I want to run my first marathon in July so I’ll have to start training. I don’t have time for this shit.