Celebrating Ten Years Sober

I didn’t post this in January for some reason but better late than never.

It’s New Year and I’m taking stock. I’m happy to see friends doing Dry January, where they stay off alcohol for the month.

Ten years ago, I decided to stop drinking for six months. It actually wasn’t a conscious decision from one day to the next.

I had the flu and was laid up for a week and then I went to the mountains for a couple of weeks. I generally didn’t drink at altitude.

By the time I came home from Colorado, I realised that I hadn’t had alcohol in three weeks. At that point, I decided to quit for six months.

I didn’t have a drinking problem but like most Brits, I did drink heavily on occasion. I had recently discovered my fructose (fruit sugar) intolerance which meant I had to stop fruit-based drinks like wine and champagne.

Spirits do not have enough fruit sugar left in them to be a problem but I didn’t want to become a hard liquor drinker. That feels like a pretty unhealthy slippery slope.

My friends thought I wouldn’t be able to stop drinking for six months. That’s ten years ago. I liked not drinking so much that I decided to stick with it.

And what can I say but stopping drinking is the best decision I ever made?

I have lots of fun at parties and I can still remember what happened the next morning. I don’t make bad decisions under the influence. I don’t have to worry about driving home. I’m a responsible host.

I try to live healthily but I don’t always manage. I travel too much and don’t sleep enough. I don’t always eat as well as I would like. Not drinking is an easy healthy choice that I don’t even have to think about. It’s just how I live.

When I tell people I don’t drink, they often jump to conclusions or ask intrusive personal questions. I would prefer it if they did not. I choose not to drink. It’s a healthy choice and it’s no-one else’s business but my own.

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