Booze Away!

I'm 40. It's time to give up booze. I don't think I’m an alcoholic but I know that I drink too much when I’m stressed. I have had a drink on every night of every day for as long as I can remember. It got to the point where a bottle of wine wasn't enough in a night and to me it has become something that bothers me. So, as of Sunday 5th august (my first day back from holiday) I have quit the terrible booze. This is a blog of my experience. Booze Away!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


It's been along time since I have posted here and about 2 and a half years since I gave up alcohol. It's been ok but not very socially acceptable to be a non drinker.

I have really missed drinking wine when I took a vacation in the South of France and also when we had a wonderful dinner with some friends and a different, very good wine was served with each course. Those 2 are the only 2 times when I have thought it would be nice to take a glass or two.

Sometimes I miss the fuzzy edges and the ability of alcohol to make the world seem a less stresful place for a couple of hours.

Other than that, I am glad to see the back of it. Thanks to Nike Plus, I am addicted to running anyway. A much healthier addiction at that.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I am coming up to my 41st birthday this week and not drinking has becoe an accepterd part of my life. People do see me and say, 'How's it going with the not drinking?' I always reply 'well' and some seem impressed, others ask if I will ever go back to doing it again. Most people seem to accept it. i am going away for a weekend with a friend walking in the forest and at those kind of times it would be good to end the day with a grill and a few ice cold beers but the sacrific is small compared to the benefits. Even my posts are getting boring now. This was meant to be a blog on the torture of giving up booze but it hasn't been so bad in the end.

I might just leave it now as something to look at again in the future, like finding an old diary you wrote at school

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas & New Year

Made it through both without a drop. New year was harder. There wer quite a few times when i thought that a glass of wine would be really nice and started to persuade myself! I remained firm though.

My only worry is that I am becoming boring! Socially, it isn't acceptable not to drink!

Warcraft - Enjoyment and Addiction

When i first started playing Warcraft, I was amazed at the lovely graphics and playability. The sheers size of the world was unbelievable. Every animal could kill you because you are such a low level. The I started doing missions, basically avoiding everybody else and group work. What a time! Working my way through my mission list, just finishing of one more before logging off. Even though Í got killed, I got better. things always get better in Warcraft. You never lose levels: you only rise higher. At the Deadmines (a massive dungeon instance where you have to be in a group to complete it) I discovered the fun of being in a party!

Working together for the common good. Wow, what a feeling. Co-ordinating with other players for attacks was brilliant and a fantastic new addition to my love of the game.

After that, I often joined groups for the instances. This takes time to do this. You have to find a group first and that can take an hour to do, waiting for people to finish their own little quests before joining your group. You have to have from 2 to 4 hours (at my low level) to complete an instance. You can't just leave halfway through as you let all the others down. So that was a major contributing factor to staying up really late. Sometimes til 3.00 a.m. Then I had to get up at 06.00! I would stand in the shower planning what I would do that evening. Maybe get to the next level, do an instance etc.

Then I found a guild and joined that. This was my first guild experience and was lucky enough to find a fantastic group with really cool mature adults playing for fun. They were really generous and gave my character the most fantastic weapons etc. For free! I couldn't believe it. This guild became like a second family. Chatting with them when online was great. Anytime, I needed help with a quest, some of them would come over to where I was and help me out. It was a great time. Ultimately it made the game even more addictive.

My theory about Warcraft is that it is life how we would love it to be. You're career only ever rises, you're family is always there for you. You never grow old or sick. You actually get stronger the longer you live. You can be anonymous, yet a hero at the same time. You can flirt, annoy, ignore. You can dance almost naked in the town square. What more could you want? There's always a horizon offering goodies, levels and experiences just beyond your reach. I have read that Warcraft and other similar games have actually ruined peoples lives because they cannot let it go.

When I gave up booze, I gave up warcraft and this wasn't too hard have to delete your character as a word to the wise. If you don't you can just resurrect it after 3 months or 6 months and start right back to where you were. To make it easier for you when you do this, Blizzard actually lets you level faster because you have rested longer. deleting my characters was a bit sad as we had been through a lot together. LOL. It felt like it!

No, I steer clear of these games. I only have 2 games on my laptop. Chess and Risk. Both short and both have a forseeable end.

The people i met on Warcraft were mostly nice people who were just in a rut in their real lives so escaped into a fantasy world. Others just couldn't see it. They played minimum 4 hours a day....every day..just like me.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Still off the booze

Now it's November and the need for a drink has pretty much gone alhtough some situations are still difficult socially. Like peoples surprise and reaction but I take that as encourangement. I did get invited to a winetasters dinner by a friend who then realised it wasn't the best thing to invite me too and we agreed I probably wouldn't be the best company.

3 months without a drink has had an unbelievable impact on my worklife. I think it is down to being more motivated and definitely less procrastination on a daily basis.

My next post is about Warcraft. Something I have wanted to write about for a while

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Busy, busy

I have been crazily busy at work since I stopped drinking. Stopping the bottles of wine and the beers has really been the best thing I have ever done. I didn't really realise how it kills your energy and your motivation. It doesn't let you see things as they are. Those temporary, rose-tinted glasses I wore when I drank gave me such a positive, temporary outlook but also turned me into the biggest procrastinator in the world. Nothing was too important that it couldn't be left until tomorrow. Now I make offers for work when I say I will, I call people back when I should, reply to emails pretty well. The more I do this, the busier I get. I call customers just to see how they are which is more of a surprise to them than me.

My company has attracted potential investors who are negotiating with me at the moment. Phew! I can't keep up.

The down side is that I am so busy that I find it difficult to concentrate on other things (like family life) I have yet to strike the right balance. One potential lead would mean I have to go to France for a few days. Another company that will develop my new web presence is based in Cairo which means that I have to go there for a few meetings. Mrs X is understandably worried that my time with the family is going to be reduced. I will have to cross that bridge when it appears.

Back to booze. I have been a bit slack on the running but still manage a 10K jog mostly twice a week. I feel much more confident now I have lost that bloody great chunk of fat around my middle. I have a theory why men put on weight without really realising it. They first put it on, around their lower back (love handles) When these fat storage areas are full, it then goes on to the stomach. Then it's one big surprise and takes ages to get off.

I don't feel like having a drink at all although sometimes a big glass of wine will creep into my subconscious as a 'Oh, that would be nice.' I am getting bored drinking water though and am thinking about buying a good juicer. I don't drink any sodas and we have cut out all forms of squash in the house. The kids haven't really noticed. We all just drink water. I do keep having flashbacks to hangovers I have had, parties I have been to and I start to be quite satisfied that drinking is a young mans game. When you're young it can be funny, even cute to be a bit tipsy and have that extra edge of confidence. When you're older, it becomes the sad old man syndrome.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

2 Months Gone

Well it has been about 2 months since I came back from the summer holiday and promised not to drink again. I have done it but it has been hard in some ways and satisfying in others. Here's how I did it. I decided back in April or May that I would do it and then started to think about how to do it. Cold Turkey or cut down? I cannot just cut down things, I have to give them up so option 1 was only ever going to´be the way to go. After my 40th birthday I nearly did it but didn't have the will power, got stressed at work and the next thing I knew i was up late playing Warcraft and having a bottle of lovely wine.

When I came back from holiday, I had had the chance to relax and really reflect on things, spend so much tome with the kids and relax. This was a perfect opportunity, which I wouldn't see again for a year, if I missed that window. When I came back, I stopped.

I don't believe that just stopping drinking would have worked for long. For me, if I have to give something up; I have to change my lifestyle. I was also overweight from my sedentary evenings, booze drinking and lack of exercise. Also, I was seriously lacking motivation at work and when you have your own business, this is the worst situation to be in. When you are behind with bills, you just cannot..cannot..go into a hole and hope something will turn up. (believe me). The only way to get out of trouble is to go out there and get more business.

So i attacked my lifestyle/drinking on 3 levels.

1) I stopped drinking completely. My advice here is not to do this in secret which is what I tried to do to start with because you always have that option to start again and no-one will be any the wiser. Tell your family/spouse and close friends.

2) I started running. Not so far at first but at least 3 times a week. Building up distance and time every week.

3) I revisited Stephen Coveys, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The best lessons here that I revisit all of the time are, 1) Be proactive, First things First and Begin with the End in mind. I also made the quadrant to see where I was devoting my time. I can't do the book justice here but i i highly recommend it. I got proactive in my work. I made a massive list of all the things I had been procrastinating about, people i should have called back and projects I should have started.

I have become incredibly busy at work in a positive way, almost too busy for one person.
I have lost 10 kilos. My BMI has gone from 28.6 down to 25.
I have stopped drinking permanently because the good outways the bad by 100 times.

There have been negatives.

It's difficult to be the same person you were before you stopped drinking. I mean on a personal level with your spouse. Booze makes you say more, relax more and maybe be kinder because booze make you nostalgic and loving in a kind of fuzzy drunk way.

I have missed booze. I have missed it when I need to relax after work and haven't had the chance to go for a run. Generally though, my sleep has got better and I can get to sleep more easily even if I am stressed.

I hope I can keep this up because it has given my the opportunity to be the person I want to be and not a shadow of that person.