It's bank holiday Monday - when everyone in Britain is either drunk or still recovering from a heavy weekend. At least that's how it seems - so what better time to talk about my relationship with alcohol?
It's been so long since I drank a beer that I've forgotten what it tastes like!
In fact it's been over a year since I gave up drinking.
I gave up drinking last May. I don't know the exact date that I last had an alcoholic drink but it was sometime at the beginning of May 2013. I do however remember the day I decided to give up drinking because it was the day I split from my ex-girlfriend (which was 12 months ago this weekend just gone).
I like alcohol. I've never been a big drinker. I would never have dreamt of drinking at home. But I liked to drink socially. I've had some great times with alcohol. Sharing a couple of ales at the local with friends, drinking double vodka and energy drinks in a particularly dark club surrounded by pretty young girls. I love a good whiskey and there's not much better than looking out across the sea on a Greek Island with a very British G&T in your hand.
But the thing is. Alcohol doesn't like me! Quite the contrary in fact. No, I've come to the conclusion that alcohol hates me. Why else would it play with me the way it does? You see often (not all the time but very often) when I've been drinking I can get argumentative (even more than usual) and even aggressive.
So you see me and alcohol just don't mix. Stopping drinking wasn't a decision I took lightly. But it's a decision that I'm glad I made. And if truth be told; one I wish I'd made sooner.
I should have stopped drinking a long time ago. I'm not really sure why I didn't. It wasn't really that hard once I did it. Of course there are occasions when everyone else is drinking and you feel the social pressure to do the same. Since I quite drinking I've been to Christmas parties, birthday parties, weddings and even a couple of Stag dos and I've never drank, not once! Well there was this one time that someone passed me my coke and taking a sip I could taste the vodka in it. But it barely touched my lips so doesn't count and even if it did that was last June and so it would still be nearly a year since I last drank.
Me and drink have never really mixed. I've always been a bit if a dick to my family and friends when I've had a few and so like I said I should quit sooner but it wasn't until last May that I really had the motivation. Last May I split with my girlfriend of 3 and a half years. At the time I hadn't had a drink in a few weeks and so I just decided to keep that going indefinitely. I know a lot of people tend to hit the bottle to help them get through a difficult breakup. But I was teetering on the edge of depression and I knew that getting drunk really wouldn't help.
More importantly my behaviour when drunk had been a bit of a problem throughout our relationship, often leading to big arguments. It wasn't the only problem but it was a problem and I loved my ex - thought she was wonderful, wanted her to be the mother of my children kind of love - and so it baffles me that we had to split up before I quit drinking. Surely I could have done it for her? But I can't beat myself up about it - anymore - I didn't and ultimately it wouldn't have made much difference. Yes, I should have quit for her but no we wouldn't have stayed together.
When we did split, I decided to quit. Maybe in the beginning it had something to do with showing her I could change in a bid to win her back but mostly it was because I didn't want it to be a problem in the future. I don't want to fall out with my family - it's already too easy to do that haha - and friends because I've had a drink. It is also incredibly important to me that if and when I get a new girlfriend I don't want it to be an issue. I'm not always the easiest person to live with and so me getting angry when I drink I can do with out.
So here we are May 2014. I'm now a whole year sober and - no new girlfriend yet but - I'm still fully committed to never touching a drop of alcohol ever again.