Thursday, 4 February 2010

I am Jack's lonely liver

Last year when I had that time off between jobs and went on a tour of the country, I entered into that state where you drink so much it just has no effect on you any more and you're drinking purely for the 2 seconds it wastes lifting up your arm then putting it back down again. When I returned I vowed to dry up a little. I mainly had my new job in mind as I wanted to stay acute and focussed, not obtuse and hung-over.

My problem is that "moderation" isn’t in my vocabulary. I've tried cutting back, I've desperately tried not drinking on Sundays so I am fine for work the next day but all I end up doing is breaking promises. I guess I'm just an all-or-nothing kinda guy, so I decided to just stop drinking altogether. I was off the wagon for Christmas and New Year as I knew I couldn't possibly handle the stress and anxiety without it, but that's been my only blip so far in four months now.

In terms of the health benefits I've already lost over half a stone which isn't bad seeing as I haven't changed what I eat or how much I exercise. My sleep is a lot better too. During the week I still don't get much sleep, but I haven't had to go to work with a hangover for a long time so I'm always fresh and alert in the mornings. At the weekend I usually turn my phone off when I go to bed and just sleep right through to the morning, waking up naturally. Usually when you're drinking you don't get a particularly restful sleep…but now I sleep for a good 7 or 8 hours and when I wake up I actually feel like I've had a good, solid sleep too. I feel really rested and rejuvenated, not all dehydrated and restless.

It's not all good though…obviously I do miss it and things just don't "feel right" at the weekend when you're not drinking. I still go out to see local bands and things but it's not quite the same when you're drinking coke at £3 a pint. When you're sat at home of a weekend watching TV, movies or playing games it's just not as relaxing without a few drinks. Having Asperger's Syndrome (AS) my mind is always racing and I miss the down time that being drunk gives me. In terms of work nights out and things, it's never fun being around drunk people when you're sober. So I'm not saying I'm teetotal now or anything, I'm just trying this out for now to see where it goes. Recovered alcoholics must have a terrible time; at least people who have never drunk don't know what they're missing.

Maybe my AS is actually helping me here. I'm always telling people who are "trying" to give up smoking; "why don't you just not smoke?" "You don't understand…" they bleat. Maybe as I'm so centred around routines I've just made this my new routine? "Not drinking" is now what I do.

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