I’m giving up drinking.

*pause for laughter*

Okay, I’m not really giving up drinking.

I’m taking a break from it.

Okay, I’m trying to take a break from it.

For a little while.

I may have a tequila sunrise in my hand by six o clock this evening for all I know – it would be like something I’d do – but for the moment, I’m absolutely determined not to drink for at least a month or so.

The reasons are many and varied –

I hate the phrase “Oh my God, you were SO funny last night” and my stomach takes a little turn when I hear it. I simultaeneously attempt to remember the context for whatever ridiculous thing I have done and come up with an appropriate excuse/justification “I did not fall off the stage – that’s a Lady Gaga move I just got down”

I want to be healthier. I hate how my body feels after a heavy night of drinking. I don’t just mean standard hangover stuff, though the puking is never fun. I mean sweating excessively, not being able to eat right and feeling so lethargic a trip to the bathroom feels like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I’m trying to lose weight at the moment and I estimate that quitting drinking will save me roughly a bazillion calories a week between the beer on a night out, the inevitable 4am trip to 24hour Macdonalds, the all too necessary cold can of coke and chips in the morning. Maybe even 2 bazillion.

I really want to make a go of my new job and I figure showing up hungover is not going to help me achieve that aim.

I have so much other stuff I want to do this year too – learn Arabic, keep this blog updated, lose weight, visit friends in Khalifa, Al Ain, Ruwais and Dubai and if I spend half my weekend drunk and the other half hungover way too much of that stuff gets shelved for no good reason.

The last but certainly not least of the reasons I want to give up is money. I would dread to add up the amount of money I spend on alcohol over the course of a month. It’s obscene.

The other day someone asked me why Irish people drink so much, and I couldn’t come up with an answer. We can’t deny it, alcohol figures in every celebration and commiseration, birth, marriage, death, when we win, when we lose, when it’s the weekend… Where does it all end?

On a personal level I’m trying to challenge the idea that you have to be drinking to have fun, and that the more drunk you were, the more fun you had. I know that with my closest friends, I could chill in a cafe, play a round of mini-golf or just sit in their living rooms and drink tea and have the time of my life.

So it’s time to spread that attitude beyond them to other aspects of my life.

Anyone got any advice for me? Have you done it before?

What are your favourite non-alcohol related activities?

And why do you think alcohol is such a central plank in the social lives of Irish people?

Hopefully I’ll be posting back on October 10th to tell you what a healthy month I had, that I haven’t had a drink, I have lost a bunch of weight and have a bunch of extra money in my bank account to boot. We’ll see.

Wish me luck!

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  • A picture tells a thousand words. | Oracular Spectacular| September 29, 2011

    […] was Friday morning and I was feeling smug with a capital S. It was day seven of my thirty day challenge and things were going swimmingly. As my friends had gotten dressed up and gone out clubbing the […]

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