Sorry, blog: you’ve been a bit abandoned of late. You see, I have been very busy with things such as studying, running and helping the needy*.
(*Roughly translated as playing Candy Crush, arsing about on Facebook and watching episodes of How I met Your Mother, which is amazing, btw).
But I’m back now. So I thought I’d do a little update on where I’ve been up to with various things, such as:
(Read more about my teetotal journey here)
Apart from an enjoyably decadent three weeks over the Christmas period, I have been teetotal since 3rd December 2011. As a Brit living in a country totally saturated by alcohol, I often get asked why I would do this to myself.
So I thought I’d say a little bit about why I have started this journey.
First things first: I am not an alcoholic, but I am aware that some who visit this blog are, and I know I am very lucky in this respect.
In fact my drinking history is, I suppose, quite average. As a teenager and a student, I regularly indulged in a skinful, experiencing hangovers, embarrassing behaviour and occasional vomiting, as well as the fist-biting shame from wondering what I might have said/done the night before. Then, I hit twenty, studied harder, did some voluntary work in Africa, thought about my career and generally grew up. My relationship with alcohol calmed down into quite a sedate one. A weekend pint, a gin and tonic after a stressful day, the usual thing; in fact, by the age of 25, I hardly drank at all.
I then read about a charity ‘no beer for a year’ challenge on the internet. It inspired me to do something big for charity. So I did: I drank nothing for twelve months and raised over £1,000 for Mind, the mental healthy charity (read more about this adventure here). I was proud, but ready to start drinking again.
So, on the 4th December 2012 at precisely midnight, I opened a mini bottle of cava, and carried on drinking for the next three weeks. A lot of friends and family knew about my return to drinking, and very kindly presented me with numerous bottles of beer, wine, you name it. It was fun, don’t get me wrong. But I missed the teetotal lifestyle almost immediately. There was a sense of freedom in knowing that the choice was gone: that drinking wasn’t an option. It freed me up to focus on socialising with friends, or relaxing with my partner, and so on.
So I decided to do it all over again: this time for two years, raising money for Alcohol Concern (if you’d like to sponsor me, please see my page here). However, this time it’s evolved into something more than a fundraising event. It’s become a voyage of discovery, an attempt at self improvement, call it what you will. It’s opened up a teetotal horizon. Could I really go forever without another drink? Now the idea doesn’t seem so bad – in fact it seems tempting. Not a sacrifice, but a gift.
I’ve joined a running club! This terrifying development came about when I met a fellow runner through a training course at work. We both decided to be brave, bit the bullet and went along to Hyde Park Harriers. It’s early days but so far, so good.
I’ve also set myself a bit of a challenge: 5k every day for a week. I started today with a gentle introductory time of 31 minutes. It’s intended to reignite my love of running and reintroduce momentum. I’ll let you know how I get on.
3. Weight loss
Absolutely and totally no comment, except to say life is too short to be thin. Ahem.
So there you have it, in a nutshell. I promise to blog more often. Maybe.