If I were more organised I would have started blogging about this on day one, but life gets in the way of our plans sometimes. Today is day 32. I haven't poured a large, cherry-red glass of pinot noir to drink while making dinner for the family for more than a month. I haven't raided our laundry cupboard for a cheeky beer to drink while watching the rugby, and I haven't chopped a celebratory rigger of cider for making it to the weekend.
I'm blogging about it because maybe it will help me navigate the year. Also because I'm a chronic over thinker and analyser of life, and this stuff is better served put down in words than swimming around my already crowded head.
I'm calling myself Sober Man 365 because I think I'll be more honest and open about my drinking if I hide behind an anonymous moniker. Becoming a sober person, I've been told, can be a lonely experience. While you might find other like-minded people, or enjoy the support of your nearest and dearest, essentially it comes down to you.
But I will tell you some things about myself so you can build a picture in your mind of who is hiding behind his suburban keyboard. I'm 39 years old. I have a wife and two children. I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. I write for a living. Oh, and I like photography.
Why have I decided to give up alcohol? I've been thinking about it for a year or so now. I think most people have the stereotypical vision of an alcoholic in their minds. The chronic drinker, who can't function without the drug, whose life is falling apart because of it. I don't identify with that. But am I a problem drinker? Yeah I would say so. It's become a problem to me anyway. A couple of months ago, after my last bender which ended with an eyeball-popping vomit in the toilet (yet again), I decided I needed to do something. I spent the rest of the weekend hung over. I would normally shake it off or file it under "amusing drinking antics", and carry on. But this time I just felt bad. I realised how unfair my drinking was on my kids especially. I tried moderation successfully for a month or so (in fact I hardly drank at all), but I got sick of the internal dialogue. When I decided to give up completely everything became clearer. It made things more black and white, and I'm more of a black or white person. It took alcohol out of the equation. While I still have to navigate in seemingly a booze-soaked world, deciding NOT to drink has given me the power.
Over the next year I'll post about how things are panning out as I make sense of it all.