On 1 January, 2018, I embarked upon a journey – initially for a month or two – to explore a life unhindered by alcohol.
Anyone that knows me well will know that alcohol has always been a substantial part of my life and this was no small undertaking. I have always enjoyed a drink and living in Ireland, ‘a drink’ is never a drink, singular; it’s always a plural undertaking.
Abstaining from alcohol was a challenge, but – given my history of mental health issues – it was also critical for me to try, if only to explore the net effects of abstinence on my frame of mind. It was, in every sense of the word, a sobering experience, and is one I’ll write about in more detail shortly. It forced me, once again, to look at my life a little more closely.
“Dry January, 2018,” was quickly followed by, “100 days, perhaps?” before I found myself at, “Six months?” at which point, “Do you think a year seems achievable?” seemed like a logical extension.
With the milestone of a year under my belt (and a streak of 365 Days reached) it seemed only natural to stick to the path and see where it took me.
I’m delighted to say that I hit two years into my journey of ‘A Year, Probably More, Off Alcohol’ on 1 January, 2020. As I noted when I hit 600 Days:
My life minus alcohol is unrecognisable: I feel more robust, mentally; my relationships are better; and I’m infinitely more productive.
I never thought I’d reach this point and I couldn’t have made it without the steadfast support of Cara, Ross and Caitlín, who have stuck by me with words of encouragement, every step of the way.
With 730 Days now under my belt, I’m reluctant to reset the count. As Michael Kelly – Doug Stamper in Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ – puts it, in a characteristically forthright manner: #fuckthezero.