News Ian O'Doherty

Monday 15 September 2014

I didn't quit booze, I just cut down

Published 09/10/2013 | 04:00

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Trolling with the times: Ian O'Doherty

You know the one thing guaranteed to make me reach for the nearest beer? People moaning about drinking.

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Because I can honestly say that I am a little in love with every drink I ever had. I can also say that some of the most memorable experiences of my life occurred when booze was involved. In fact, I've had a bloody great time.

But here's the thing – I got older.

I don't mean more sensible or mature or more careful – screw that. I just realised that I couldn't put it away the way I used to.

For someone who had treated beer as a soft drink – I never had a taste for spirits and would always drink water at home rather than touch the hard stuff we keep for guests – I still came to the conclusion that if I wasn't careful, I was looking at a problem. And now is not a time for any of us to be looking for new problems.

No fuss, no drama, no inspirational story. I was bored drinking and it stopped being fun.

If somebody had told me to stop, I would have increased my intake. After all, nobody likes taking orders. But this was simply a case of the body telling me it was time to take the foot off the gas.

The hangovers were unpleasant, I simply couldn't handle as much as before and I was worried that it had started to take more out of me than I was taking out of it.

I stopped completely for about six months and then, despite being an all-or-nothing kind of bloke, decided to have a few beers once a week and not bother drinking at home.

And that's something drinkers are seldom told – you don't always have to cut it out completely, just cut it down.

In fact, rather than break up completely, myself and drink now see each other on a casual basis, maybe once a week.

And we're both happier with the new arrangement.

Irish Independent

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