Monday 23 January 2017

The alternative to drink is freedom from a substance that was the point of my life

Published 30/07/2014 | 02:30

Picture posed. Thinkstock Images
Picture posed. Thinkstock Images

This morning I began the first day of my 25th year as a non-drinker. That makes it 8,766 alcohol-free days without a sip of alcohol, one day at a time.

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This is a way of saying it, but in Ireland perhaps a misleading one. It gives the impression of something desperately achieved against nature, a white-knuckle subsistence pulled off in spite of an overwhelming and relentless urge, by willpower alone.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The 'one day at a time' strategem is a trick you learn in the beginning, a way of reducing the problem to the smallest manageable period. Sometimes, in the past, it was an hour or a minute at a time. For me today, such devices are not exactly irrelevant, but they convey the wrong message. In every single aspect of my life, the only things I have to deal with today are those that confront me between now and bedtime. Alcohol is no longer one of them, but I've found that life runs smoother if I think that way about everything. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

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