It’s been three years since he made that decision to quit drinking and he can truly beat his chest that he’s being the better off for it. Unlike the first two years when cravings for it cropped up, this last one year was when it became fully established in his being that alcohol had become a part of his past only, and definitely not something he would return to as far as the sun is a different entity as the moon (now that sounded absolutist for someone who doesn’t subscribe to things being absolute or definite, though for this he loves the exception).
In the intervening years he’d managed to keep more change in his pocket, than before when besides having a budget for liquor, he encroached ‘pon the budget for other necessities, including for food to satiate his thirst. It is possible that the action he took regarding alcohol helped his savings culture considerably, and the few major capital intensive strides and ventures he explored without going aborrowing, though he hasn’t researched into his “before and after” alcohol time to relate the events. When a friend posted an update on Facebook years back when he still indulged about the real cost of alcohol, and the toll on the man’s life as well as what the same man can achieve in the alternative, he tossed it away with a wave of the hand, but now he knows much better.
Besides the mere financial implication of it, he had considered that he’d have died had he continued in the path he was dangerously careering when he still drank, which is why he has no qualms with moderate drinkers, but couldn’t bring himself down to moderacy so he won’t slip into his former binging self. The fact that it would help his cause healthwise, even aid his procreative ability, was another factor that encouraged him to stay on the course of sobriety.
The past year saw him visiting the pubs and clubs he avoided in the first two, many times with bacchanal friends but without the appetite to drink save for water, and he’d boldly sip from a glass of it, or gobble from a bottle of it, like it were a glass or bottle of liquor without shame, even when everyone was doing same with their brand of alcohol. He now enjoys all that he thought he’d miss without alcohol, without alcohol, and life couldn’t have been any better. Most of his friends who’d deserted him socially since he may now begin to offend their table with water have been replaced with others that didn’t give a damn!
If he didn’t have to struggle so much to be and live sober, he posited that it might have been a tad likely that he NEVER truly loved to drink back in the day when he was immersed in it, but he knew he loved it, his fingers always itched for a bottle of Guiness Stout when he was bored (and that was almost all the time), sometimes during intermission of a Barclays Premier League game on TV when the Stout ad comes on. But when he recalled his friend who also quit smoking (for which he was quite notorious for, not only coming off with very dark lips, but even a very dark face), he felt he must be one of those rare breed who could easily quit a habit for any reason they could fathom at any time they wished, though he couldn’t say the same for another habit he’d being hoping to abandon for years now, that became worsened by his sobriety. He reasoned therefore that some habits may be easy to quit, while others may not, and while one may come easy for one to abandon, the same may be difficult for another, as in the case of his friend, who despite several promises to his wife and attempts to stop drinking hasn’t been able to replicate the same victory with alcohol, as he’d done with cigarettes. Infact, each time he managed to abstain for a few days, the next time he stumbled, he drank so much to make up for the days of sobriety.
On the negative side, he has had to live with facing life as raw as it presented. There is no blunting out life’s sharp experiences for him, he cannot now amplify his joys like he could and used to do with alcohol, nor can he despike the rough spikes of pain and disappointment. It wasn’t like alcohol solved the problems back in the day, but it gave him some relief, some space from his challenges atleast for the while he was under the influence. It would be the only thing he missed, but as for amplifying his joy, he remains an easily excitable person and alcohol in those days just upped his ante just a notch or so higher, as his friends would easily attest to now that he’s even on water, wondering if one could be inebriated with the placebo.
He couldn’t say if sobriety had positively affected his spiritual life though, but he’d had less to confess about when he prayed these days, and for all he asked forgiveness for, he could easily recount the proceedings at the events with nothing lost unlike with the memory loss that robbed him of detail in the past when he was glazed. Even the oral diarrhoea he once experienced years back, that made him recount his sexual ordeal of a few hours earlier, to his girlfriend when he was out of town and she had called his debauched self very early that austere morning, was now something he hadn’t done even when he strayed and his wife (then girlfriend) calls to repeat the same stunt with him. In being sober he’d drastically reduced the number of persons he could be, as well as the misdemeanors and indiscretions he could fathom and be up to, not necessarily the gravity, as he is still far from being the good man everyone would love for him to be, maybe just a tad more responsible.
After three years of sobriety, and personally battling his Diablo without AA or other external help, he can bop his head like the proverbial Agama who on landing upright without as much as a scar, from a fall off a large Iroko praised itself for the feat, when none around it, noticed enough to salute its bravery. He can only hope to better his current accomplishment with more days of sobriety.