This is my new social experiement. Six months sober. I will be creating a new blog in order to keep it all together. It will begin on the 1st of January. It should be quite an adventure. Here is a Prologue.
181 sunsets with a clear head: A sobering experience.
Alcohol. An omnipresent feature of human society. The purge of our generation or a social lubricant for all occasions? Whatever your thoughts on the drink there is no doubting its significance. Teens drink their first alcopop in dungy alleyways and underage parties, young adults drink to their futures and the mature sip on fine wine as they reminisce on the days go by. It has the ability to inspire, to debilitate and to cause friction both negative and positive. Many people meet their future partners at bars or clubs with a few beverages in the hatch while others see their hearts broken as the girl they’ve been eyeing off all night wanders into the arms of another competitor in the Colosseum that is human existence. Emotions are amplified, nights become chaotic, days are more relaxed and dreams are shattered as another bottle of Grants Scotch whisky disappears into the mouth of a bearded man watching another episode of Spooks.
Now that I have portrayed myself as a frustrated writer with the poetic licence of a blog, let me introduce myself. I am a 22 year old lax law student from Melbourne who listens to too much music, drinks too much piss and salivates over boobs on the internet. So yeah, pretty typical. Since I was 18 I have been drinking heavily on weekends, weekdays, days of the week where I feel lucky and other days when I just feel like kicking back. Drinking is part of my culture in Australia. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke supposedly holds the Guinness World record for quickest pint scull and people lament that modern day politics lacks a character who they would like to have a beer with. Bonding over a beer with a friend, a potential partner, a colleague, a family member is as common an activity as reading the morning paper or going for a Sunday drive. Many people owe their success with the opposite sex to alcohol but also blame the drink for forcing them into a situation that they would have never considered otherwise. I am one of those people who have ended up outside a nightclub crying in the rain as the girl I was infatuated with told me that she wasn’t interested. I am one of those people who lost their virginity with the help of a few dozen vodka lemonades. I am one of those people who will call up a couple of mates to set up a pub session with the intention of getting extremely lucid (I know the word doesn’t relate to getting hammered but I like the sound of it anyway) and placing a few bets on the old hounds.
Enough self analysis, onto the point of this blog. The undertaking of a complete removal of the intake of alcohol for the next six months has been influenced by an overseas incident a couple of years ago that has forced me to re-evaluate my lifestyle to an extent. Mornings filled with tight chests, jitters and headaches are an understated inconvenience. But alcohol makes socialising easier; some people don’t want to talk about the deep shit, the little ironies of our existence, the politics of society. Some just want to talk about fucking bitches and drinking froffies in the sun. There is nothing wrong with that. Simple pleasures will always be a delicious feature of being a human in this anomaly of a life. However, what happens when you can’t turn to a couple of drinks to wind down after a big week. How to you relax? How do you talk to people? How do you tolerate mindless conversations that shouldn’t start until Midnight on a Saturday morning? It is not exactly a sea change. I’m not looking to head off to Indonesia and water fast for three months. I am giving up my social lubricant, my wind down, a chance to regain that childish innocence of running around in the sprinklers in my briefs. Alright, it might not get to that point of rediscovering the times when I missed the toilet seat and didn’t give a fuck about a message I sent the night before that got me into a bit of strife but it will be a change. A chance to experience things from a different perspective. Rejection from the opposite sex might not be shrugged off quite so easily, the pain of a lack of direction may pang harder in my gut but at least the Sunday mornings will be far more productive.
But while I’m at I will be exploring the worlds of others who drink hard, others who are reformed alcoholics, those who just drink for a bit of a laugh and those who have never touched a drink. People whose lives have been enriched by the presence of alcohol, those whose lives have been destroyed and those who just simply don’t require its presence at all. Adventures within an adventure. So welcome to my story. Welcome to a story that may involve you too. A story that doesn’t involve a grand context or heartbreak. But a story that will hopefully be as interesting for you to follow as it will be for me to experience.