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Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Drink...

a quick, unedited post...

Way back when - I used to smoke. Well, I took notions of it. I went through periods of not smoking and periods of heavy smoking. And then I quit. After a few months, smoking began to repulse me - the smell and actually watching people partake in this habit, knowing how they feel doing it makes me angry at the marketing behind the product and the dreadful damage it does. The smell now gives me the boak.
Two years ago next week I gave up drink. I just stopped. When I started to drink, i took to it like a fish to water. For some people, drink defined Neil Scott. I liked a laugh and a wild night... and manys a wild night i had. Latterly, although still enjoying the feeling alcohol gave me, I hated the next day. And the thought of the next day, either a dreadful hangover or just feeling delicate filled me with dread. It interfered with my enjoyment! And also, seeing what drink did health wise to older people made me decide just to stop. It actually hasn't been difficult - the most difficult thing was what people thought of me. As I said, for lots of people, for 30 years, drink defined Neil Scott.

Me drinking beer back in 2006...

Being in crowds of partyers is now easy - I don't mind being sober. I now realise the laughs I had were not all drink induced. I can have a laugh without it. And if I don't feel like a laugh - well, at least I am in control etc.
I used to have a mistrust of people who didn't drink - where they judging me? Why don't they drink? don't mistrust me - i am not judging you if you drink - I don't mind, though sometimes I do think "you don't really need to harm yourself with that." But hey, like smokers, it is up to you.
Drink is really difficult to escape - more-so than smoking - the marketing of alcohol is massively insidious and it is almost spoken as an essential part of our culture/ celebrations/ civic ceremony. Try counting the amount of times alcohol is celebrated as you listen to the radio, read a book, read a newspaper or watch the telly. Billboards are filled with it. Supermarkets advertise it inside and out. But like meat, I ignore it (though unlike meat, there are tastey non-alcoholic alternatives in restaurants and cafes! Good vegetarian meals are really difficult to find in most restaurants, whether they are good or bad!)
Now, the smell of alcohol brings back powerful memories of hangovers, and now and again, good times. I don't really like the smell of a pub anymore - I used to like it - it made me think of good times. Now it makes me think of the times I felt dreadful the next day.
Having said all that, I may in the future have a champagne or a beer or two. But not really in the foreseeable future. I'm happy without it!


  1. Your days of smoking reflect my own to an extent. I'd go through periods where I'd go weeks or months without smoking (in 2008 I pretty much didn't touch the stuff for a year), whereas during other periods I'll puff away on the ol' death sticks continuously. I'm now going through that stage where I'm seriously starting to find the habit utterly revolting. I guess due to recent personal problems, I decided to keep myself preoccupied by lighting up every few minutes. But wow, what a vile little past time it has turned out to be. I hate the smell, the taste makes me want to vomit upon every inhale and the headrushes (which was the only thing I ever really liked about smoking) have no longer have an effect on me. As a result, the other day I just said 'f**k this' and stopped on the spot. I was going to quite next week, but I realised it was the first week of January, meaning my brain would register it as a new years resolution; which would have been a bad idea, as my mind seems to have a habit of failing every new years resolution by default. Plus. I find just saying 'f**k this' is a far more effective quitting strategy than simply going 'right, I'll be unhealthy for a few more days, but as soon as Monday comes, I'll start being more cautious'.

    Likewise, I'm the same with you on booze. It was the centre of my life for some time. At uni, I was drunk on an average of three days a week and I was known for getting outlandishly hammered. The feeling of being drunk is wonderful (well, up until a point. It ain't so fun when it comes to all that vomiting hullabaloo), but my gosh, the next days really is the worst. That thudding beat of agony beating within the skull, the body's overwhelming urge to either throw up or consume as much fatty food as possible (or both) and that vacuum of dreaded emptiness which tears a whole your heart makes the fun of intoxication not worth the hassle. Well done for stopping though. I don't drink properly anymore either. From time to time I will indulge in the ol' jolly-juice when friends are begging me to get drunk with them during their birthday/Christmas period, but the pains of the next day usually remind me of why I stopped in the first place. Furthermore, I'm one of those people who can't have a drink to enjoy it, if I drink, I'm doing it to get hammered, which is never a good way of consuming booze.

    The marketing of alcohol is indeed truly awful. Every form of media seems to force the idea of drinking being a good thing to force down your throat. It's glamorised and presented as something people should do in order to be a part of a conforming community. It's amazing, seeing how far less dangerous drugs can get you locked up in jail for using them, yet a mass killer like alcohol is seen as an acceptable aspect to our culture.

    It's also interesting how people just assume everyone past a certain age drinks by default. The amount of times I've been to Christmas parties/social events, only to have people encouraging me to drink despite telling them I don't consume booze is quite frustrating. “Would you like a beer?” they may ask. “No thank you, I don't drink” comes my respond. Then they'll continue to try pursuade me to consider otherwise; despite telling them I don't consume the stuff. Then I have colleagues who – despite knowing I don't drink – tell me that I just need to go out on the town with them so they can put me right. Can be a real pain in the ass; having to try and explain to people that not everyone drinks. Oh the joys of our culture ey? =p

  2. Thanks for the comments, Amber! I just found them. I haven't been paying attention to my blog, or the net much for the past few days - new years was very busy. I will be paying more attention over the next wee while as I am off work ill.

    Anyone reading this should read Amber's blog. It is really well written and very interesting.

  3. By the way, your quitting strategy is like mine. I just stop. It is hard to begin with - but I put my head down and press on doggedly. I plan to do the same with Sugar for the next few weeks. I quit sugar for a year - it was probably the hardest thing I quit. Everything has sugar! As a veggie, and someone off sugar, when every shelf in the supermarket has products packed with both dead animal and sugar cane cut by exploited children, you really begin to realise who controls this society as you drive off from ASDA in your petrol fueled car...


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