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!