No Alcohol – Day 24

« Heureux qui comme Ulysse a fait un long voyage… »

This is the first verse of a poem by Joachim du Bellay and it roughly translates by : « Happy is the one who, like Odysseus, has travelled for a long time … »

Granted, I’m only coming back from a 2-day trip. But still ! I have one specific image in mind: the episode where Odysseus’ boat passes by the sirens, and he decides to listen to them, but ties himself to his mast in order to avoid falling into their trap. For the past two days, I navigated with the presence of the sirens of Amsterdam. The tie to the mast was the symbolic representation of my willpower to succeed this trial.

While Odysseus screamed as he wanted to jump in the water to meet the sirens, I have got to say that my old sirens looked quite boring, and run-down.


One of the key factors to succeeding this trial has been the ability to repel the social encouragement to drink. I have been lucky because I am surrounded by open-minded and intelligent people (“qui se ressemble, s’assemble”) and therefore they have been open to see drunk-me become sober-me. Still, social adaptation has remained an issue during this whole experiment.

At first, some people are scared that I may spoil the fun by remaining sober. They think that because I don’t have a pint of beer, I will bring the mood down, by being miserable and killing the party. I have found it’s been quite the opposite. Only one evening in the past 24 days, have I felt in a miserable state, and I was clear-headed enough to decide to head home so that I wouldn’t ruin people’s enjoyment. Other than that, sobriety has given me the energy to party the night away, usually more intensely and later than drunk people. This has actually become a joke and I tell people that I’m high on the sodium contained in sparkling water.

There are some people who’ve known me to be a heavy-drinking partier and who just don’t believe I’m off the booze. Last night at dinner the guy sitting next to me made jokes like: “ok, you’ve stopped drinking no more than- how many drinks per day?” “No, no, I’ve stopped drinking completely.” “I see, you’ve stopped drinking completely before 7 pm?” “Nope… It’s a 24/7 business”. I try to reassure these people by saying: “but don’t worry, it’s only for 30 days.” This seems to make them more relaxed. I don’t tell them I am secretly thinking of carrying it through for a longer time. I don’t want to shock them too much 🙂

And then some people think it’s outright stupid, that there is no need to go off the alcohol completely, only because I got too drunk a few times. What can I say? Maybe. I just wanted to experiment, see if it would bring some changes in my life. These people don’t even try it, so how can they possibly know?

Are the changes that I am witnessing temporary? Or are they for good? Here is what I’ve noticed :

  • More physical energy. Drying up has made me lose a bit of weight. Shedding off some extra pounds is always an energy booster. Beyond the weight thing, I feel generally healthier, which gives me more stamina.
  • More mental strength. This is probably a consequence of the previous point. My wits are very active. I am more focused and more efficient at work. My mood also is noticeably better; which I find ironic, because in the initial stages, I felt miserable and depressed. I was able to chase this state of mind in only 10 days and I honestly think I found the resources to do this because I’m dry.
  • More sensual awareness. I feel that the booze was acting as a sensorial filter, as if it was preventing me from sensing things fully. And Lately, I have been experiencing more accurate and powerful sensual feelings. The risk is to feel more strongly the negative stuff. It’s true, but I have in counterpart experienced so many more pleasures, being able to distinguish and appreciate all shades and intensities of sensorial experiences. And let me tell you: this is totally worth it 😉

One Response to “No Alcohol – Day 24”

  1. doublemeep Says:

    Great stuff. You’d be amazed at how quickly your body can revert back to its pre-alcohol state. I felt like I was experiencing things as I did when I was little. Go hit an ice cream shop. I’m going to add you to my blogroll if that’s alright.

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