I thought that my buddy’s 40th would be the hardest day of the 30 day alcohol fast. I was wrong.
Today is day 29 and has proved to be pretty difficult. I had a few meetings scheduled in Hampton and Norfolk, VA. The first meeting was relatively easy, but the second meeting was with a customer who quite frankly is challenging. I’ll leave the details out, but after two hours of circular discussion, we left having accomplished nothing more than showing our faces. I was pretty frustrated and knew that I’d be going out to dinner with my account manager. He was ready for a drink, and so was I.
Before heading out, we checked into the hotel. I told him I’d meet him in an hour. I had a few things to do and needed some time to decompress. I spoke with my wife and told her that I was really thinking that I’d gone far enough with this 30 day thing. Technically speaking, the last drink I’d had was the evening of the 24th of June. I could rationalize that I’d made it to my goal if I wanted to. Then I got a text from my buddy, Matt.
The text turned into a phone call and I told him that I was feeling a lot like I wanted to just go out and have a drink with dinner. Matt said to me, “I’m going to give you unsolicited advice. I don’t think that’s a good idea.” He reminded me that I’d made a commitment to myself to go 30 days. I realized that even if I could rationalize it, I wasn’t being true to myself and that I could really find another way to let the stress out.
When the waiter asked if I wanted anything from the bar, I asked for ginger ale with some bitters. ( Yes, technically bitters contains alcohol, but technically non-alcoholic beer also contains alcohol. The amount of alcohol in a few drops of bitters diluted with 10 oz of ginger ale is negligible so I’m not counting it just as I didn’t count the .05% ABV of the NA beer’s I had last weekend.) I enjoyed my dinner – She Crab Soup, Steak, Fries, & Spinach with the pecan pie at the end, and had a good conversation with Bob. I didn’t need the drink. While I might have liked to have one, I really didn’t miss it.
Some might call it providence. Some might call it chance. Some might call it bad timing. But Matt’s check-in came at exactly the right time for me.
Tomorrow will officially be 30 days without drinking. I don’t know if I’ll have a drink tomorrow, the day after, this weekend, next week or in a year a this point. I do know that I’ve made some very positive changes in the past
30 29 days and I’m happy that I made the decision to cut out booze for a while.
I’m also grateful to have good friends who have supported me on this journey. You all know who you are and you’re the best.