So it was the week between Christmas and New Year. Everything was going swimmingly: I’d spent a quiet festive period with my parents, chatting with Ceri as often as possible on Skype, and … well, my guard was down! Alcohol had been consumed, I was happy and feeling pretty bloody invincible. Underpants outside my trousers, that kind of feeling, you know (don’t, Ceri—just don’t!)
It was around this time that Ceri reminded me that she was planning on doing the Dryathlon again this year, in aid of Cancer Research UK. I, naturally, being the all round good chap that I am, promised to give her all my support and not flaunt my drinking in front of her. I would be the best cheerleader and counsellor in the world, sipping behind a cushion as I did so.
And then it occurred to me that this just wouldn’t do! (I’d been drinking, of course.) How could I even contemplate letting Ceri do such a thing by herself?! What was I thinking? The only truly honourable and chivalrous thing to do, I thought, chugging my Laphroaig, was to join her in her charitable and health-improving efforts!
And, so, I did what had to be done and fired off a message on Skype: “Fear not, fair lady, your champion has arrived and he will face these trials with you undaunted!” Okay, I didn’t really say that, but that was what it sounded like in my head.
Did I immediately regret this? No. Not even when I’d sobered up? … Actually, no. I’ve never really had a drink problem (I drink, I fall down … no problem!), and up until a little over a year ago hadn’t touched a drop for three years—so I knew I could manage a month. Would I miss it? I expected I would. I enjoy a few drinks, especially after working, so I expected to … well, notice its absence.
Ten days in, however, Ceri and I are both finding that absence remarkably easy to cope with. When the clock comes round to Laphroaig time (beer or vodka time, for Ceri), we find ourselves “noticing the absence” less and less. It definitely helps that we are doing this together—and as well as doing this for our individual health and Cancer Research UK, that we are arguably doing it for each other. A third of the way through, £258 raised between us so far thanks to generous donations, I think we are both extremely confident that the remaining twenty-one days won’t be a problem … and, beyond that, that we’ll probably be drinking less than we perhaps have in the past.
If you would like to support Ceri and me, please pop along to our JustGiving team page. Thank you!