Time, Gentleman, Please

Drinking too much? Public humiliation an oh-so familiar friend? If you, like me need to knock boozing on the head, here's a few unconventional tips to staying on the wagon.
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Drinking too much? Public humiliation an oh-so familiar friend? If you, like me need to knock boozing on the head, here's a few unconventional tips to staying on the wagon.

You know when you’re trying to be well behaved, but you make the person having the party sweep up that bottle you smashed?

You know when you walk to work on the verge of tears because you’ve got The Fear?

You know when you can’t go to sleep without a fan on because the breeze stops you having a panic attack?

If you do, congratulations, you’re a fellow boozer. These are the minor inconveniences you’ll have to put up with, along with occasional unexplained concussion.

Depressingly though, I’ve realised I can no longer hack the hooch. The shots of Dignity Attacker are doing worse things to me than a simple hangover. I’m sabotaging myself more than I do than when I’m my usual sober, antisocial self. So I’ve given it up. It’s not necessarily the most fun I’ve had in a week, but I’ve got relatively few guilt stains hanging round. I might even come back to getting wrecked if this is really the best life has to offer. But for the meantime, I’ve discovered a few reliable measures to make getting serenely disconnected seem a bit less tempting.

Have the good grace to realise you are going to have to work with cunts

There is nothing you can do about this. Where there is work, there is an office. Where there is an office, there are people. Where there are people, there are organisms who genuinely deserve to die, who make you want to cordially introduce a clawhammer to the back of their heads. Realistically, this isn’t an option. But remember this: Your life is not these hours. Work is the sleep you don’t get to enjoy. Leave it all behind, float out of your head, and then get out as soon as it hits three thirty. I mean five. Five.

Don’t socialise in a crowd

It’s the same as the above, with some crucial differences. The first is that at work at least you’re prepared for the same needling incompetence and inwardly directed rage. You go out, and you’re going to get your hate receptors wildly stimulated by all kinds of scum you’re not partially innoculated against. Anything could come along and try to talk to you - a Liverpool fan, someone in shorts, maybe even someone who is smiling and is having a good time. Can you deal with that sober? No. It’s counter intuitive, but the best place for the struggling sober is a quiet pub. There are ABV bullets but no trigger. The worst you’ll find is a miserable bastard nursing a pint. In other words, someone who gets it. Your people.

Reduce your human footprint

Do you get the bus or any kind of public transport? I did. Luckily though I can walk to work without getting Jazz Lung and still get up later than when an insomniac finally drifts off. When I used to get public transport, everything would make a quiet cool pint of Liquid Joy seem entirely necessary. First of all, a hangover doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with a brisk walk, forcing you into a carriage of London’s finest soylent green. You’re already a prisoner. Secondly, whatever the weather outside, a bus or tube is always the right kind of hot to have a spectral hand constantly rattling the gag reflex, inviting puke from the moment you’re on until the moment you get off. Thirdly, while I might not think it’s reasonable, people talk. I might be being misanthropic, but I don’t like the sound of speech. It puts me on edge as I realise that these people, despite what is falling out of their face, have a vote that is worth the same as mine.

Find something to do with those five extra hours a day

Something has to replace the self-hate and apologies. This isn’t the one I’ve cracked yet. After all, why did I drink? Yes, in part, because I’ve made a thorough inventory of my faults and my doubts and drink is an excellent way to deal with that. What you don’t realise is that when you’re sober, you remember why you started to drink originally. Just consider the top five - relationships, money problems, Liverpool, Vernon Kay and small talk are right back in your lap, and you’re going to have to deal with it rationally and fairly.

Fuck this. Whiskey!

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