I've got a bit of an embarrassing situation. Three weeks ago I woke up at 3am with yet another hangover, and the oh-too-familiar worry that I might have been noticeably drunk the night before. I lay awake promising myself I wouldn't drink again until Christmas. But I promise something along those lines a couple of times a week, and have done for years. So in an effort to make it stick, I opened Facebook and posted:
'It was fun while it lasted, but no more booze for me until Christmas.'
Friends made the usual jokes, my dad bet me a tenner I wouldn't make it. Then a girl I work with instant messaged me to say that she was impressed with my resolve and asking if we could do it together. 'Hell yeh,' I texted back, 'let's do this'. And I really meant it. Or at least, I did until my hangover passed. And then I drank again, because I always do.
The embarrassing bit is the girl who was impressed with me. She meant it - like literally. She is actually doing it. She texts me what she weighs, how much exercise she's done and how great she's feeling every day. She says she finds the fact that we are doing this together so motivating, and that she would never have got this far without me. She says she wants to keep this up after Christmas too. And I say 'me too'. Because I am a big fat liar.
The first time I didn't tell I'd had a drink is because it was a one off. I forget the occasion, but it was obviously very special and terribly important that I drink at it. Rather than waffle on about all that to her, I thought, I just won't tell her, it's only one night.
The next time I didn't tell her was because I didn't want to let her down. She was doing so well, and I though I might de-rail her efforts if I told her I was drinking.
By the third time, lying to her by text most days had just become this thing I do. And am still doing. But it's okay, because I have a plan. Or at least I'm beginning to have a plan. I'm going to quit drinking. Completely.
For a number of reasons, I need to call time on it. So for the next three or four weeks I am going to use this blog to think about why and how. And come 1 January 2016 I am going to stop, completely. And it's going to be great.