Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

I'm A Recovering Alcoholic!

February 24, 2008 15:31 by Andrew Westgarth

THINK! Drink Driving - Drinking buddyThere, that got your attention now didn't it?  Then the advice I was given a few weeks ago worked!  I am a virtual tee totaller and have always been amazed at how many people respond with complete shock and amazement when I tell them that I don't DRINK!!  I mentioned this to someone in conversation a couple of weeks ago and they said I should respond by saying I'm a recovering alcoholic!  This seems to be quite an extreme measure to take in order to explain why I have made a personal choice.  For the record I am not, nor have I ever been an alcoholic!  I have made a decision not to drink.  I am not a complete tee-totaller as I very, very occasionally will have an alcoholic drink.  My reasons for not drinking are that I usual drive a lot of places, plus I am in the position where I can take it, I am able to have a good time without it.  Plus a lot more of my friends like to have a drink when we're out so I'd rather be the driver in the group.

I don't often write about topics such as this on my blog, as I try an keep it technically based, until I can set up an additional personal blog for my personal thoughts - although should I add my thoughts to this blog - what do you think?  However I was reading a piece in todays Sunday Times by India Knight - Put Shame Back Into Boozing which stirred up a lot of my opinions on the subject.  In todays society it would appear that it is perfectly acceptable, and now considered the norm for a night out on the town to have to result in an individual getting absolutely bladdered, not able to remember what happened during the night, in order to have a good time.  Alarmingly this appears to be the opinion of many age groups, not just those younger than me (I'm 27) but also those older!!  I am not against people having a good time and enjoying a drink.  I am not preaching about the demons of drink all I am saying is that I agree with the article's sentiments and believe that no longer should it be accepted that binge drinking is a norm.  We should look to the examples on the continent, for example Spain, whereby 24 hour drinking is normal but moderated.  I worry that complacency and acceptance of extremes is setting a bad example for our youth, this coupled with the glorification of what I consider to THINK! Drink Driving - Smart substitutionbe bad social examples in the media such as the antics of music stars such as Pete Docherty and more recently Amy Winehouse are having a detrimental affect. 

One other gripe I have is the exhorbitant cost of soft drinks in pubs!  Why does it cost more for a pint of coke etc than for a pint of lager!  Yes this can be the case!  I believe the mark up on soft drinks is massive and that publicans and owners make massive profits on the often vile and incorrectly mixed soft drinks, personally I stick to fruit based drinks.  I can go to a local supermarket and buy a 2 litre bottle of soft drink for anything from 40p to £1.50 yet I can expect to pay £1.50 for half a pint of soft drink in many pubs and clubs!  Some towns and pubs have a scheme for drivers to get their first drink at a bar for free on production of car keys, but not many and even when it is present it's not well publicised.  How about a fair deal for those who chose to drive for their group or who chose not to drink.

My friends accept that I don't drink and I wish I lived in a society whereby others accepted it and didn't react in amazement when I explain my position.  I have very good nights out with friends, I will dance and ride bucking broncos etc and generally have a good time out with friends without a drink and I get to laugh at what they get up to when they're half cut! :-).  Remember myself and other people who choose not to drink can be great to have along in any party as they make sure you get home safe and stop the temptation to potentially drink drive.

Comments (5) -

Ian Smith

There is something VERY wrong with a post titled "I'm a recovering alcoholic" having as "Related posts" blog entries on TechEd 2006, WebDD and DDD6! Wink

I know what you mean. I enjoy a pint of beer occasionally but can take it or leave it. I really dislike the automatic assumption that if you don't want to pour alcohol down your throat in such copious quantities until you get really sick and then suffer the whole of the next day then there's something wrong with you. The whole British cultural thing that non-stop boozing is something to be encouraged and admired, and anyone who doesn't do it is a wuss, a party pooper or possibly gay is really, really juvenile.

Ian Smith | February 24 2008 16:29

Andrew Westgarth

Thanks for your comments Ian, I'll have to take a look at how the engine is creating the links to the related posts as they shouldn't be so linked.  It might be down to the categories I've added this to.  Glad to hear I'm not the only one with similar viewpoints on this issue.

Andrew Westgarth | February 25 2008 01:38

Paul Robinson

Allen Carr (who wrote "the" book on giving up smoking), wrote a book on alcohol where he gives a convincing argument that all people who drink alcohol are by definition alcoholics - why else would we drink a noxious poison that doesn't taste as nice as say fruit juice unless we were addicted to it, albeit "socially". He also makes a good argument that the way AA and others treat it is completely wrong: I agree with him.

I have been a very, very heavy drinker in the past. Right now I am not drinking because it's Lent (I always give up booze for Lent) and I'm trying not to drink as much in future. That said, I don't think it's a secret amongst the Geek community in Manchester that I have an "interesting" relationship with alcohol. That will change. It already has quite substantially.

My biggest problem though is that with my friends I could be out for five or six hours, and there is no way I can drink that much J2O or diet coke in an evening. Alcohol being a diuretic means it comes out pretty quickly from the other end. Smile

Paul Robinson | February 25 2008 16:14


Never underestimate the power of a good time - who needs alcohol?  Actually I do drink and I do enjoy a drink, usually two drinks if I'm honest, but its not a requirement.  If its easier for me to drive somewhere, then I'll drive and not drink.

LornaJane | February 26 2008 00:20

Andrew Westgarth

Hi as I have said I am not against drinking alchohol - just hope that we can change the culture to a more social and non binge level.  I appreciate not everyone can stand drinking soft drinks for a full evening and indeed I tend to pace myself, which if I'm honest, I used to do when I drank alcohol too.  I tend to maybes drink one pint of say orange and lemonade or one bottle of J20 (my drink of choice) to on average every two alcoholic drinks which my friends have.  It's also nice to hear that some of my sentiments are echoed by others, so I'm not alone in being able to have a good time without a drink inside me Smile.

Andrew Westgarth | February 26 2008 01:25


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