Iain Gray Freelance Writer

Why giving up is hard to do #3

Horribly smug or scarlet with shame, Iain Gray is one of six Telegraph writers who attempted to renounce their favourite pleasures for Lent, reveals whether he managed to resist temptation

I wouldn’t use the word “abject”, but there is no way to view my attempt to give up alcohol as anything other than a failure.

Certainly I drank considerably less than I would have normally, saved money, lost weight and rediscovered the pleasures of lemon barley water on ice.

But I did drink. A friend’s wedding in Copenhagen, my birthday, Liverpool thrashing Arsenal 4-1; all these caused my steely resolve to fizzle and pop like an Alka-Seltzer.

We live in a culture of instant gratification, and, because existence is often bleak, the smallest thing – “I have done a day’s work” – can trigger a need to treat ourselves.

The perplexing thing is that I am not a heavy drinker, so it should have been easy to forgo the pleasures of the bottle and the barrel. But it wasn’t and I didn’t.


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