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.