Two weeks ago I decided to quit alcohol. But I never took Stephen King’s words seriously—you do not have to drink to write. The curiosity within, however, led me to the first glass of red wine. It tasted bitter but I felt good. The sensation, the dizziness, the drunkenness—almost, calmed me. But I didn’t realize until now that alcohol was affecting my health, for real.
Unlike my friends and cousins, I stayed away from alcohol till I was twenty-seven. The scent of liquor pushed me away. Even when my friends offered me a glass of beer at university, I simply refused. I had the maximum resistance and was proud to be a non-drinker. But that changed once I crossed the Atlantic and started to live in North America. Was it the cold that compelled me to drink? Or was it the loneliness that triggered the passive emotions to rise from the ashes.
Sylvia Plath always echoed in my mind: I rise out of the ashes. Years later I would manage to find the forgotten traces. I feel memories are such—they become victims to our present and the future. Three years was enough for me—I had started my drinking journey with a Canadian beer and ended my trip by getting wasted to Ruslan Vodka. I had acted savage, treating everyone like beings of this filthy earth, and presented myself as something grander.
The last time I felt so grand was when I wrote something in French. It was a poem made up of basic French phrases and it really touched me. I know it didn’t make anyone feel anything. One of the saddest songs I have ever heard in my life—Ne me quette pas—is stronger than the finest whiskey. Its stench drowns me without my consent. What can I do but wave the white flag? While seagulls fly away like they have been longing to leave me for a long time.
I guess alcohol allowed me to forget two things: past and future. It let me enjoy the present because that’s what I was struggling with. The consciousness that one almost wrecked me and perhaps it was the reflection of who I was: part saint, part demon. The strong drink let out everything, kind of purging, and next morning I was a new. Have you ever seen a newly born adult? If not, you should have seen me. I was new. I was fresh—from vomiting and hangover.
Lights out. Mind out. Memories out. That’s how I felt every time I drank. It was an inconsistent affair—either I drank in a limit, or chugged excessively. At first, the love was sweet. The second year it was love and hate relationship. And in the third year, I realized I had no control over myself and my words and my body. I simply had to quit. And I did, few times. I failed, though.
Hangovers and drinking were like Stromae’s Formidable song. I adored liquor and felt inadequate of anything. I had forgotten to enjoy life sans smelling that strong water. What started from wine, led me to numerous drinks and I longed for stronger drinks, till I collapsed and felt numb. Was that my purpose? To feel nothing and get lost in that unknown state where others would mock you, laugh at you, and the very next day memories wouldn’t even remember you? This is a possibility but I no longer care. I finally decided to quit alcohol for good. Many of my friends and loved ones were startled to know my decision. They are right in doing so but I have to disappoint ‘em because I have deserted liquor for good.
Three years ago, I looked different—I can show you my photos if you want to. And now I look different, not because I’ve aged, but due to excessive liquor consumption. This too inspired me to take the decision. I cannot allow alcohol to affect my health anymore. And that’s why I decided to quit it. Have I taken the right decision?
Some of you strongly believe that drinking in limit is fine. I agree with that and there’s nothing wrong with it. But I must disagree with the fact that I am not you. And since my childhood, if I loved something I’d do it with passion and vigor. I guess I had started to love alcohol without many realizations. And that love had taken me to places that I never dreamt of. It had made me do laughable things and I was never ashamed of it.
But like everything that comes to an end, this too will pass. I have declared my divorce for alcohol and I hope it won’t miss me that much. For, I shan’t.