My Name Is Andy, And I’m An Addict

addictionFebruary is finally over. While for most of you it may have breezed by and you’re left in a bit of a whirl as the shortest month of the year popped its rather damp and windy head up and then disappeared, I  had my gaze firmly fixed on March 1st and it was a long time in coming. Who knew 28 days could be so tedious?

At the beginning of the month, I outlined my plan to detox for four weeks. No alcohol, no cigarettes, no red meat, remain hydrated, drink more tea, abstain from junk food, and exercise. I am now here, as a mere husk of a human being to warn you: do not, under any circumstances, do this for yourselves. It is shit.

It all starts off pretty easy. Don’t drink? Ah, I’ll save myself tons of money. Oh look! A wild salad appears! My lungs are singing with joy at the lack of tar, my GI tract is bubbling with health and yakult, and I feel like I’m somehow making a grand moral gesture to the world when while somehow still remaining a moral relativist. Then after a while, I realised just how much bacon featured in my diet. I can’t help myself to a handy BLT for lunch, and most of Subway’s better options are now verboten to me. I began to feel stressed and agitated from nicotine withdrawal. This was something I expected and actually only lasted a few days, but then the rest of the month just got stressy too. When I feel tightly wound on a normal day, I’ll pick up a bottle of wine on my way home and order in a pizza. I feel better in no time at all. These two options being barred to me, I was left twiddling my thumbs and wishing for March.

A work colleague heard about my puritanical fast and promptly plonked an entire bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label whisky on my desk. The tit. It sat there on my kitchen shelf, staring at me all month. Sheer torture I tell you. Yet the second midight struck, I poured myself a finger or four and had a mouthgasm of alcoholic paradise.

Did I feel any better for my lack of toxin imbibing? Nope. I felt that I was eternally missing out on life’s little joys. I just wanted to drink and smoke. And I didn’t even smoke that much in the first place! Sure, from a medical perspective I’m probably a touch fitter, my liver has regrown a bit, and my general inside health is definitely a little better. But I don’t feel any great effects from that.

Detoxing is awful. 0/10 would not recommend. This is mainly because it’s a scam. You know how you can detox normally? Just live like a normal person. Your body is hardwired to detoxify your system – that’s what liver and kidneys are for. Now perhaps you don’t want to smoke and that’s your choice – it will almost certainly mess me up later in life but hey, I’ve got to die of something and I choose alcohol poisoning and/or lung cancer.

Hello, my name is Andy and I’m addicted to eating, drinking, and smoking things that make me feel good. And let’s face it, we’re all hooked on the little joys of life. Yours may differ from mine but you love them just as much. The real problem came when I realised (about half an hour in) that this was entirely arbitrary and a mere fabrication of my brain. That’s the problem with rules – one day you realise that they’re made up and so you then know that you can just un-make them up. Haunting parallels to my previous religious journeys aside, it’s just not worth it. I was doing this “for science” and this experiment has shown me (negating the essentially negligible sample size and lack of control) that if I don’t drink then I get angsty and stressed.

Perhaps I’ll cut down later in life. Perhaps my doctor will order me to. Perhaps you’re Judgy McJudgerson the diet judge but you can just go sit in a corner and enjoy your lettuce. I’ll be having fun.

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