I scoured the house, looking for tonic water. A few cigarette butts floating in two-thirds empty glasses of golden or dark liquids scattered tables as music buzzed through the air. Empty bottles sat in corners of rooms and dark footprints overlapped throughout the house, tacky with the sugars of the alcoholic drinks that created them.
Half a bottle of gin sat on the kitchen worktop, the last piece of alcohol left in the house. It was 2009, when mother’s ruin was definitely not cool. Gin was my weapon of choice because it was guaranteed to be left untouched when other party-goers ran low on booze and started minesweeping for more.
Sadly, neat gin is not a pleasure. It requires mixing and mixers were nowhere to be found.
Like a shining apparition of a holy deity, she appeared. My friend holding with a bottle of sparkling wine, procured form the local 24 hour shop, even though their license didn’t include alcohol sales at this ungodly hour of the weekend.
Pouring a large glug of gin into a wineglass, I topped it with a new mixer — sparkling wine — to make what might be a cocktail in another world, but in my universe, it was simply a super-charged gin and tonic.
Moderation was never my thing.
Two years later, sitting on a train, a single realisation laid the foundations for quitting alcohol completely.
South West Trains service from London Waterloo to Twickenham on a sunny Tuesday morning. My very first mindfullness meditation class had been amazing and I was on my way to work.
Train windows make perfect vignettes to stare at the world passing by outside. Today, I wasn’t looking outside, I was looking inside. Deep inside my mind.
Consciousness is a slippery concept, even scientists struggle to define what it actually is. For the sake of this story, it is our experience of the world, the way we see, hear, taste, smell and touch everything around us, along with the thought processes and emotional behaviours that happen inside, the way we connect the dots of reality.