Why I quit the booze
Hangovers mainly, but the new cancer study is enough for me.
Just warning you now, this is a grim, cancer-related post. Take care reading this.
Back on 1 February 2023 I decided to quit alcohol. And aside from a weird AirNZ flight where I was semi forced to drink a glass of wine I did not ask for, I haven’t had any since.
Like many others my age, I started drinking alcohol at 16.
Cheap bottles of wine and vodka were bought from a store in Mt Eden, Auckland. It was easy to get, no ID needed. Metabolising alcohol was easy, too. Drink, get drunk, sober up, go home. No hangover, or if there was, nothing a coffee and a pie couldn’t fix.
Getting older and being legally allowed in bars was awesome. I can chalk up some of my best times drinking pinot in neighbourhood bars with fun friends. Cheeky afternoon beers with clients. Liquid lunches on Ponsonby Road. Those were the days.
But over the last 10 years, drinking alcohol has become less fun.
I found myself drinking alcohol, skipping the fun tipsy part, and running straight to a hangover that then lasted three days. If I did manage to drink enough to get boozed, I’d usually make an enormous fool of myself that some people in my life enjoy reminding me of. “Remember that time, Lou. You were so wasted.”
But the hangovers, while a reason to quit, aren’t the main reason I quit.
I quit booze because too many of my mates have cancer. And while none of those friends were big drinkers before their diagnosis, if they say to stop drinking alcohol, that’s enough for me.
Not having hangovers for the rest of my life is a happy bonus.
Reducing my risk of getting cancer by 4% as stated by new studies, is enough for me.
It goes without saying that cancer comes from myriad places. Genetics. Environment. Alcohol. A shit diet. Mostly being bloody unlucky.
Not drinking alcohol does not absolve me of cancer.
And I know pretty much everything is carcinogenic. For me, it’s baby steps. I am quitting booze to show solidarity towards my friends currently fighting, and hopefully reducing my risk of being in their position later on.
Study Probes Awareness of Alcohol’s Link to Cancer