• Michael Noctor

100 Days No Beer. Day 4.

“Oh no! What have I done? I smashed open my little boy’s piggy bank, and for what? A few measly cents, not even enough to buy one beer. Wait a minute, lemme count and make sure…not even close.”

- Homer J.

“Only four days … feels like four months.”

- Michael J.

One of the things that happens during a spell of continuous sobriety, I have found, is a clarity of mind. It’s my fourth day of the one-hundred-day-journey, and it’s as if my mind is going a bit crazy coz it knows there’s a period of clarity up ahead. I’m having bizarre dreams – nothing I can do about that – and weird random thoughts during the day that I mostly observe but don’t dwell on in the way a hungry dog might follow the scent of a rasher. None of us can control the random thoughts that enter our mind, and mine can be very, very off the wall, but reading Eckhart Tolle (and watching some of his YouTube clips) is a great way to discover great ways to understand the nature of the mind. I am not my mind. You are not yours. His book The Power of Now is a great place to start.

One thought that pops into my head occasionally is how close I came to being found dead in my car last October, but that didn’t happen and it’s not a thought I’d want to dwell on, but, being a man who was already obsessed with the temporary nature of life it is a thought that sends my level of appreciation for simply being alive through the roof.

Lockdown, for me, has been a delight. The first two months I dowsed myself with alcohol on a daily/nightly basis. I don’t remember having a single glass of red wine, and that pisses me off coz every time I do a run of sobriety I start it with this thought – Ah, bollox, I should have had some red before this! Too late now.

Here’s the thing, no matter how delightful the lockdown has been, it has seemed there’s an element of captivity to it. It’s as if June 29th is a release date and I will be free to drive over the Galway border and make my way back to Dublin. My friend will wave me off with tears streaming down her face thinking, Ah, there’s nothing quite like a good laugh.

She can laugh all she likes.

I’m off for my second walk of the day in Corry’s Field where I’ll once more enjoy the beautiful peaceful feel of the lake and the equally calming view of countryside beyond and while the mad thoughts vie for a position at the forefront of my mind I will observe in a non-judgemental fashion (uttering the odd “Fuck sake,” perhaps, before returning to my Zen-like state of mind).

Day 4. Only 96 days to go.