Thought Leadership

Off the waggon – the verdict

By Colin Walls

Recently, I decided to take a break from alcohol consumption. I wrote about my plan and motivations here. I chose an arbitrary 4-week period, which was partly selected so that it would not be punctuated by too many social engagements at which I might be “tempted”. I thought that it might be interesting to report back about how I got on and what lessons I learned …

First off, I was successful. In that 4-week period, I consumed alcohol just once and that was at an event that I had declared at the outset as an “exception”. As that event was in the middle of the day, needless to say, I did not drink much and I was not even tempted to give myself free reign in the evening.

During the dry time, we had visitors from time to time and, when appropriate, glasses of wine were poured. This was easier than I expected – I really did not feel tempted. I keep a reasonable stock of wine and, normally, it is all too easy to grab a bottle, whenever I fancy a glass. I do not think that I was seriously tempted once, which was [pleasantly] surprising, as anyone who knows me would attest, I am normally an enthusiastic imbiber.

To be honest, I think the key to my success was distraction. I spent some time researching non-alcoholic beers and wines. There are lots of beers available and most of them are OK. A few are particularly enjoyable and I think I am likely to keep a supply of these on hand in future. Wine was another matter. Neither the white or the red de-alcoholized product were nice at all. I will not be revisiting those! I read some glowing reviews of a very good zero-alcohol fizzy wine, which I may try at some point.

My first day after abstinence was a Monday. That evening I was scheduled to go to a committee meeting, which takes place in a pub. Normally, I attend this meeting each month and I find a pint of beer makes it a more enjoyable experience. This time, I arrived and was surprised to find that I was not drawn to the bar, so I did not have a drink at all. Even when I was surrounded by other guys supping their pints, I was not bothered. Later, when I got home, it being a warm evening, I was thirsty. A beer seemed logical, but I found myself grabbing a zero-alcohol one and that touched the spot.

The following day I had a couple of glasses of wine with my dinner. I was almost crossed-eyed! I am sure that I will get used to it again. ?

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at