Every winter, I like to abstain from alcohol for a brief period, 10 days or so. It’s a way to break the momentum of consumption that begins over the holidays, gathers momentum over my tropical vacation (have I mentioned lately how fortunate I am?), and turns into a runaway train as my favorite professional football team marches towards the championship game. A bit of sobriety around this time helps keep me from going off the rails.
In an instance of literary karma, in my second day back on the wagon I stumbled across an intriguing personal essay on sobriety. Thomas Cochran writes with integrity about himself and his year-long break from alcohol. His self-deprecating wit prevents him from either pitying or congratulating himself, and he relates the discoveries he’s made without being preachy. His voice is of a man you can’t help but root for.
I can’t see myself riding this wagon for a whole year, but having my head clear for a couple of weeks lets me reassess why I choose to use. And that type of self-assessment is never a bad thing.