Can I have a drink yet?
Okay, this Febfast thing is getting ridiculous. Two nights ago I performed in a brewery. Where all performers got unlimited free drinks.
I was told, ‘Here is liquid gold. Drink your fill, and be engulfed by its wonder here and now, for you cannot consume any outside of this magical place.’
Or that’s what I heard. My need for alcohol is actually starting to affect my powers of perception, and I now seem to be existing in a reality that is part medieval England, part Narnia. Alternatively, I might be seeing things as they are, and Perth is a few years behind the rest of Australia. It wasn’t just any brewery, either. It was the Little Creatures in Fremantle.
On the very premises they make beer from hops grown in fields of clouds, yeast cultivated in the very bosom of Mother Nature, with special ingredients including angel’s wings and unicorn tears. All cooked in a fire started before time by the last dragon.
Which might not be true, but is exactly how it felt because I couldn’t have any.
Instead I had a four shot coffee. Four shots, that’s what I need now just to get a buzz. Whoever says that I’ve just replaced one addiction with another is spot on correct, but all the coffee is also helping with the weight loss.
Fat people might be funny, but it’s much harder getting a female audience member interested in you after the show if you’re the size of a house, and sweat like an elephant-sized stick of butter in a sauna.
So I made it through the gig, and it went fairly well. Better than the other night, but still not amazing. The cravings for booze were still rampant, as my hands were shaking and the nerves were overpowering whenever I wasn’t onstage. Maybe also something to do with all that coffee.
Or maybe we need a reason to stay off coffee? ‘Ban the bean for March’? It’s my idea, but feel free to steal it because I think it’s rubbish.
A quick thanks to the lovely couple who came up to me after the show and said, ‘Great work tonight. We’ve been reading your blogs. We’re struggling too but we’ll get through, and reckon you will as well.’
Which reminded me exactly why big gestures like Febfast are important.
I don’t have a problem exercising, or eating well most of the time. So when friends go on about diet clubs, and Zumba and that morning commando one where you pay some ex-army guy to scream at you until you spew, I don’t need any of that.
I’d never tell this to my friend’s faces, but I see it as a weakness. If you’re not mentally strong enough to do it on your own, how is wasting money to be part of a group going to help? What happens when the group winds up, and you go back to your life and bad habits?
You want to lose weight? Eat less, exercise more. Done. However, the same could be said to me. ‘You want to stop drinking? So just stop drinking.’
Which is why I finally get it. Alcohol isn’t something I could give up on my own. It’s just so much easier to drink. Especially when it’s free, when it’s part of your payment for a night’s work, when everyone else is doing it, when it makes you feel good and when you depend on it.
For me, FebFast is the big reason to not drink that rules out all those smaller reasons. And you, the people reading this, you’re my support group. Which is why it meant an incredible amount when that lovely couple came up to me.
I know my problems are pretty pedestrian, but I’m struggling and even just a few words really helped.
Okay, so enough of that emo shit. Point is, I hope FebFast is the big first step I take along with the group. To get over that first hump and then hopefully, I’ll have the strength to get on with it myself. Or not, and I get into much harder drugs and realise what a small problem alcohol really was.
On a side note, last night I had my second full-length one-hour show without alcohol. Seven tickets away from a sell-out and it was very nearly the best show I’ve ever done. That’s not just my opinion either, the audience agreed as ticket sales for the rest of my Perth Fringe World and Adelaide Fringe runs are looking good.
So will I make it through February without drinking? Today I feel pretty confident, but that changes on a daily basis. Also, the fact that I’m already talking like I’ve achieved something makes me believe I deserve a drink to celebrate, and we’re not even two weeks into February.
Always looking for an excuse to drink, and I find them everywhere…
Try the half-arsed FebFast if you want. Sponsor me here. If I don’t make it, you get your money back.
More articles and gig details here: www.xaviertoby.com
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