Why i am not drinking alcohol in 2017

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Why i am not drinking alcohol in 2017

So i’m not drinking in 2017 [just in case the title wasn’t too obvious]. i mean i’m drinking water, and coffee, and chocolate shots if i ever go back to Spice Route cos chocolate shots, Mmm… but not the alcohol.

And it’s not actually the biggest deal. i don’t think i have a drinking problem [ah, but that’s EXACTLY what people with drinking problems say]. i just was thinking about not drinking for a year in the last days of 2016 [a year that truly encouraged drinking if there was one] and didn’t quite get to the point of completely making up my mind when New Year’s hit and so i declined a drink and then carried on…


chocolate and coffee

i can’t even remember what sparked it all to be honest, but coffee and chocolate were two other things i was considering fasting for 2017.

i actually gave up Coke and Chocolate for a year back in my college days – i wasn’t overdoing either of them particularly [okay, maybe chocolate? can one overdo chocolate?] but it was more a case of seeing if i could.

At the time i was maybe drinking a 500ml bottle of coke twice or three times a week so not crazy.

And to be honest, i found it quite easy. When i finished my fast i found that i had completely lost the taste for Coke. Even now i might drink it after a sports game or possibly at a braai, but i tend to go for water as my first choice and then alcohol or fruit juice. i try and avoid fizzy drinks for the most part these days.

Chocolate i remember breaking the fast a week early but, for those who know me, hearing that i gave up chocolate for 358 days or so will no doubt come as a surprise.


For me, it’s the concept of fasting which i see as discipline. If i can’t give up something then perhaps that thing is a problem for me. Which i would only really be able to figure out once i’d tried to give it up.

So for me this year of no alcohol is a quest for self-discipline. Do i need alcohol? no. Do i need to give it up? Not really? Can i? Let’s see.

We were camping over New Years and the wine was flowing like fermented grape juice and so suddenly overnight i went from being a part of the group to being a little bit off to the side.

The Joker and drink

Fortunately, that was not the reaction of the people i was with. And i don’t know that i am good friends with people who would have that kind of reaction. Surprise and interest are the two reactions i expect the most. Which in itself is a good life lesson i think.

Fasting is one way of really getting to know yourself. And explore the hold the thing you are fasting from has on you or not. So i would highly recommend it.

A year of no chocolate seems like a big deal until you’ve done a year of no chocolate [and still have 40 plus years of chocolate ahead of you, seriously, perspective] and then you’ll have that year of no chocolate experience and knowledge forever.

Have you ever given up anything for a year? Is there something in your life that you think you couldn’t? Is that cause for concern?

Anyone want to join me but with your own thing? Can do a 352 day fast of something… and then we can crack open a bottle of Nachtmusiek at New Year’s to celebrate. Seriously, chocolate alcohol – that’s one i will be missing…

[For the next post which invites you to join me in 2018, click here]

By | 2017-10-07T12:08:59+00:00 January 13th, 2017|activities, positive ideas for change|11 Comments

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.


  1. megan January 13, 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I have also given up alcohol. Mine isn’t as formal as a challenge, or as definite as a year, but I had noticed that I didn’t want to drink alcohol anymore, tried once and it was ok but not great, and now I just don’t anymore. I am noticing that I didn’t really enjoy it much; the taste or the feeling, and I really struggled with not feeling physically in control the next day.
    Granted, it is the time of huge change for me, since becoming a vegan in the new year (loving it), and alcohol feels counter-productive.

    • brettfish January 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      i loved reading how good you are feeling as a result of your vegan change and yes your decision here seems like a natural next step thing – great stuff!

  2. Simangele January 13, 2017 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    I think I may join you Brett. I don’t really drink alcohol but often feel the social pressure to ‘socialize’ with a drink in my hand even though I don’t like how I feel even after a little alcohol.

    • brettfish January 13, 2017 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      ah sounds good, let’s do it and you can check in with me every now and then and let me know how it’s going…

  3. kumin kueche January 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Good luck, wish you all the best!

  4. […] In January i shared a piece about my decision to stay away from alcohol in 2017. […]

  5. Michael October 6, 2017 at 7:03 am - Reply

    Hey, this is a great way of getting to know yourself. I’m doing something a bit differently. I work at sea, 4-6 months away at a time. Our company allows alcohol onboard, and of course shore leave is unrestricted (as long as you’re below the limit when returning) Previously I’ve partaken, as it makes socialising with the mixed crew easier and eases the long lonely evenings. This trip (and potentially trips going forward) I’ve decided to abstain as well. The reasons to do so are many and varied, and there are some social and health benefits, but like you say its a good way to get to know yourself and force yourself to expand your social boundries and find your courage – without the social lubrication a couple of drinks provides.
    Good luck on your fast, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it at the end of the year.

    • brettfish October 6, 2017 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Thanks Michael, am busy writing a piece on next year’s fast which at the moment looks like chips as in the crisp variety for a different health benefit cutting-out-something-i-don’t-really-need angle… maybe you’d like to join me on that. Will definitely write something at the end of the year looking back, while enjoying a glass of my wife’s birthday present Amarula Godl probably.

      Well done on your commitment and hope it goes well, love brett fish

  6. […] then a lot of you know that i gave up alcohol for this year, 2017, and you can read more about that over here, but that was basically a discipline thing, to see if i could. And ten months later i can report […]

  7. A New Normal for 2018 - Brett Fish November 7, 2017 at 9:02 am - Reply

    […] of you will know that i decided to give up alcohol for 2017 [which you can read about here] and with under two months to go – apart from one very real dream where i drank a glass of […]

  8. […] A year of not drinking alcohol… completed in something like twenty days time… […]

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