18 fast days left and counting. That’s more than halfway through my forty day long fast. I suppose that actually counting the days could be construed as a sign of desperation. It’s true that at times (like last Wednesday night when my computer completely crashed requiring a full system restore) I have really had to struggle not to go and pour a double bourbon. Or this past Saturday, at a wonderful Irish Dinner and Concert at church, I really wanted to celebrate a great night by cracking one open and drinking with the parishioners who worked so hard to make it possible.
Of course these are not the only occasions when I have faced temptation. I have even once or twice really found myself thinking “Well what’s the big deal? You could break the fast and have a beer or two and no one would have to be the wiser.” I have even thought that if I stumbled it would make for something more colorful to write about. But I knew as soon as I thought it that this was a pretty desperate and pathetic justification to reach for. And so I have held on. I have walked away from the beer fridge or the liquor cabinet and I have made it through.
I realize that there is still a while to go. But I am gaining confidence and it is getting easier. More often than not I get through the night without even thinking about grabbing a beer. It’s been interesting, that’s for sure. I’ve had to find alternative beverages besides water- seltzer or tonic with lime seems to be my new drink of choice. Beyond that, I am still processing my experience to see what more meaningful insights this forty days in the desert of temperance may yield.
But for me the good news is that the end is definitely in sight. In less than three weeks it will all be over and I will be able to have a drink whenever I like once again. No doubt that reentry period will pose challenges of its own, but I’ll deal with that in April. Until then, I find hope in knowing that I am more than halfway there.