I meant to write this a few days ago to mark the actual anniversary of my sobriety, but I’ve been busy with school and other things and just haven’t had the chance. I figured now was as good a time as any I suppose.
On October 7, 2012, I awoke after my last night of drinking and made a decision: I would give up alcohol. In the beginning, I wasn’t planning on making a huge deal out of it, and thought maybe that I would try it for a few months and eventually return to it. After all, when I returned to Utah in January 2012, I decided to stop drinking, but the fancy bottle of Jose Cuervo in my trunk that had followed me from Connecticut eventually called my name loudly enough that I had to drink it.
Failing that, however, it’s not like I was drinking all the time. Living at home with non-drinking parents kind of put a damper on things, but I haven’t been a “beer at night” drinker for quite some time. When I did drink, however, it tended to be in concentrated amounts over short periods of time. I was a classic binge drinker. I tried to justify that my drinking was okay: I never drove drunk, never got sick, and I always drank with friends, never alone. Drinking seemed to make me be a little happier, or at least more friendly on occasion, but I never thought it was a bad thing that I should stop doing.
Then October rolled around. I was in Washington, DC for a few days for work. Each night was met with closing down the hotel bar, drinking with folks from the company. The last night that I drank, however, convinced me that maybe what I was doing was a problem. For the third night in a row, I was drinking, though this time we were out in DC at a bar. I was pacing myself pretty well, or so I thought, and I tried to cut myself off when the fancy micro brews started working their magic. Despite my efforts, I always seemed to have a fresh beer in my hand when it was empty thanks to friends, and I was having a good time.
But I may have been enjoying myself a bit too much. I started having an inappropriate conversation about people that I worked with, and in my drunken mind, I thought that it was okay. I continued to drink some more, though my pace slowed, and somehow managed to stumble back to the hotel using the metro, with the help of a friend that was much too understanding of my condition, and someone that was a party to my inappropriate conversation from earlier. I passed out, had some horrible drunk sleep. and woke up the next morning, vowing to never drink again.
Previously, this vow to myself probably wouldn’t have lasted all that long, and the next weekend back home would have seen me drinking again. But I decided that this time would be different. I realized that I had a problem, and though I wasn’t drinking all the time, I was definitely an alcoholic. So, partly for my health, but more for my piece of mind, I decided to not drink anymore, and now, 366 days later, I’ve actually been pretty good.
Sure, I have had some fun times in my many drinking exploits, including getting the underage daughter of a sitting Congressman shots or drunken shenanigans in Germany with my best friend, but at this point in my life, it just doesn’t feel worth it anymore. While I’m not 100% sure that this will be a permanent thing, the longer I am removed from alcohol, the easier it is to see myself not drinking again. Sometimes I miss beer and liquor, but I am mostly pleased with my decision. If anything, it has shown me that I can actually stick to something for an extended period of time, even if it was something that I wasn’t doing all that often.
Until next time…