What I’ve Learned After Three (Horrible, Horrible) Weeks Sober

Three weeks ago I decided (was convinced?) to abstain from alcohol for 30 days. I know, I know. It’s mental. But what can I say. My waistline was growing and my post-hangover depressions were hitting new and fascinating lows.

So, a little more than two-thirds done, and how’s it going?

Well, I’m alive, which is a start. I didn’t get the shakes or anything, which I count as a solid bonus. Take that, symptoms of legit alcoholism!

But if you think there’s any clarity to be found here, well… keep it moving. Cause life is a goddamn mess of confusion and lack of sobriety ain’t the only thing clouding it up.

Weed and Sex

For instance.

So what’s the point?

Honestly?

For me, 80% of this is just about losing weight. See, over the last 2 or so years, I’ve been slowly gaining weight like a star that’s going to collapse into a black hole. I’m not overweight like I once was, but I’m sure as hell not in peak condition, either. I miss it. I miss feeling proud of my body. Of feeling sexy. Yes I fucking said it.

And yeah, I know I’m not sexy to everybody, and that’s fine, too. But I felt good about me and that shit was proper.

Stuart Smalley

And gosh darnit, people like me!

It’s not just the 20,000 calories in beer a week (which doesn’t help). It’s the ol’ 2 am pizza/shawarma.

Oh, and those hangovers? Do you know how many people wake up hungover an think, “Now I’ll have a nice run and a salad?”

None. The answer is none.

The flip side is the depression. If you’re like me and you’re a bit of a miserable fuck anyway, and then you break up with your girlfriend for a totally legit reason, you’re gonna slide nice and comfortably into that ol’ familiar mistress of depression.

Linus with Blanket

You’re my favorite blankie, Despair!

You know how alcohol is a depressant?

Yeah. That shit ain’t helping.

So how do you feel?

Uhhhh I feel alright I guess. It’s kinda cool waking up feeling alright all the time. Very few regrets about the previous evening. I sleep more, which is cool, I guess.

I have to say, not being totally fucking exhausted all the time is pretty great in terms of eating right and working out. Got invited to happy hour? Eh, I think I’ll go for a run. Is it as fun? Maybe not. (Definitely not.) But when I wake up the next day and don’t feel like a fat fuck, well, that’s pretty nice.

Jumping on bed

Hooray, I woke up a beautiful woman!

The lack of a depressant is definitely helping.

And hey, it’s not like I’m not just smoking weed all the time. I’m not exactly about to head up an NA meeting over here.

But still, it’s strange. It feels weird to be surrounded by people who are imbibing in the sweet nectar of the gods when you aren’t.

Feeling a bit left out.

So much of our lives are surrounded by alcohol. It’s not just the parties. But every dinner with a glass of wine. Every beer you have out on the kickball field. Every drink you have with a first date.

You miss those. Especially the ones with first dates. You ever tried to charm a sober girl? Cause it turns out it’s pretty hard.

Bad first date

“Trust me, this joke would be better if you had some more absinthe.”

It’s not even the parties I miss the most. It’s those lazy afternoons with a crisp beer in your hand. Just feeling that warm breeze and the gentle buzz of a couple of delicious beers. Man oh man. I think I just started crying a little.

But it’s working.

As much as I miss it, the plan’s working. The weight is slowly sliding off. The runs are getting a little easier. I’m feeling stronger. Less ashamed of myself. Less depressed. Maybe just a tiny bit.

And I’ve only got 9 more horrible, horrible days of sobriety. After that?

The dream is that I can go ahead and have a few cocktails but continue those healthy habits of getting enough sleep, working out, and not eating like a fucking asshole.

Sure, it’s a stupid dream, but you gotta have something, right?