Today is 30 days since I last had a drink and I feel OK. I don't feel great or terrible though and that's how it's been every day for the past month - "OK". I'm not an alcoholic but I am a binge drinker who drinks once or twice a week consuming 10+ drinks in one night often blacking out and getting into trouble as I go. I can drink a lot more than my friends and I drink fast which means that by the time 2am rolls around and they've had 4 I've had 8-12 and am already “blind” (blacked out) and will not remember anything said or done. The trouble I experienced while drinking includes almost dying in a car accident while hitchhiking drunk but instead “escaping” with a shattered pelvis and back, being sexually assaulted, falling down the stairs causing a concussion and fracturing an arm, ripping my thigh open on a fence I was trying to climb while running away from the police, falling off my bike in front of speeding cars on the road, jumping off a high bridge into lake ontario on a stormy day and swimming back to shore for 20 mins after consuming 1.5 bottles of wine, breaking up a marriage, sleeping with people who've had partners, being cruel to family, friends, partners, using people, sabotaging jobs and important events in my life by getting drunk, being physically and verbally violent and more. Drinking brings out the asshole in me. I don't think this is abnormal for some heavy drinkers but looking at that list makes me feel so bad.
Drinking did 2 things for me: it stripped the intensity of some events while at the same time making other events more intense and interesting. I found myself drinking a lot when I was bored, uncomfortable, insecure, mostly bored. If I really want to party on a Friday night but nothing's going on I can just get drunk and create an adventure which is what I've been doing for years. You just find another drunk friend and climb the roof of their house together and it's so fun. I used to look down on sober or straight edge people who quit a substance without having a problem with it or people who thought that sobriety was a more positive experience or even just people who didn't drink as much as me. I feel weird writing this update only 30 days in but I haven't taken a single break from drinking since I started 20 years ago and for me this feels big, even if I start again tomorrow.
The changes I notice are the same everyone else reports: life is stable and I wake up every day feeling physically the same. I go to the gym 5 times a week now for 2 hrs each time because it makes me feel hopeful about the future and good about myself and because now I don't have an excuse not to. I don't schedule my life around my hangovers. I feel that when I talk to friends at parties I really look at them and listen and engage a lot more. When I talk to you drunk I honestly don't listen and only ever think about a good way to excuse myself and go get another drink or smoke. I get excited to get into bed and read my book at night. I feel bored a lot which is why I try to attend more events and see more people. The other day I think I got truly depressed for the first time in my life and cried a lot over something ridiculous. I went to Simone's show sober and Jon's birthday rave sober and an opening sober (where I actually spent time looking at the art). The whole time I attended those 3 events I was on edge and full of adrenaline and felt like I was stuck in some sober prison and there was no way out and it felt sick that I just had to deal with being awkward on my own (without booze) and maybe even leave.
I have guilt and insecurity about not drinking because I perceive that other people have more fun than me and because I feel like I'm putting a distance between me and my drinking friends. I also feel that I'm “making a big deal out of nothing” but that's just me being coy and lying to myself. I don't judge and I know how fun it is so I hope that the distance is imaginary. Also if you want me to be your friend for sober hangouts I'd love that very much. One thing I learned in the past month is that other people I know are going through the same thing and whether they've quit or not, it feels reassuring to know that. I don't know yet what will happen tomorrow or next week but I'm feeling alright to keep going like this right now. OK end of update. Love, your friend.