Why should Alcoholics have all the fun, hey?
In my previous post I looked at how to celebrate without alcohol. But for some people a good time means always getting hammered. And sometimes it can seem like alcoholics are having all the fun.
Alcoholics get to have fun by loudly singing songs out of key at office Karaoke parties; they get to chase cars naked down the street after domestic ‘disturbances’, and they get to generally live the high life—of having to be high to get through life, just by being an Alcoholic.
Fun, fun, fun, fun, throw-up, fun.
But maybe ‘fun’ isn’t necessarily the right word to describe the series of events which gets someone to the rock bottom point where they finally admit to themselves—and the world—that they are powerless against the powers of the drink.
And though it might seem like it at the time, experiences like forgetting you’re not wearing underpants when you decide to disrobe at the office Karaoke night aren’t really ‘fun’ are they? Even if they do make for good alcohol war stories. Like some of these fun alcoholic experiences do too:
- Doing that magic trick you used to do of turning money into urine
- Blacking out and being unable to remember how you got home—riding a shopping cart
- Pissing in your own pants—AFTER taking them off.
And the list goes on. Vomiting up dinner before breakfast, losing friends who didn’t get your racist/sexist/homo-phobic jokes were IRONIC*, and all those times you made the opposite sex cringe at your smooth pick up lines: “Come here often? Or do you think you’ll make it back to mine BEFORE you come?”
So why should I, a self-confessed dipsomaniac, a ‘part-time’ booze hound, care what the full-timers are up to? Even though I choose not to define myself by the label ‘Alcoholic’ I can and have experienced most of what proper Alcoholics
brag about confess to at their meetings. What am I missing out on?
I’m missing out on the nothing. The ‘not drinking’. I’m missing out on the chance to go cold-turkey, simply because I don’t identify with the term Alcoholic. Or at least I WAS missing out on long-term sobriety—until 252 days ago. Because that was when—on 11/11/2011—I realized’ “why should alcoholics have all the fun?”
I decided I too would get in on the sober act with my ‘Year of Living Sober’.
Going sober has been great.
It has. I’ve enjoyed increased productivity, clarity of mind and, of course, saved lots of dosh. And it strikes me as a bit of a shame that more people might not experience prolonged periods of healthy alcohol abstinence simply because they either:
a) have never thought about going a week, month or more without a drink
b) are scared of being identified as an Alcoholic if they do?
Okay, it might be a bit confronting to admit we have a problem that is in any way associated with an ‘addiction’ but, if we can’t go sober for even a short while, maybe that’s exactly what we have?
Because you don’t have to be an Alcoholic to suffer the negative effects of alcohol abuse.
That’s why I think even moderate-to-heavy drinkers should be allowed to see life though the clear eyes of a non-intoxicated body without fear of being judged either an Alcoholic or an Alcoholic-in-denial (as I have, more than once, been passively-aggressively accused of being). Shouldn’t they?
Even us seasoned-yet-not-to-the-point-of-semi-permanent-drunkeness drinkers should have the right to get in on the fun that comes from going off the booze.
And it doesn’t have to be permanent.
Maybe even just one week (WOLS) would be a sober eye-opener. Perhaps one month of not drinking alcohol (MOLS) might be enough to create a new habit that lasts another month? Who knows where some temporary teetolism (as I like to call it) might lead. One could start with having a few days off and end up going the whole year. From one day sober to 365.
That’s what happened to me.
Pre-YOLS I used to try not to drink EVERY night of the week. That was my way of controlling my alcohol habit. While I almost never drank alcohol for breakfast (Champagne and orange-juice brekky anyone?) and rarely drank at lunch (afternoon drinking makes me tired and sleepy and often times gives me a headache too) I was/am fond of a some beer, wine and maybe spirit at night. But by consciously choosing not to drink on Monday and Tuesday I thought of it as my weekend off booze.
But eventually I wanted more. One or two nights off wasn’t enough. I had a taste for the sober life which led me to have the odd month completely off alcohol.
I know. A month without a single alcoholic drink? Crazy, isn’t it.
But then it got really out there. What happened next even caught me by surprise. I went for the whole year!
And here I am now. On Day 253 of the 365 days I’ve committed to remaining completely sober. These days I even check chocolates and desserts for hidden liquor! Cause, like I said. Why should Alcoholics have all the fun?
Today is Day 250 of my Year of Living Sober.
*Little Booze Joke
Mel Gibson walks into a bar and the bartender says, “What’ll it be, Mel?” and Mel says, “Jews start all the wars.”