The Home Stretch

With just a little over half a month remaining for the year, the urge — or thoughts rather, to drink have been more frequent. The greatest battles are the ones in your mind and it’s only fitting when the finish line is so fucking close. Drinking is fun — like really fucking fun. You can go into most stores and buy alcohol without much trouble. I use to buy a bottle of Svedka every week like clockwork. I justified it by including it with the cost of groceries. I suppose this is where the trouble stems. Ease of access and self-denial.

I’ve been asked, “What will you do after your one year is up?” I would like to continue to not drink and forgo alcohol all together for all the benefits being sober brings. Most people don’t give drinking a second thought. You go to a family gathering, someone is likely to offer you a beer or several throughout the course of a night. You hangout with the boys and again, most nights, there is alcohol involved. It’s ingrained in our culture to consume it. I wish it wasn’t.

“Why can’t you just have one?”

This has been a question I hear a lot and my response is either: I’ve gone this far, why start again? Or, “What makes you think someone like me will just stop at one? Sedation is a great feeling, especially after a long day and it quickly turns into a habit that has you feigning for more. Shit. Motherfucker, I would know. I’ve tried unsuccessfully countless times to quit the habit and only until now has it really stuck.

Back in college, my friend Peter also had a very severe drinking problem. Our days and nights consisted of sitting outside my apartment with a case of beer, a pack of cigarettes and kicking the shit. Bonding like bros with our vices in complete control of our lives. Knowing this about ourselves, we went to an AA meeting. You know, Alcoholics Anonymous. We sat around with others facing the exact same issue and introduced ourselves, “Hi, my name is Danny and I’m an alcoholic.” This is self-help at its finest. Did it work? Not the slightest. We quickly left before the meeting was done. Truthfully, there is a better way of being sober, but I wouldn’t stop someone facing a similar predicament to not give it a try. I laughed at the advice they offered, but one size does not fit all.

My friend Peter never broke the habit. I hope and pray he finds the light.

After going another two years hammering down bottle after bottle, something in my head clicked. Hangovers became more frequent and lasted longer. My appearance took a turn for the worst and just felt like I lost myself to sweet liquid courage. Dark times were ahead of me and I knew it. The first step is always to admit to yourself you have a problem. What follows is searching inside to find the root cause. It sucks to quit anything, but better late than never. Anything is possible. The thought of letting yourself down should be a motivator to have better healthier habits. Tell everyone you know your plans and goals. At least this isn’t just solely about you anymore. No one wants to let their friends down with another failed attempt.

Later world.

daily buzz

Adventures in not smoking

One subject I’m not proud of is my relationship with cigarettes or stogs as my friends and I usually call them when we’re out. While I did quit for the better part of ten entire months from last year, getting laid off has made those sticks of tobacco that much more a necessity as I navigate the life of the unemployed. Fun fact and not surprisingly: it sucks. Every now and again, I like to joke around how I’m actually “cutting back”.

If I was SpongeBob, Patrick is my friend Julian

For smokers this means one of two things. One, “I’m bullshitting you”. Two, “I’m smoking less”. I guess you can consider me somewhere in-between those two statements with a splash of humor thrown in. See, I use to smoke two packs a day and only the blacks as my friends and I call them. That’s smokers talk for being badass and smoking heavy flavored tobacco around the clock. Now, I only smoke one pack every two days. By any stretch of the imagination, that is still ridiculous and a future train wreck waiting to happen upon my poor lungs and whatever nicotine throws down my insides.

How do I feel now you might ask? Absolutely tired and sleepy. If I had energy, it surely wasn’t around for too long. My body feels a lot like that fatigue you get from a hard night of partying and dancing, minus the hangover and lingering smell of vodka in the room of course. How did Don Draper do this is beyond me. I’m not a fan of old fashions and whiskey, but give me a fancy suit, skinny tie, and slicked back hair any day. As a broom-riding witch says, “Oh my stars”.

Tomorrow is day two. I’m terrified of that statement.

Later world and a can of Coke.