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Alcohol and Me

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I’ve stopped drinking and honestly I don’t know how long it’ll last, but so far it’s been almost two months and I don’t really feel any different. The good thing is I can go out and clear headedly have fun and remember all the night’s events. I still crave it sometimes though, mostly when I’m home alone bored or grocery shopping and it’s right in my face. Some days I want a beer so bad . . . I actually thought about buying some O’Doul’s just to get the taste without the buzz! I’m not 100 percent sure why I stopped drinking either, it kind of just happened at first, then I really started thinking about it. It started with me being more conscious of my drinking when I’m out (which I shouldn’t have been doing anyway due to my history with alcohol and legal issues) then it just dwindled down to nothing at all, not even at home, and I’m truly proud of myself.

Alcohol never did anything for me really. It rarely made me have a better time because I had the tendency of blacking out so sometimes I’d barely remember what happened the night before. I’d always wake up with an extremely dry mouth and/or a really bad headache; neither of those things are fun. And being barely able to walk and running to the bathroom constantly to pee is never cute . . . nor is throwing up, peeing on yourself, or waking up next to someone naked and not remembering how you got that way. I mean, I do enjoy the taste of alcohol (in some cases because I absolutely HATE gin and I’m not a huge fan of anything dark except Courvoisier) but it wasn’t doing anything for me. I started drinking in the Navy and I think back to how often I used to go out prior to leaving home and how much fun I used to have, fun which wasn’t aided by any “enhancements” outside of bass thumping music, and I miss it. I missed the old me and now I almost have to teach myself how to get back to that point because I’ve spent so many years being super drunk or at the least some form of intoxicated that I almost forgot what it’s like to go inside a place and not walk straight to the bar.

At first it was awkward because people look at you really crazy when you don’t have a drink in your hand or if they offer to buy you a drink (which is happening to me a LOT lately, more than I ever noticed before) and you tell them you don’t drink or that you just want water. At first I was almost ashamed to order a Shirley Temple because I didn’t want to be THAT girl . . . the non-drinking “lame” at the party, but not drinking doesn’t make you lame. If nothing else it makes you responsible and that’s not to say that people who drink are irresponsible because I’d be a damn hypocrite if I said that. I’m just saying that there’s less worry about how and if you’ll get home safely, if at all, when you’re out somewhere.

Very few people think about getting a designated driver when they go out because very few people know someone who doesn’t drink or isn’t going to drink that particular night. And not too many people get cabs or other forms of public transportation because 1) it costs and how can you drink to your heart’s content if you’re spending money on cab fare? (Duh!), 2) it takes longer to get to your destination, and 3) most major cities public transportation stops running at a certain time, that certain time being before clubs/bars close so you’re stuck with a cab and after you’ve drank all night, it’s unlikely that you have cab fare now so how do you get home? I’m sure there’s more reasons why people choose to just drink and drive. I myself am guilty of having done it more times than I can ever be able to count, but the bottom line is, it’s not safe (or legal).

The past couple weeks have put a lot of things in perspective for me, one of those things being that I don’t need alcohol to be myself. I’m just as funny and goofy without it and I think I’m more personable. I see things differently too. In addition to not drinking, I’ve started working out and believe me, I definitely didn’t need all those extra empty carbs weighing me down . . . I have enough weight weighing me down as it is. I feel lighter, though I’m sure I haven’t lost any significant amount of weight yet, but I can assume it’s because of my now non-alcoholic lifestyle, so I was wrong when I first stated that I don’t feel different because I do. I really hope I can keep this up and not give into temptation because I go out at least once a week and seeing my friends taking shots without me is a little hard, but I’m hanging in there and I’m glad that they support my decision and haven’t questioned me about it. It’s still weird telling people, “I don’t drink” when they offer, but it’s still new to me so I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
In writing this, I want to make it very clear that I’m not knocking anyone’s choice to continue drinking leisurely/socially. I do however encourage people to make safer choices when being out in public. I can’t honestly say I’ll volunteer to be someone’s DD though because I can’t stand being around drunk, ignorant people (and I felt like that even when I was drinking), but I won’t turn someone down if they asked . . . but too many times and I will start charging gas money, I promise to be cheaper than a cab though. smiles

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