Last week I blogged about the hurdles I have to get over to achieve sobriety each year. One the day of writing it, I’d just gotten over the first-day-of-summer hurdle, and was feeling really good about staying sober all summer. I’d go around like a bad ass in the leather jacket I don’t own and which would be weather inappropriate, break into song too often, and never raise a can to my lips, like Danny Zuko.
Well, that was as much fantasy as when the car in Grease and/or Grease 2 flies into the sky. I fucked up. I opened up the sobriety app on my iPhone, pressed the clock reset button—a day before achieving a month sober—and got drunk one night. And then the next day. And the day after that. You see where this is going.
What I’m trying to say is over the course of a week, I’ve been pressing the clock reset button like I’m playing one of those games the douchebag next to you on the train plays, where they have to press the shit out of their iPhone screen to shoot blocks or some shit.
I’m back to day one, and I haven’t decided whether today is day zero or day one. Day zero meaning I’ll get shitfaced one last time, day one meaning this is my new sobriety date.
I don’t want to blog about my thoughts and feelings leading up to the decision to get off the wagon. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my ability to express myself emotionally is indirectly proportional to how often I write “some shit.” All I’ll say is I can’t drink for shit now, and that Belgian beer for me meant making it through a fiver-hour-long Inland Empire-style nightmare before crawling into bed.
What I will blog about is five tip on how to stay sober. I’m proving to be shitty at this, so forgive the irony. Anyway, the advice I write on this blog is more for me than you.
- Obsess over hobbies
Drinking takes time, shitloads of it. You have to go and buy the stuff, and the time you spend drinking it takes a lot of time. You can pretty much do whatever you want and you don’t get bored while drunk. Take it out of your life, and you have a shitload of time to fill. And the years of drinking means you’re shit at filling it. You’re going to need a hobby that you can obsess over like you obsessed over the sauce. Writing silly mystery books is mine.
2. Be proud of your days sober
One of the shitty things about sobriety is it’s never absolutely achieved. But it is on a day-by-day basis. Be proud as fuck of the days you’ve made it to bed without toothpaste paste on your face and a weird smell coming from your pants.
3. Get sober buddies
You might think the T-birds in Grease look silly. And you’d be right. But they don’t give a fuck what you think. They’re proud to be part of a clan, and it strengthens they’re feeling that the lifestyle they’re leading isn’t a complete waste of time.
Other sober buddies are now your clan, and they probably won’t try to fuck your girlfriend or race some other asshole on the motorbike you inexplicably bought by solely working a summer job. Find them, get their numbers or their Snapchat or whatever, and spend time around them. I’ve always been put off by AA, because of the religious aspect, but I now have the humility to realize I need those guys in my life.
4. Never, ever think you can go back to drinking like a normal person
Once you’ve become an alcoholic, the chances are you’ve definitely ruined alcohol for yourself. You can’t go back to sipping wine like a wine snob, stop at a reasonable blood-alcohol level, and relax after without obsessing over that extra drink you didn’t buy for yourself. After a month of two on the wagon, you’ll start to feel cured. Don’t. That’s the booze fucking with you.
5. Make sobriety your thing
It would be great if you could just forget about booze and live a life like a Shoalin Monk. But it’s not realistic. You’re going to have to work at sobriety every day. That finish line never comes, but that doesn’t mean you can stop running towards it. Sure, filling your time with cool shit to do helps, but immersing yourself in sobriety culture is the key to making this into a lifestyle and not just something you do for a little while after deciding drinking booze makes you feel too shitty to continue.
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My books, my obsession, can be checked out here.