Are You Ready To Admit The Five-Hundred-Pound Gorilla Needs To Stay In His Cage Yet?

This week, Dan passes off more wisdom as his own.

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Around three years ago, I admitted to myself I’m an alcoholic. But it wouldn’t be until around two years later that I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, which is the first step of the AA program.

I wasn’t a member of AA at the time, so I didn’t go through this step officially, documented and with a sponsor.

In fact, I didn’t admit I was powerless over alcohol, or at least I didn’t phrase it like that.

I admitted that booze had me by the balls, and no matter how many breaks I took, and how long they were, our relationship would always be the same: I would remain the green guy in prison, alcohol the possibly homosexual prison-yard bully who grabs a handful of my balls whenever he wants, whispering rapey promises in my ear as he does.

For some people, admitting they’re an alcoholic and powerless over alcohol coincide. For others, they admit the powerless thing first, and the alcoholic revelation comes later. Think of the period of time between both revelations as purgatory, or a way station. In order to progress in your recovery, both need to be admitted.

Of course, for some, they admit they’re an alcoholic, but never recognize they’re powerless over alcohol.

I have a family member who’s caught in this way station now. They know they have a major problem with booze, but they’re not ready to accept that they can never again go back to drinking like a regular person. When you’re talking about moderating your drinking, you’re not there yet.

A couple months of sobriety are easily achieved when you know there’s a glass of your favorite tipple at the end of it.

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“I’m going to have a dry January, just to prove to all the haters out there that I’m not an alcoholic.”

Remember the guy who told me the metaphor about which I blogged? The one with the cucumber and the pickle? A couple months ago, he told me a great parable of this period, the alcoholic’s purgatory.

Imagine a guy who has a five-hundred-pound gorilla as a pet. I don’t know if five-hundred pounds is about the size fully grown gorillas reach. If it isn’t, imagine it’s a teenage gorilla.

That teenage or fully grown gorilla is kept in a cage for obvious reasons. The guy knows how dangerous he is. He likes his facial skin wear it is, and he doesn’t think it would make a great Halloween mask.

But that gorilla, despite possibly being a teenager, is one charming motherfucker.

Oh, he can also talk, which I forgot to mention.

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“Guy just remembered the gorilla can talk. That seems legit.”

Slowly, bit by bit, as the guy visits him to feed and give him water, he gains the guy’s confidence and manages to convince him he should let him out of his cage for a while. He’ll be a good gorilla.

So the guy does.

The gorilla beats the shit out of the dude. I mean fucks him up bad. Someway, somehow, the guy manages to get the gorilla back in the cage. Maybe he drugged him, or maybe the gorilla just got bored of beating the fuck out of him and went back in willingly.

It’s a gaping plot hole in this story, but whatever. The guy’s super pissed at his gorilla, but that ill will pales in comparison to the shame and embarrassment he feels at having been tricked.

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All expected thoughts for the easily-tricked talking-teenage-gorilla owner.

The gorilla’s still his pet. He made a lifelong commitment to him. He can’t give him away like a Christmas-present puppy when he’s no longer cute.

The guy has to turn up to feed him, to give him water, and during these times the gorilla starts to turn on the charm again. He tells the guy he’d like to come out of the cage, and it’ll be different this time. There’s no way he’ll beat the fuck out of him.

Despite his bruises being fresh and the cuts unhealed, the guy is easily tricked. He lets that teenage gorilla out of the cage, and the inevitable happens. The gorilla beats the fuck out of him. Shit, this time he goes even wilder than last time, making the guy the object of moves performed by professional wrestlers. He fucks the guy up bad.

Someway, somehow, the guy manages to get the gorilla back in the cage. This time he realizes the gorilla needs to stay in there. He can’t be trusted. When he turns up to feed the gorilla after this second beating, and the gorilla starts lying to him, telling him it’ll be different this time, turning on the charm, the guy looks at his bruises and fresh cuts and tells the gorilla to go fuck himself.

But those cuts always heal, and the bruises turn from blue to purple to yellow, before eventually fading. The guy goes through this cycle of the gorilla gaining his confidence anew, of getting the shit beaten out of him, and getting the gorilla back in the cage many times.

I know what you’re thinking: Wait a minute. Doesn’t the guy have to clean the cage out, so doesn’t he have to let the gorilla out regularly anyway?

Just ignore that and think about the story.

It can end in two ways: the guy can let the gorilla out one time too many times, and the gorilla beats the shit out of him to the point where he dies; or the second one is that the guy can hold on to the mistrust he has for the gorilla, reminding himself of it every day, long after the bruises and cuts have healed, and successfully keep the gorilla in the cage.


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Do Alcoholics Dream of White Zinfandel Served in Plastic Cups?

Dan dreams about falling off the water wagon, and doing so with a drink just for ladies.

I always thought recurring dreams were fictional. Not as in the content of them is fictional—that obviously is, as it’s dreamed—but that only characters in Disney movies experienced recurring dreams. That is until I started having my own.

This week, I experienced the third occurrence of a dream in which I fall off the wagon.  In the dream, I do so with a drink for which I’m not even close to being the target demo: sparkling White Zinfandel.

I did a little googling, and it seems I’m not alone in my experience of this. Alcoholics’ dreaming about relapsing is a thing. I also learned there are a number of other non-alcoholism-related common recurring dreams: teeth falling out; only being able to run super slowly, as though through syrup, while being chased by an unknown assailant; and dying.

Not in a specific way. Just dying.

I also learned that bad backs are also a thing people experience in real life, not just something in Disney movies, but let’s try to keep on topic

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A fictional injury

The dream in question woke me up at three AM, and I was unable to go back to sleep. This resulted in my spending the next two days existing in a state somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, like the feeling of riding the Aerosmith ride at Magic Kingdom, but I see it’s occurrence as a good thing.

Remember that early Christopher Nolan movie, where the protagonist whacked his noggin and his short-term memory’s on the fritz? The main character is investigating who murdered his wife, and when he learns new facts related to the case, he writes them down on Post-It notes and subsequently gets them tattooed on his body. There exists no better cinematographic metaphor for alcoholism.

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“Here’s to making memories.”

Much like the protagonist in the movie needs constant reminders of what direction his investigation is going, the alcoholic needs constant reminders that he’s an alcoholic. He needs to introduce himself at AA meetings as such. He needs to stay mindful of the fact, or he might again start to think that consuming a bottle of sparkling White Zinfandel is a good way to spend his Saturday afternoon.

What does this have to do with the dream?

For obvious reasons, I’m unwilling to get a tattoo that reads “I’m an alcoholic,” whether it would be covered up by a well-fitted shirt or not, but this dream, it serves much the same function, albeit not permanently. The summer holiday’s approaching, and I have a toxic relationship with these sun-filled, heady days. I haven’t spent one of them in the last six years sober. Naturally, I’m thinking about drinking again, and experiencing this dream isn’t quite a tattoo, but it’s at least a Post-It note.


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A List of Reasons to Get Drunk Again now I’m Sober Enough to Use Passersby as Shields for my Sobriety

Now that Dan’s been sober awhile, it takes more than getting wet in the shower to motivate him to pick up a bottle

A couple years ago I didn’t need a big excuse or reason to get drunk. It could be a Monday, for example, and that was reason enough to decide to get shitfaced. Or I could stub my toe on a piece of furniture. In fact, I didn’t really need reasons or excuses to get drunk. It was just something I did, without rhyme or reason. To ask me why I got drunk was akin to asking a giraffe why he has an elongated neck.

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A giraffe walks into a bar and, preempting the hacky joke, says, “Horses have long faces, douchebag.”

Now that I’m five months sober, my perspective has changed a little. It took a whole bunch of relapses to realize I’m never going to be that guy sitting in a restaurant, wholly engaged in the conversation he’s having, to the point where he forgets to take a drink of his beer, or even that he has a beer in the first place. It’s sitting there, and it’s looking almost empty, and the guy’s not looking around incessantly for a waiter. Shit blows my mind.

I’ll never be that guy, no matter how much I’d like to be.

Anyway, perspective, and its having changed. I’m feeling good in my sobriety; it’s strong. I’d protect those 153 days with my life—I’d at least use the nearest passerby as a shield, as long as they weren’t a child, a pensioner, or someone wearing glasses—or a weird combination of all those things, like Benjamin Button with bifocals.

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“Just tell me where the margarita is and what he said to upset you, sir.”

This week I even switched to an alcohol-free brand of mouthwash, as swilling Listerine each morning and night made me nervous. Going through my oral hygiene routine was like standing at the top of the Empire State Building, looking down, daring myself to jump off. I’m calling myself a pussy for not having the balls to do it, when all I’m doing is being sensible or, failing that, not being bat-shit crazy.

To decide to get drunk again, I’d need more than a stubbed toe or the inevitable progression of the Gregorian calendar. I’d need:

  1. To be diagnosed with a terminal disease, and I’d already exhausted every holistic approach to ridding myself of it
  2. To be fighting for survival in a zombie apocalypse where somehow all the booze hasn’t already been looted from every liquor store, otherwise known as the very start of it
  3. For a type of alcohol to be invented in a laboratory that isn’t diseases-causing, life-destroying, and which didn’t wake me up at three in morning with an uncontrollable desire to eat an apple
  4. To be trapped 127 Hours-style, and the only two things within arms’ reach are a bottle of gin and a butter knife
  5. To be trapped in a ­Saw­-style contraption where the only method of escape is to follow Jigsaw’s rules by making every cocktail on a bar menu and drinking them in reverse-chronological order

Clearly, I’ve come a long way. Every item on the list above has to do with survival or inevitable death or fixing alcohol’s innate problems. But I can’t help but beat myself up a little for the second item on there, where getting drunk, I imagine, might be counterproductive to outrunning zombies.

What would be on your list now that you’re sober? Post it in the comments section below.


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Going Back in Time and Talking to Shitfaced You

This week, Dan goes back in time, to an ill-advised vacation, and talks to himself about boozing.

I step out of the elevator, walk down the corridor, take the key card out of my pocket, and swipe it down the slot on the electronic lock on the door leading to my hotel room.

I enter, and immediately know something’s wrong. My suitcase is open and all my clothes are strewn about the room—though that isn’t unusual. I’ve never been the kind of traveler who unpacks his shit methodically, setting up my hotel room like a miniature version of my home: clothes hanging in the wardrobe, toiletries lined up by the washbasin, etc.

It’s something else. There’s a big-ass bottle of gin lying by my open suitcase, and I’ve been sober for almost a month. It’s a liter bottle, but not the kind you buy from duty free. The shitty kind with some shitty name, and you know it’s going to have an acrid aftertaste that lingers, but you get it anyway, because what kind of asshole only buys 700 milliliters of gin at a time?

Around a third of the bottle is gone. I place it down and see something even more unusual. There’s a disposable paper plate with what used to be a lemon on it, hacked to bits with the type of plastic knife you buy for guests to use at the barbecue you’re hosting.

There’s also a bottle of tonic water. Only a little of this is gone.

“What the fuck…?” I say under my breath, my voice trailing off. “Has some jerk broken into my hotel room so he could get wasted on bum gin?”

Something catches my eye. I look up, and see someone standing outside on balcony. I squint my eyes, not believing what I’m seeing.

That jerk is me! And he has a glass in his hand and is looking over the balcony railing, and not to admire the view.

I knew there was something screwy with that elevator. When the lights flashed on and off, and there was a surge of electricity through the elevator keypad, and smoke was momentarily emitted from it, I thought what anybody else would think: I should’ve checked out the reviews for this hotel on TripAdvisor.

Not for a moment did I think I’d stepped into a time machine. But who would?

I walk up to the French door, lock it as silently as I can—just in case I’m wrong about the elevator and it’s a crazy person out there, who just so happens to look exactly like me from behind—and then knock on the window.

He turns around, and I sigh. It is me, and I’m shitfaced, which goes someway to explaining his response… My response, I mean. I’ll write him so this shit doesn’t get confusing. He says, “Hey, dude. I was wondering when you’d join the party.”

If the guy was wearing a mask or a disguise or some shit, he’d have given himself away, anyway. Only an asshole like I was would describe standing on some shitty balcony, in some shitty hotel, drinking shitty gin on my own, as a party.

He seems friendly enough, but I tread carefully. “What you doing out there, buddy?” I ask, lamely.

He shrugs, and says, “Drinking.”

“You weren’t thinking about doing anything stupid, were ya?”

He frowns. “What makes you think that?”

“I couldn’t help but notice you were looking over the balcony edge a minute ago.”

“Oh that!” He starts fumbling in his pockets, and pulls out a crumpled pack of cigarettes, takes one out, and takes his time lighting one, like it’s a natural pause. He takes a long drag, exhales a cloud of smoke, and then says, “I was thinking about jumping.” And then explaining, though it’s unnecessary: “Down there.”

Not knowing how his killing himself would affect my existence, I rush to unlock the French door and go out on the balcony with him. He looks at me confusedly and asks me if I want a cigarette. I ignore him and look over balcony railing. I’m looking down at an otherwise regular swimming pool, if it weren’t filled with foaming beer. Jeez, that was a screwy elevator. And a really shitty time machine.

Half to myself, I say, “So you weren’t thinking about killing yourself?”

He laughs. “Of course not!”

I stand up right, and turn and look at him. “Then why were you thinking about jumping?”

He shrugs again. “I was thinking about switching to beer.”

“And this is the best way to do it?”

“There isn’t any in the refrigerator.”

“Does this hotel room have a refrigerator big enough to hold regular-sized beer cans?”

“Sure.”

I peek through the glass, shading my vision with cupped hands, and spot it. It isn’t a mini fridge you’d typically find in a hotel room, but a full size.

That was a shitty time machine. Someone should really take a look at it.

I’ve recently been reading about the twelfth step in the Big Book, so I’m aware I need to start helping other alcoholics as part of my recovery. If this guy wasn’t me, I’d let him carry on drinking. That’s if he wasn’t in my hotel room. I take the drink from his hand, and bring it close to my nose so I can smell it. “Jesus,” I say. “How many ice cubes did you put in this thing?”

“I filled it to the brim.”

There’s a miserable lemon wedge floating on the surface. I look at it and feel depressed, and then I take action. I toss the drink over the balcony, though I hold on to the glass, placing it down on the floor. If this time machine is on the fritz as much as I think it is, there could be a whole host of replicas of me walking around down there.

“Hey, why’d you do that?” he asks.

“I think you’ve had enough.”

Having a coherent conversation is difficult for Shitfaced Me right now, as he says, “Of what?”

“Booze.”

“You sound like my dad… Which reminds me, you look…” His voice trails off, and he searches for the right word. “Familiarize. Like me, but an older, uglier version.”

“Almost,” I say. “You were thinking of familiar. And I am familiar. I’m you, from a screwy future where hotel rooms have tiny refrigerators in them.”

He looks at me with one eye, squinting a little. “Remind me why you tossed my drink over the balcony again?”

I slap him, because I’m still figuring out this helping-other-alcoholics gig. “This isn’t a party, guy. You’re standing on a balcony, drinking by yourself.” I pause to look out at the view. “And is this one of the Canary Islands?”

“I think so,” he says.

“This is more depressing than I thought. Let’s get you inside.”

I open the French door, and he says, “Good idea. Let’s get another drink.”

This is going to be more difficult than I thought.

I take the cigarette from him, stub it out, lead him inside, sit him down on the bed, and I take chair in the corner, because I’m not fully comfortable sitting by a shitfaced version of myself on a bed. Then I explain to him that I was just like him, but now I’m sober, and my life, while it isn’t perfect, is way better than the life he’s living now.

And he says, “Good for you, dude. But I’m just going to cut down. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

I slap him again, but this time I don’t immediately regret it. “You’ll do that, putting rules in place, but none of it will work. You might succeed for a while, but before you know it, you’ll be back here, out on that balcony, drinking a ridiculously strong gin and tonic and thinking of a really bad way of switching to beer.”

“Are you saying I’ll decide to vacation here again? Is that what you’re doing here?”

“Maybe I’m not explaining myself right. It was a metaphor. I’m saying you won’t manage moderation. You’ll fuck it up a whole bunch of times. And then you’ll get to the place where I’m at now, and a shitload of time will have gone past that needn’t have.”

I pull out my iPhone, and cross my fingers that 4G exists in this screwy future. Failing that, at least 3G. It does, so I open the Safari app and pull up this blog, navigating to some post about relapsing.

I hand the cell phone to him, and he reads it. Then he looks up at me and says, “Whoa. You sound really down.”

I smile. I’m gaining some ground. “I was, but I’m in a better place now.”

There’s a moment of realization painted on his face. He looks down at the carpet, but may as well be looking deep into his soul.

And then it’s gone.

Picking up the gin bottle, he says, “If you’re right, which I don’t think you are, I need to find this out on my own. I just need to make myself another drink first.”

I sigh and give up. He’s right, and it’s the most intelligent thing he’s said since I’ve spoken to him.

As he stands up and starts wandering around, looking for a glass, I make a quick exit. I go out the hotel room, in search of reception desk, so they can get a maintenance guy to fix the screwy time-machine elevator. I’ll be taking the stairs.


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That Amazing Time You Got Shitfaced and Went Swimming in a Lake

This week, Dan tells you your summers are probably way shittier than you remember. And that it’s a good thing.

Last summer was probably the best summer I’ll ever have. But they all feel that way, when you look back.

The day I finished at work before four summery weeks off, I was almost a month sober. The first evening of the summer was traditionally a shit storm of Belgian beers, summer-themed movies like Dazed and Confused, and, weather permitting, drunken conversations on the balcony about what we were going to do that summer.

I’d probably smoke, too, during those conversations, even though I’d gotten the memo that smoking causes cancer a shitload of times.

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I also looked badass.

None of that happened the first evening last summer. I sat and watched Jaws with a couple energy drinks, ate way too much pizza, and slunk off to bed as sober as the moment I woke up that morning.

I’d like to write that I was content being sober that summer, and that I did all the fun shit I planned to do—and that I didn’t experience one hangover and I took regular rides on a unicorn to a land where blowjobs are handed out like popcorn at a movie theater.

But I fell off the wagon. I wanted to experience being shitfaced one summer’s day for the last time. Or whatever excuse.

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During the summer, these prepubescent girls have a penchant for taking LSD.

I don’t have time to write about the whole summer. Even if I did, I can’t remember it, which is kinda the point. But I’ll write about one day.

We got shitfaced as we watched a couple movies, and then rode out to a lake and went swimming to the sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd. When we were freezing our asses off, we sat by the lake and smoked a couple cigarettes. It was probably a little overcast, but let’s imagine there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

It was the type of evening you hope the end of your life will be like, not the shit show in some hospitable bed it’s likely to be.

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Quick, put on ‘Tuesday’s Gone’.

I’m reminding myself of this evening for a couple reasons: 1) Winter started in November and shows now sigh of letting up, and 2) every time I look at Facebook I want to blow my brains out with a shotgun.

You probably have the same experience I do. You scroll through the Facebook posts on your timeline, or feed, or whatever the fuck it’s called, and realize something: Everyone you grew up with is having a way better time than you are.

Their lives appear to be fulfilled to point of bursting. If you’re to be believe your Facebook feed, everyone else’s lives are a constant stream of good times with family and friends.

Their lives are filled with the perfect summer’s day I shittily described above.

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Look at us. Look at how great our lives are.

What they don’t tell you, because people rarely do on Facebook, is all the boring, monotonous shit that’s in between those occasions they’ve documented.

The point I’m trying to make, and I do have one, is that it’s easy to look back on your time drinking as being this constant stream of good times. Of weddings that are a blast, of summer’s evenings where you don’t think for a even second the guitar solo to ‘Free Bird’ is way too long, because you’re young and the sun is shining and it doesn’t matter if you eventually get lung cancer from the cigarette from you’re smoking.

You didn’t take a photo of when you were hungover, riddled with anxiety, and you didn’t take a mental picture of it, either. Your memory from when you were shitfaced is just like your Facebook feed. It’s a lie, of sorts.

The good times remembered, documented. The bad times forgotten.

Last summer was the best summer I’ll probably ever have. But when you look back, they all are.


Thanks for reading! I know what you’re thinking: I was a real ray of sunshine this week. For more feelgood posts, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post on social media.

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Merry this Christmas

Dan still hasn’t see Home Alone without getting shitfaced. But at least he got a hell of a new sobriety date.

I failed to stay sober at Christmas. One Saturday afternoon in December I floated the idea about getting drunk one last time to my girlfriend. I’d been thinking about drinking again, I told her.

It would just be the one time, to experience that rich feeling of being merry—in both meanings of the word: slightly drunk, and feeling good about Christmas—with a tree in the living room and decorations that don’t blend well with color palette selected for the room as we watched a Christmas movie.

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“I only slept with a hooker the one time. I swear!”

Of course, as soon as I mentioned it to her, we didn’t sit down and have a rational conversation about if it would be successful, if it was worth it to throw away five months’ sobriety for one evening of merriness, or even if we would like Krampus on our fifth or sixth viewing. Instead, we slunk off to different corners of the apartment and quietly obsessed about it.

Half an hour later we returned to each other’s company and by the look on her face I knew we’d come to the same decision: We would do it, and sobriety would be just where we left it when we would wake up the next day.

We could pick it up again with ease, like a convict picks up a sharpened spoon and stabs the leader of a rival gang, in some sort of power play, or just because he was bored that day in the yard.

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Testosterone leaves one pensive.

That shit would come natural to us, because we’d already rode that bucking bronco for five months, so getting back on it wouldn’t be alien to us.

We promised each other multiple times it would only be a slip, and not a full-on relapse (I’d recently read the difference between the two on a sobriety blog.) I think me may have even high-fived each other.

Jesus, when I think about it, we were happy as a rapist in a whorehouse about falling off the wagon for one evening.

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Like this, but about hops.

 

But long hikes start with the small acts of putting on your boots and jacket and making a couple PB and J sandwiches, and relapses in sobriety start off with little conversations like the one above, whether or not you’re determined to restrict them just to a slip.

Turns out Krampus is nowhere near as good as we remembered it, and that cinemas are open on Christmas Day in Norway and that bottles of wine bought from there cost around four times as much as they do in a store. I also learned that I’m willing to pay that much to sip wine as I fucked up yet another Christmas Day turkey.

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Turkey.

The couple weeks after that ‘one evening’ were a blur of cheap wine, Robin Williams-strength gin and tonics, and saccharin Christmas movies and music, until I reached a low low enough to inspire me to start collecting chips again. On the plus side, I finally managed to experience my first New Year’s Eve without drunkenly mumbling the lyrics to ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to my family in FaceTime conversations.

Here are a couple of takeaways from this experience:

  1. Not one evening have I gone to bed having regretted not drinking—including New Year’s Eve. Conversely, every morning I wake up with a hangover I’ve regretted drinking the night before. It might sound like an AA cliché, but it’s true.
  2. A great way to spend your New Year’s Eve sober is outside of your home, wandering the streets, watching other people’s fireworks and thinking about how shitty the drunk people you come across are going to feel when their bottle of champagne comes back to bite them in the ass. We chose to go sledging instead of viewing them from our balcony—the fireworks, that is. We looked like lunatics—both adult, neither drunk—partaking in an activity traditionally thought as enjoyment solely for families, but we had a hell of a time.

Another one big plus from this experience is that I’ve got one hell of a sobriety date, instead of some obscure date in August no one gives a fuck about. Next New Year’s Eve, I’ll be celebrating both the end of a calendar year and a year drinking cola through a straw on Saturday evenings instead of playing air guitar to eighties hair metal. But I’m getting ahead of myself—I’m only six days in.

There’s a shitload of bullets to dodge before I get there.

This shit’s going to be like Nam, but I’m getting looking forward to it nonetheless. Happy New Year.

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Christmas Is a Time for Getting Shitfaced (and Celebrating Jesus and Frankincense)

Thinking of making plans this Christmas to pretend it’s fun?Think again.

I’m writing this blog post after surviving the Super Bowl of drinking dates on the Norwegian calendar sober: The office Christmas party. I’m also shit tired, which means this blog post, even by Hilariously Sober’s standards, will especially be an incoherent though humorous mess that ends abruptly and provides little to no useful information for sober alcoholics.

But I’m contractually obligated to implore you to carry on reading, as this thing might get good.

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A photo of a dog contemplating.

Historically, my workplace Christmas party is the aperitif to the Belgian beer shit storm that’s actual Christmas: the period where a bunch of days have a bunch names, only some of which I understand the cultural or religious significance behind.

If the Christmas party is the jog to catch the train, Christmas Day and the blurry days surrounding it are the time I accidentally wandered into the international departures lounge, when I was to take a domestic flight, and had to run around the airport, double back to go through security again, to make it to where I should’ve stayed in the first damn place: the domestic departures lounge.

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Passporte

I’ve attempted to stay sober the last four or five Christmases, and failed each time.

But this year’s going to be different. This year I’m going to be bored shitless, and I’m going to love it.

What am I going to do differently, you probably didn’t ask? Not a God damn thing.

Every element I typically endure to make it a mediocre Christmas will be present, minus the refrigerator that can’t accommodate food: the shitty sweaters, the even shittier movies, the music in genres and by artists I’d never entertain listening to at any other time of the year, and the mass consumption of autumnal-colored food that makes my colon feel like it’s being twisted into a balloon animal.

I’ll FaceTime relatives I don’t keep in toANuch with, and we’ll smile at each other like we’ll make a habit of it in the New Year.

I’ll rediscover that sledding’s way more fun than building a snowman, though it comes in at a distant second to throwing a snowball at some random kid right in the ear, and witnessing the look of distilled horror and bewilderment on his face.

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“Well someone’s just made it onto the naughty list,” or some other hacky bullshit.

I’ve just figured out what this blog post is about, and it isn’t eggnog with the good bit taken out.

It’s about whether you should change the way you celebrate the holidays now that you’re sober.

I’ve blogged about filling up your time with fun shit to do to distract yourself, and why it’s essential. A bored mind is a mind that thinks about how much better your life would be with a bottle of ridiculous-strength craft ale standing in front of you on your coffee table.

But for Christmas, I’m recommending the opposite, even though it hasn’t yielded results yet.

And this is why: Sobriety should be a bitch some of the time.

Not all the time, as it’ll drive you crazy. Sure, go skydiving to stimulate you during your summer holiday, but don’t desecrate what Christmas is really about: pretending that Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is actually a good movie.

See Christmas as a challenge. It’s your soul-searching pilgrimage, though you’ll complete it with your ass firmly on the couch. I’ll be there with you, in spirit of Christmas past, pretending it’s funny when Maccaulay Culkin splashes aftershave on his face in Home Alone one and or two.

Also see it as your greatest challenge as a sober alcoholic. If you’re like me, and you probably are, those with whom you surround yourself see Christmas as a time when it’s  obligatory to open a can of beer before breakfast. The people are drunker, and the temptations and challengers greater, but so are the rewards.

Don’t waste this opportunity, which comes around but once a year, to step up to the plate and prove to yourself how cool you are with enjoying the monotony of life as a sober dude.

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Wimps.

So don’t hide your head in the snow and book that one-return-ticket skiing trip to some resort in France you can’t pronounce the name of; don’t visit that gimmicky ice hotel in Finland or some shit. Man up, and watch Love Actually with a stupid grim on your face, and do it with your shitfaced loved ones.

You’ll make it, and you’ll have been just as bored as everyone else, and it’ll feel really good when you’ve made that long pilgrimage to New Year, doing so in your shitty sweater and grandpa slippers.

Christmas, oh how I fear you, you filthy animal.


Thanks for reading! I promised an abrupt ending, and by God I delivered. For more incoherent ramblings, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the email notifications form in the top-right corner of the webpage. And if you’re connected with sober buddies on social media, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this blog post with them. At this very moment, they could be sitting on their couch, their hand shaking as they hold a Blu-ray copy of Home Alone, thinking about a fire-warmed cabin in the alps. They desperately need your help.

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