Five Things I’ve Learned from Spending 200 Days Sober

This week, Dan tells you stuff that might have been obvious to him, if only he hadn’t ruined to the opportunity to learn by getting shitfaced all the time

Advertisements

I usually write this blog on Saturdays, but I’m breaking that schedule to write this very special post. It’s very special because in nine minutes’ time, according my sobriety tracker app on my iPhone, I’ll be 200 days sober. It’s also “very special” because I want you to read on to the end.

When I first started writing this blog, I remember leaving my office two or three posts in and exclaiming to my girlfriend, “Wow, writing this shit’s really helping me stay on the wagon and forget about booze, but I don’t know how many posts I can write!” I figured max twenty, and then I’d be done. I’d have documented everything there was to document about my sobriety.

How wrong I was.

I’m almost sixty posts in and while I wouldn’t say I’ve just scratched the surface, I would say I’ve only put a tiny dent in it.

insurance-539659_640.jpg
Beating panels instead of wives.

Before I got sober, I used to think of a hangover as dehydration, anxiety, and a headache that I had to ride out before I felt well enough to drink again. I’ve realized now that a hangover is starting the process of learning all the shit everyone else learned as an adult while I focussed on bringing my drinking A-game every day, and that the three symptoms mentioned above are trivial in comparison.

So what did you learn in those 200 days, Dan?

  1. Relaxing is an acquired skill

This one I’ve learned just recently, as I’ve been forced to spend four weeks free from work, as my dumb workplace is closed for the summer. I was in fifth gear all the time I was hungover, working my ass off, writing these books and going a million miles an hour at my day gig, and then at the end of the day I forced myself to relax by getting shitfaced. After taking away alcohol, I didn’t know how you don’t do anything and feel okay about it, aka relax. I’d sit by a picturesque lake and read a book, going for the occasional swim, and look around and be unsure if I was doing it right. I didn’t know if I was doing it right because it felt like I should be doing something else. I was on red alert. This feeling subsided and I now feel fine not doing anything. I’m now nailing relaxing, just like everyone else who didn’t spend every moment they weren’t working shitfaced.

girl-1733352_640.jpg
This lady – I wanna say at the young age of twenty-five? – is already an advanced “relaxer.”

2. Hanging out with people and speaking to them makes me feel good

At the end of my career as an active alcoholic, I’d gotten to the point where I refused to do anything apart from hang out in my apartment watching movies. If I got invited to someone’s birthday dinner, I’d go along, but I wouldn’t feel over the moon about it. How dare they request my presence on a random Sunday, when I could be doing the best thing in the world: drinking myself into oblivion. I’m still dealing with feeling resentful towards people who invite me to hang out with them, and my mood is at its lowest the couple hours before I leave my apartment to do just that. But I now notice, because I’m not drunk when I leave, that hanging out with them, talking to them, and making them laugh enriches my sense of wellbeing. I leave with a smile on face and warmth in my heart.

adult-3086307_640.jpg
Hanging out..

3. Time goes by way slower

I wasn’t a blackout drinker, so I never lost any consciousness time, apart from this one time I fell off the wagon and thought I could still drink eight super-strength craft ales. I came to to find out I’d started watching Muppet Christmas Carol, and that I needed to go “downstairs,” despite living in a one-floor apartment. But since getting sober, my perception of the passing of time is completely different. My summer holiday, consisting of four weeks, went past in the relative blink of an eye when I got drunk the entirety of it. Sitting here now, three and a half weeks into my first one sober, it feels like I’ve had four summer holidays in a row.

clock-3179167_640.jpg
Now for every tick there’s a tock.

4. Other people now interest me

When I got shitfaced all the time, other people were just obstacles to navigate throughout the day, and the conversations I had with them necessary evils. Now I enjoy speaking to them, and as I smile at them, actually listening to what they say, I find myself interested in what makes them tick and why they are the way they are. After being sober for 200 days, I find other people and their complexities fascinating.

obstacle-647050_640.jpg
“Get the fuck out of my way. I’m trying to get over this obstacle.”

5. Alcohol is evil

I used to think that I was broken, that I was part of a small demographic of people who couldn’t control my drinking. And that’s true, in a way. But I now realize that alcohol’s a little like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. It’s tricksy, telling you shit all the time to trick you into consuming more of it and to fuck your shit up in general. If you drink enough of it, it’ll escalate itself to being the highest priority in your life, and even though you know it’s destroying your life, you can’t comprehend living without it. People aren’t the problem, the mass normalized consumption of a drug that fuck’s with your mind is. I learned this before I became a full-blown alcoholic, when I witnessed a guy act irrationally about being told off for drinking at lunch when I, alongside him, was completing my teaching qualification. That’s what alcoholism is, I thought, but I unlearned that shit when I started drinking enough. Alcohol didn’t want me to remember that story, because it would’ve broken the elaborate delusion it had created in my mind where it meant everything and everything else—the stuff that really matters: relationships with other human beings, success, happiness—meant nothing.

rattlesnake-653642_640.jpg
“Drink some more booze,” sssssighed the snake.

So there you have it. That went much better than I thought it was going to. If you’ve spent a decent amount of time sober, or even just a few days, feel free to write the shit you’ve learned in the comments section below.


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober, and if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times or you found it informative, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

My works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head on over to my Facebook page, say hi, and throw me a like.

It Only Took Me Six Months of Not Boozing To Learn How To Relax

The last two weeks I’ve taken away my largest barrier to staying sober: I’ve kicked ass at relaxing.

Today I’ll be collecting my six-month chip at AA, and it’s only now that I realize fully what booze took away from me for the almost ten years that I abused it: my ability to relax.

I work hard, but I don’t want a medal for it. I enjoy working hard. I get up at five AM every morning, and on the days that I’m motivated, I head to my office at around 5:45 to write trashy fiction, a mug of green tea in one hand, a pint of water in the other, and my headphones dangled around my neck.

women-1209678_640.jpg
“What’s the name of the jerk who wrote this trashy bullshit again?”

I write my one-thousand-plus words just in time to work out for ten minutes before I go to work. My job’s intense. I work in a kindergarten, and it works out that there’s a six-kids-to-every-adult ratio, so my job is basically being a shitty uncle to six kids every day.

By the time I get home, I’m spent. Following a recipe for dinner requires reading it upwards of twenty times, and I still usually forget an ingredient or two.

The last couple weeks I’ve had that routine taken away from me, as it’s my summer holiday. Four weeks where I get to turn off the motor.

The start of the holiday was make or break for my sobriety. I knew if I made it through these four weeks, I could be sober for the rest of my life. What I didn’t know is that these four weeks would allow me to find a peace of mind that I’ve never had.

An often-touted excuse or reason to drink is its relaxing effect. I get it. People work hard. The description of my workday above probably isn’t unusual. And once you gear up to fifth gear, it’s difficult to get down to neutral in the four or five hours you have before you have to hit the hay, after which you’ll wake up and start your workday again.

But what happens when the time you have to relax is days on end, and the only way you know how to relax is by drinking a metric shit-ton of alcohol? Alcoholism happens.

pretty-woman-1509956_640.jpg
This woman is searching an idyllic relaxation spot for her lost bottle of White Zin.

The last two weeks I’ve taken away my largest barrier to staying sober: I’ve kicked ass at relaxing.

At least I tried to kick ass at it in the beginning of the holiday. I ran my holiday like a military operation. I still got up early to write my one-thousand-plus words of trashy fiction, and thereafter I’d plan what I was going to do that day to a T—swimming and chilling out by a lake by a certain time, watching a movie by midday, after which I’d prepare lunch. The rest of day was equally planned to “maximize” my relaxation.

But here’s the thing about relaxation. You don’t plan the shit out of it, and you can’t plan for it to happen, which is the way I relaxed for the last seven summers. I bought my supplies at the vinmonopolet (the Norwegian equivalent of a liquor store, just government owned and ran and regulated), and I’d relax the shit out of the day by drinking myself into a semi-dream-state alcoholic abyss.

abyss-2036211_640.jpg
A regular abyss.

This is the first summer I’ve taken alcohol out of the equation, and I didn’t fare well in the beginning. I got grouchy, and I was easily bored.

But something miraculous happened. It at least feels miraculous to me. I learned to embrace boredom, and the turning point happened on a camping trip.

With my girlfriend, I hiked for two and a half hours to an idyllic spot by a picture-perfect lake. We arrived early, and all there was to do was to setup camp, swim, read, smoke cigarettes, and stare out at the lake. The walk there was taxing, but after only a couple hours I was ready to bale. I’d planned this trip, and now it was happening, but I’d done everything I’d planned to do at least once. I was ready to plan the next thing, and I was willing to walk another two and a half hours so I could get to planning it.

reading-925589_640.jpg
“You’ll relax, God damn it, if it’s the last thing you do.”

Really, I wanted to escape relaxation, because I didn’t know what it meant, not without alcohol.

I stayed at that campsite, and I forced myself to be bored for five or so hours until it was a reasonable time to head to my sleeping bag.

I came back not a changed man, but with a new skill. A skill I’d never learned because I’d never gone through the process to get it, because I drank and drank and drank.

This summer I learned that life’s boring from time to time, and that’s okay. It never was when I got shitfaced all the time.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober.

My works of trashy fiction can be checked out here.

Click on this link to head over to my Facebook page and throw me a like.

I Now Fully Understand This “One Day At A Time” Shit

This week, Dan talks sobriety 101, not in an exercise to teach others, but to teach his slow-ass-learner self.

Back when I started trying to get sober about the time I started this blog, I didn’t have a crazy amount of respect for the whole one-day-at-a-time philosophy. I’d obviously come across it in popular culture, and had heard it repeated ad nauseam in sobriety culture, but I always thought it was for losers nothing like I.

I have a shit-ton of self-confidence. Dick swinging, I once went to a job interview carrying an acoustic guitar, which I played for the interviewers. The interview was for a gig in a kindergarten, but still, from their reaction, I’m pretty sure this was the first time this had ever happened, and it’s probably a safe bet that I’ll be the last to do so in their careers.

geek-499140_640.jpg
Losers nothing like I.

Armed with my cocaine-high-level self-confidence, I figured taking sobriety one day at a time was for people who weren’t going to be amazing at this, which I obviously was. I figured that philosophy was like training wheels for small kids. Don’t worry, guy. I’ll go ahead and skip the training wheels and go right for the big-boy bike. A helmet? Nah, I don’t need that.

Instead of making a daily goal every day of staying sober, I made the lofty goal of staying sober the rest of my life, and of course I was going to nail it, but more on this later.

knight-3449326_640.jpg
This guy’s sad he got pretend killed in a reenactment.

Two years later, I have a much better perspective on the world and success and happiness. I now have much more humility, I have a little less self-confidence (which is probably a good thing), and I no longer think most problems can be solved by strumming a few open chords.

The biggest change in me is I’m taking sobriety fully seriously for the first time. I know what I’m up against, and how difficult it is to succeed. I’m almost making it #1 on my list of priorities.

Last week at Alcoholics Anomalous, the topic of discussion for sharing was this bumper-sticker philosophy of staying sober one day at a time. I mumbled some bullshit, and threw in a few jokes, and everyone laughed and learned nothing, which tends to be how it goes most weeks. My role in my AA group is similar to that of the court jester: you’re not going to learn shit from what I say, but by God am I wearing a silly hat.

fool-1476189_640.jpg
“Did I ever tell you about the time I had a DUI with a transgender hooker tied and gagged in the trunk of my car?”

Sharing on this topic last week got the cogs turning, and this week I had an oh-shit moment, where I realized how ridiculous it is to be working towards lifelong sobriety.

I realized that:

  1. That goal is never achieved. In fact, the moment it’ll be achieved is the moment your consciousness ceases to exist, so you’ll never be aware of its having been achieved. How’s that for a carrot on the end of a really long stick.
  2. You’re carrying the heavy responsibility of attempting to stay sober for time that doesn’t exist yet, and which might never exist.

In your mind, if you exercise and avoid high-fructose corn syrup and manage to abstain from smoking, you’ll make it into your eighties. So when you say you’re going to quit drinking for the rest of your life, you’re imagining the effort it takes to stay sober each of those days, which is in the tens of thousands.

It’s overwhelming.

Now imagine the effort it takes to stay sober just one of those days: today. Imagine unburdening yourself of thinking about tomorrow, and how you’ll stay sober that day, and focus on the now. It sounds like some Tony Robinson-level hokey bullshit, but it’s incredibly freeing. Instead of avoiding thousands of beers, you’re avoiding just the one. That first one that day. Besides, who knows? You might get a hit by a bus tomorrow, or struck by a boot on the end of an amateur fisherman’s line.

Take it one day at a time.


Thanks for reading! This post is less funny but not anymore serious than the posts I tend to write, but there are a few value bombs in there for entry-level alcoholics in recovery. If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober. And if you laughed out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

My works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head on over to my Facebook page to say hi and throw me a like.

Let’s Talk Anonymity

This week, Dan has written the idiot’s guide to alcoholism and anonymity. As in written by an idiot, not for. Or both.

Do you wear your sobriety as a badge of honor, or do you hide it away like your stepdad did his collection of porn magazines? That’s the topic of today’s blog post, which is why I wrote that question, instead of a different one.

After immersing myself in sobriety culture, I’ve recognized two main schools of thought when it comes to sobriety and anonymity: 1) being honest and open about being an alcoholic in recovery with people outside of AA, and 2) hiding that shit away, like your stepdad did his… oh wait, I’ve already written that, so let’s get on with talking about the pros and cons of both schools of thought, and by “let’s get on with talking,” I mean I’ll write the words and you can read them.

That type of talking.

  1. Hiding that shit away and being deep undercover

Anonymity to some people means going to any length maintain it, including getting pissed at family members who betray it.

When I first started going to AA, people exhibiting this school of thought surprised me a little, but then again, doing anything that didn’t involve making myself vomit on a Saturday afternoon also surprised me, so what did I know?

It makes total sense you’d want to hide the fact you’re an alcoholic from certain people. Your employer, for example. It’s difficult enough to get ahead on a level playing field, let alone when your employer knows you’re one glass of chardonnay on a ponce’s yacht away from devolving into an employee who shouldn’t be let anywhere near heavy machinery.

This school of thought is also an easier way to live your life. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, people don’t like the word alcoholic, and by extension, they don’t like the alcoholic. He challenges them to think about their own drinking habits just by mentioning he doesn’t drink, or even by just choosing to drink a club soda at a bar instead of joining him in a round of Jägerbombs, and we all know how Baby reacts when you even just feign taking his bottle away.

baby-2791786_640.jpg
Badly.

My sponsor is a heavy proponent of this school of thought, so much so that he’s asked me to refer to him as codename White Knight if I mention him or her on the blog, and I totally respect that, White Knight, I really do.

Just kidding. It’s definitely a him.

My girlfriend, who has allowed me to use her forename, only spelled backwards, takes her anonymity so seriously she’s masquerading as an active alcoholic. When Iris had a discussion with a colleague about her plans for the 17th of May—Norway’s national day; the biggest drinking day on the calendar—she told her colleague she was going to start drinking in the morning and get progressively shitfaced as the day went on, like any respectable Norwegian. Iris, to maintain her anonymity, is deep undercover as the diametric opposite of what she is, like Donnie Brasco.

That’s some serious anonymity game, Iris.

frog-3201057_640.jpg
Codename Iris, as seen in the wild.
  1. Being honest and open about it

For one White Knight, I come across one and a half alcoholics in recovery who don’t sweat remaining anonymous. I both respect these people and think they’re idiots.

Let me explain.

On the one hand, they’re letting their small part of the world know—at least anyone who’ll listen, at least—that they’re one beer mix-up at a bar away from devolving into the type of person who you question has on clean underwear each morning.

They may choose to only tell select people—a really close friend at work, maybe, or the person with whom they’re having an affair—but the problem with anonymity is you can’t pick and choose with whom you have it. You tell one person, and the cat’s out the bag. When you decide to tell Bill at work, you have to assume Bill will tell all and sundry, including your boss, who’s the person who decides who operates the heavy machinery.

See where I’m going with this?

That’s the idiot part.

idiot-1619993_640.jpg
A bird protecting her eggs like an alcoholic protects their anonymity.

The part that I respect is that I think it’s important to destroy this ridiculous stereotype people have of the alcoholic—that the only type of alcoholic that exists is the whirlwind alcoholic who loses his job, drinks whisky for breakfast, and eventually loses everything.

By telling people you’re an alcoholic, by presenting yourself well—with fresh underwear and a finely chosen aftershave, for example—you are, inch by inch, destroying this ridiculous stereotype.

The reason that’s important is that stereotype is dangerous. People use it as a yardstick, justifying their carrying on drinking, when they’re so close to getting help.

So there we have it.

What’s my preference? I hear you ask. I think in early sobriety, you don’t have a choice. Get thinking of that codename, because until you have a solid length of sober time under your belt, your sobriety doesn’t command any respect. People might clap at AA when you get your 24-hour medallion, but that’s more out of encouragement than congratulations.

As I’m in early sobriety, I’m really careful about whom I tell. I have an online presence as an alcoholic in recovery, and assume the chances of my boss reading this shit are slim to none. They’re insignificant.

Only when I get to around five years of sobriety, if that day comes—knock on wood and take it one day at a time, yada yada yada—will I consider whether I want to be a White Knight, or that dude who upon meeting a new colleague immediately tells them they once crashed their car into a tree while simultaneously pissing themselves, and that’s not even the funny part.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

My works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to Facebook page and give my page a like.

About Now’s the Time I Start Thinking about Getting Shitfaced Again

Dan writes about the connection between Taiwanese hookers and grass, the non-fun kind.

If the next week’s weather produces snow and icy weather and freezing temperatures, it’ll mean I’ve endured six months of winter here in Oslo. That’s two winters in a row.

Wintery weather started in early November, and hasn’t let up until now, the end of March.

Pretty soon, all the snow will melt, the grass will be begin to grow, they’ll be the smell of pollen in the air, and women will start wearing progressively less clothing. Jesus, it’s going to be a one hell of a time.

It’ll also be tainted. I know I’ll start thinking it’s a good time to drink again.

I’ll get into that “Just one more” mindset. The idea of enjoying one more afternoon in the sun getting shitfaced will seem like something I kinda have to do. I’m not predicting a hurricane or some other unlikely event in this part of the world, like a mini ice age—in fact, I just realized it wasn’t I who predicted it at all.

I know this shit’s on the horizon, and there isn’t a single thing I can do to stop it.

Only this time’s going to be different—I’m not going to drink. Those famous last words. Only this time I mean them for real.

I hadn’t thought about it until my sponsor sent me an SMS, saying, “Remember, spring is a time for slips!” or some shit.

Up until that point, I arrogantly didn’t even think it a possibility.

I was starting to think, with the help of AA, that “I got this.” I suppose that’s part of his gig. He’s like a sobriety weatherman, only he’s always right. When he says it’s going to rain, you better make sure you take your umbrella with you.

I’m still figuring out what this blog post is about. Let me just go back and read the start so I can try to steer this ship in a straight line. Oh, yeah: bad weather, then good weather, and slips.

I remember this time one year vividly. I was sitting outside after a long winter, and got that first whiff of spring. Grass or some shit. It was like opening a time capsule. That’s the thing about smells and sounds, the mind attaches memories to them. The memory of the bad experience you had with a Taiwanese hooker may seem long gone, until you walk past someone wearing the same sickly perfume. And then you may as well be back there in that room, sitting on the edge of the bed and putting your socks on and thinking about whether you’d tell your wife at some point.

But the perfume in this story is nature’s, and the memories good.

I’m 440 words in, and I still haven’t discovered what this post is about yet. Let me just go back and check. Oh, yeah: bad weather, and good weather, and smells, and slips, and something about a hooker.

One of the memories attached to that smell—“grass or some shit”—is a memory of sitting out on my balcony, breathing in the feeling of the start of the summer, toasting its arrival with my favorite beer and a cigarette. When I notice that smell that hasn’t been around for six months for the first time this year, my mind will be cast back to that afternoon. Maybe an amalgam of afternoons just like that. And I’ll be envious of that late-twenty-something.

I seem to have come full circle. I’ve just discovered why I’ll think it’s a good time to drink again.


Thanks for reading! Clearly, I wasn’t firing on all cylinder this morning. On the off chance you want to carry on reading more of the drivel you’ve just read, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober. And if it made you laugh out loud three times—highly unlikely in the case of this post—don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your sober friends on social media.

My works of fiction can be checked out here.

My Facebook page can be liked here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a Devil at Parties, and that Devil’s Called Alcohol

Dan recounts the time he was super pissed about not being able to drink.

Like anybody with an iPhone and a lack of assertiveness, when I need to make a decision, I head over to Google to find advice. Before AA, the World Wide Web, or the internet as it’s become incorrectly known, was my sole source of information for sobriety and alcoholism. That, and podcasts.

One common piece of advice for sobriety the internet provides in regard to alcoholism is to avoid seeing, hearing about, or being exposed to alcohol at all costs. Stay away from the bars you patronized, avoid friends who are heavy drinkers, switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash, and if you get a cut on your big toe, acquire a gangrene infection before you put any rubbing alcohol on it. It’s better to stay sober and lose your big toe, than tempt the devil.

mask-469217_640.jpg
Don’t take another step. I’m an alcoholic.

This advice is often punctuated by this cliché, which I’ve seen touted on sobriety forums: If you keep hanging around in barber shops, it’s only a matter of time before you end up getting a haircut.

I’ve heeded this advice as gospel; on the surface, it makes sense. But I read something in the Big Book this week that contradicted this advice. I don’t want to locate the passage, so I can quote it verbatim, but it goes something like this: “If you have to avoid the deadbeats you hung around with because they drink too much, or it crosses your mind that swallowing Listerine while rinsing after brushing sounds like a good idea, then you aren’t sober. Not properly. And in the case of the latter, you’re probably an idiot.” (Okay, so I made up that last sentence.)

This shit was music to my ears.

I’ll still buy the brand of alcohol-free mouthwash I’ve gotten used to, but it’s refreshing to know that I shouldn’t avoid situations where people are consuming alcohol. Next week’s my birthday. I’ll be celebrating surviving thirty-three years after the umbilical cord was cut, and I think it’s just great that I can now encourage, no, demand, that the people with whom I celebrate do what they do best: drink until they think everything they say is funny and or clever.

Here’s a little story. Around eight years ago, I went to a daytime party to celebrate the marriage of Prince William to his lady friend. I was a heavy drinker at the time, and was known as such, and one of the guests who invited me forbade me from drinking alcohol, as there was a dude there who was an alcoholic.

love-3194477_640.jpg
We did it, honey. Half my shit’s now yours.

They wanted to keep the crazy drunk away from the guy who had a problem with raiding grandpa’s medicine cabinet when he should’ve just been pissing. I resented that guy the whole party, but I never let my feelings known.

I didn’t care about the wedding, or the royals, and I definitely didn’t care about what dress the bride was wearing, but I was super pissed about not being able to celebrate those things I didn’t care about in the way I knew best.

kermit-1651615_640.jpg
Let me celebrate, as this shit’s meaningless to me.

This story isn’t about me. I was behaving and thinking the way any active alcoholic would. The story’s about the dry alcoholic, and about that as alcoholics, we shouldn’t be trying to change the world around us, but trying to change ourselves.

It’s only this way we can stay sober. Alcohol is ingrained into the fabric of our culture. It’s the cart-wheeling clown at the circus, the wart on the end of a witch’s nose.

giraffe-2222908_640.jpg
The giraffe’s long neck.

That party shouldn’t have accommodated him, and definitely not because this idiot wanted to get shitfaced to make watching a marriage ceremony entertaining. It’s for the other people. The regular drinkers, who’s afternoon would’ve been so enriched by a few glasses of wine. It’s also for his benefit, as sitting there white-knuckling isn’t the best way to be a guest at someone’s party. What’s the point of being sober, if that is what’s now ruining the relationships you have with people?

I agree with the Big Book. If the only way you can stay sober is to design life to fit your mold, then that’s a really shitty way of staying sober, and a miserable way to live your life.

Sure, you can lock yourself up in your apartment and watch movies with your wife, who’s graciously started this journey of sobriety with you, and it’ll work. And in the case of the story told in this blog post, you can be that douchebag who’s ruining everyone’s fun because you ruined drinking for yourself. But that’s not the type of sober alcoholic I want to be.

This doesn’t mean I’ll be hanging out at bars all Friday night, because it doesn’t hold the same appeal without a drink in my hand. But when someone’s birthday comes up, or my work buddies are meeting up after work on a Friday to toast the end of the week, whereas before I’d heed the advice that I should stay away, I’ll now take those opportunities to socialize.

I’ll be the sober ninja standing among the group, totally cool with everyone getting shitfaced. In some ways, they won’t even remember my being there. And that’s a great thing.


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober for more insightful posts and witch metaphors. And if this post made you laugh out loud three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

My works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head on over to my Facebook page and throw me a like.

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.

portrait-3013924_640.jpg
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.

lion-3099986_640.jpg
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.

doctor-840127_640.jpg
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.

girl-2754233_640.jpg
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.

My works of fiction about an alcoholic P.I. can be checked out here.

My Facebook page can be liked here.