Normally on November 25th I go out and see my father’s final resting place, followed by a beer or two. Not today. Today I will not be drinking a beer for my father. Nor will I share any stories about him. Instead, I’d like to tell you that I hit a personal milestone that I’m genuinely proud of.
I’ve been sober for three months today. I may not have seemed like an alcoholic to most people. Looking at my posts on Instagram and the fact that I have a category called “Alcohol” in my blog- I thought I was just having normal fun- with booze.
I was a social drinker. Hanging out until last call, stopping for “a beer” with friends. Joking that “It only takes me one beer to get me drunk, I’m just not sure if it’s the fifth one or the sixth one.” It’s also one thing to have my friends looking to me as the person who is always ready for a drink.
I would often come home from work and drink a few beers. On my days off I’d drink at least twice as much each day and then finishing whatever alcohol I could find once the beers ran out. Its in my genetics to go way overboard when I do drink. However when my heart is racing after a few beers and my kids are calling me out and telling me I drink too much- I needed to reassess my life.
What started as Sober September this year has escalated into a three month win. A huge victory that I am proud of. The pilgrimage I set upon was only spoken of with those who were close to me. Talking about the burden of alcoholism isn’t easy.
If I could pat myself on the back, I am going to do it here publicly. The next month will probably be the most difficult for me to get through. I always took pride in setting up my “First Christmas Tree” of the season- the booze dispenser. My coffee would be spiked, and the eggnog as well. Not this year. This year is the new me attempting to emerge and conquer the world.
I needed to share this three month milestone. As embarrassing as it seems to be at times. Alcoholism is something I’ve lived with all my life. I have been drinking pretty regularly since I was 17. Making a fool of myself on many occasions and not knowing when or where the limit was. Alcoholism was destroying my health and my bank account. I also had a few negative memories that I left for my children. From stupidity to anger to embarrassment- I was easily losing “Father of the Year” chances more and more frequently.
Thank you for reading. I am trying to live the rest of my life the best way I can. If I falter, I hope to get back up and work towards being a better me.
This is my third year going for “Sober September”. In fact I am already starting it early because last year I slipped and had a beer part way through the month. I won’t let that happen again this year.
If all goes well, I’m going to push for an Alcohol-Free Autumn. I’m not sure if my wife will try and join me this year. She doesn’t possess the same internal struggle as I when it comes to having a vice. In general I have more of those evil addiction traits than her.
Most of my year has had me in pictures with various beers at a variety of places. I appear to be touting the joy of drinking like an old magazine advertisement. As if drinking and fun go hand-in-hand. But seeing the last image of myself in front of my favorite watering hole, I realized I don’t look as healthy as once was. I have put on some unhealthy weight and a fake smile that I really do not like.
So wish me luck in my journey of Sober September 3. Each year gets harder than the last to let the drinking go. That is a sobering statement in and of itself.
My wife and I had a fairly successful Sober September. I faltered once and had a beer at the airport in Winnipeg. As September ended and October began, I wasn’t eagerly waiting for the month to end in order to “Hit the sauce” so to speak.
On Thursday we went out with some friends for a dinner. Originally we were going to go to Trading Post in Abbotsford- a place with great food and atmosphere. I would’ve likely had my favorite beer there- the 1828 Helles Lager. But they were closed for a private event. So we ended up at The Canadian Brewhouse instead.
Their beer special was Budweiser. A beer I don’t overly enjoy. So I had a ginger ale instead and I felt good about it. I know we’re only five days into October, but I’ve been enjoying a variety of teas and sodas in lieu of alcohol. The only thing I’m noticing is that I am craving sweets more often. Hence the sodas.
As Autumn progresses, I’ll probably enjoy a drink or two at some point. I’m just not actively going out to buy beers or planning nights with friends at breweries as I have in the past.
Maybe I can find an elegant tea house nearby and invite you out for a social date.
I’m going for year two of Sober September. The end of summer had me enjoying my vacation with quite a few beers this year. As much as I want to sport the beer gut and “Dad Bod” I also want to be healthy. Taking a break from the hops and barley will help.
We also have quite the collection of Growlers from the breweries we’ve visited. It’s time to let them gather dust for a bit. Generally if I liked a beer, I bought a growler. But the artwork on the bottles is also important. I guess it’s kind of like spoon collecting?
Anyways, it’s September 1st. Time to get on the path of Sober September. I’m glad I did it last year and was eager to do it again this year. My wife has said she is going to join me this month as well. That’s the kind of awesome support that I appreciate.
I successfully went the entire month of September not being abducted by aliens not drinking. I’m not gonna lie, I feel goram good about it. (That’s my Firefly reference for the year btw). it was a personal goal that I successfully met. Like when I quit smoking cold turkey 13 years ago.
Being that the limitations I set out a month ago were personal ones, there was nothing stopping me from giving up and having just onedrink last month. No one else would’ve cared. But it mattered to me. A couple times I really wanted a beer to just “feel normal” after a tough day. I contemplated whether drinking makes me normal or if my indulgences make me more like Rick Sanchez. Thus making drinking a part of who I am.
Will I have a drink on “Day One” after my month of sobriety?
Will I refrain from ever drinking again? Doubtful. I’m just not planning on partaking in alcohol any time soon.
Previously I would look forward to my days off or vacation time by planning my drinking schedule. WOW that sounds bad. But when I’ve been drinking for 25 years, that’s kinda how I plan my life- it just became normal. What’s strange about that observation is that many people live like this. Planning to the end of the work week or the next social drink. This is totally acceptable.
I never let alcohol interfere with work or the obligations to my family. But when you train your kids how to serve a drink or fetch a beer- is that the role model I really want to be? Haha, maybe… it’s cute in a bizarre way to have a two year old hand you a beer, right?
I’ve always become more socially fun after a few drinks. It doesn’t mean I don’t have fun when not drinking. It’s just a different “let loose” fun.
When I examine my lifestyle- Staying alcohol free may be the best plan for at least a little while longer. My bank account is feeling relief. My body is doing great- I’m napping less and my allergies are calmer. But I don’t think it’s ever going to happen that I never touch a drop again. I am in no rush to grab a beer over the next while that’s for sure.
But I am starting vacation soon… and there’s this margarita stand that I like…
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I plan on spending it sober. What???
It may surprise some of my friends. I do enjoy a drink (or five) from time to time. But tonight, I just don’t want to. No reason. I’m just not in the mood to be out there with a bunch of people getting drunk and rowdy.
Those of you who do want to enjoy in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations- stay safe. Make sure you and your friends have a ride home. Having fun doesn’t mean you have to be irresponsible.
So whatever green beer or Irish kissing you do tonight- enjoy yourselves.
Nine days ago my wife and I attended the wedding of some old friends. It was a small intimate wedding about the size of ours. I knew about half of the people there from meeting them over the many years of friendship with the groom. It was great to socialize and laugh. In fact I had the most fun being sober at this wedding.
Those who know me know that I enjoy having a few drinks at these types of events. Even more so if the booze is running freely. This time around, I agreed with my wife to give her a chance to let loose. So she did and had a great time. We sat with some friends and laughed.
Throughout the night music played and people sang. They sang quite well in fact. It was a lot of fun. I began having some intense discussions with the non-sober people about music. Turns out, everyone knows songs from The Cars and Kenny Loggins.
So as we sat at the table singing “The Cars Greatest Hits” over dinner, I realized that I enjoy sobriety as much as I enjoy intoxication. “Let the good times roll.” We discussed Kenny Loggins impact on the films of the 80’s and how each of the songs he wrote that appeared on sound tracks helped defined the movie.
The topics we had throughout the night kept everyone in great spirits. We joked about drugs, dildos, and dinosaurs. At one point, one person was writing a song for my wife and I. I believe it was called “Pound Town”.
The night was a riot. For the car ride home, I drove a couple of other friends home as well who had been enjoying the drinks. My wife really let loose at the wedding and people began to question who was the more “adult” person in the relationship.
That’s a good sign. It means that we both still enjoy life and all it has to offer. Be it sober or a bit tipsy. Or a lot tipsy as was the case for my wife and our friends. Like Kenny Loggins once said, “I’m alright, nobody worry about me.”