On a dry July

Today marks 27 days without alcohol. I decided to abstain for the month of July, following a bit of a public bender at the end of last month. The last time I went more than a day or two without drinking was January of last year, following a pretty late New Years Eve/Day drinking session. I’ve got a pretty complicated history with alcohol, as I’m sure some do, and I’m addiction-prone as well, but I’m not sure how unusual that is, when it comes down to it.

One of these days I’ll probably come round to a full accounting of all the crazy, fucked-up shit that I’ve done over the years, but for now I’ll just stick to the last few months. I’m not sure how much of a memoir I want this blog to become, or whether I want to de-anonymize it at some point in time. Suffice to say, I love the drink, I love(d) to smoke, I love whatever it is that I like to do and I will do it as much as I possibly can. Let’s just say for now, that about a year ago, I came to the conclusion that my alcohol consumption was a problem. Not that I hit rock-bottom or anything like that — that happened years ago — but it was just the ramifications of my daily consumption, on both my health and my wallet. I actually had my doctor prescribe me naltrexone to help me cut down. I didn’t want to quit. I like drinking, I didn’t want to cut alcohol out of my life completely, I just didn’t want to get to a place where I get hammered out of my mind and blackout or worse. I’ve been lucky not to kill myself or someone else, but I recognized that it was probably just a matter of time before I did.

It’s such a shitty thing to say that the main reason I cut it out was that it was costing me too much. I’ve acquired a taste for IPAs over the past few years, and the prices have been creeping up to around twelve dollars a six pack. It got expensive, and I was stopping by the store on the way home pretty much every day. The cost was getting out of hand. Trying to limit myself to three a night or whatever rationalizing I was telling myself just wasn’t cutting it. And when I gave myself permission to let loose — I let it go.

So when I told myself eighteen months ago that I was going to do a Dry-ruary or whatever they call it, I did it, no problem. I’m sure my wife was as shocked as me that I didn’t got into the DTs, or have any withdrawal symptoms, but no. The only real negative from the whole experience was trouble falling asleep. I do recall that I couldn’t wait for the month to be over, and I celebrated the day with a cold one out with my wife for one of our semi-regular Friday happy-hours before picking up the kids.

This time, I don’t feel that same way. Someone actually gifted me a bottle of scotch last week — not knowing — and I don’t even really look forward to drinking it. I may just keep going, and see how long I can go. It’s possible that I just traded one habit for another, gave up a vice for a virtue. Who knows what will happen.

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