If you’ve never been so drunk or hungover that you’ve made a vomit oath to never touch, look at, or breathe the same air as a bottle of alcohol again, you are no one that I would like to know. And you’re probably judgmental. This is not for you.
But to my other brothers and sisters out there who know exactly what I mean by still-half-drunkenly swearing off alcohol, then this column is just for you. The first time I swore off alcohol, I was a sophomore in college. I drank an entire fifth of UV Blue straight, and as much as I would like to take pride in my drinking abilities, that doesn’t change the fact that I drank it all by my 130-pound self. I subsequently gave all the illegally bought beer in my mini-fridge to my floormates down the hall. I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to know it was there, and I needed it gone. Forever.
Those feelings lasted about a week.
Thinking about alcohol makes you want to vomit. Even thinking about O’Doul’s makes you want to vomit. Beer battered chicken, too. Thinking about anything that may have even remotely touched your lips last night makes you want to vomit, including the person sleeping next to you. All of this vomit speak inevitably makes you vomit. You beg for mercy, but would accept death as a close second. You cancelled any plans you had for the day–not postponed, not rescheduled. Cancelled. You have more PTSD issues than your granddad did after ‘Nam.
You’re guzzling enough water to drown a fish. You use a personal day partly due to the hangover you still have, but mainly due to the heavy narcotics you used in an attempt to finally get rid of the headache you’ve had since yesterday. It feels like you spent Saturday night in a fight with a brick wall, and to be honest, you may have. Even at this point, you’re lucky if you can keep down food.
Reluctantly, you’ve managed to crawl into your seat at work, but you have no idea what’s actually happening in your surroundings. You are, however, “Maury” positive that if these people don’t shut the hell up and turn off the fluorescent lights, you will have to quit your job and spend life in a Netflix-less prison cell.
Today finally feels like a normal day. You still hate your life, but you’re completely sober by now, have kept down at least three meals, and that vomit-induced ab workout feeling has finally diminished enough for you to actually enjoy how much weight you’ve lost over the last several days. Your friends or coworkers invite you out for happy hour and the words don’t make you feel homicidal, so that’s nice.
Today is great! You feel awesome because you’re officially (technically) five days sober. This whole “no alcohol” thing is going well for you and you feel all of the positive side effects. You keep telling yourself you should’ve done this a long time ago, and you think of all of those “kids” who are going to wake up tomorrow feeling like road kill. You feel like such a responsible adult.
Today sucks. Your boss wants you to resubmit your entire report, which only took three weeks of your life to complete. Even though you’re out on your own, your mom and dad still find something to call and complain about. Your friends are harassing you to come out and drink with them tonight. You give it an actual thought, but wind up staying home and going to bed early to end the day from hell.
Your friends call you to tell you about their wild, crazy, awesome nights, and, as if you weren’t already feeling extreme FOMO, throw in a “You should’ve been there.” You take a nap. You wake up a brand new person. Your friends invite you out tonight, but you’re only going to come out for a few hours–you’re NOT going to drink. Your friends order a pitcher. There’s an extra cup. You rationalize that it would be a complete waste of a cup if you don’t use it, so you have ONE beer. They order another pitcher. You have ONE MORE beer. Eventually, you realize that if you’re going to drink, you’re going to need something harder than beer. You order double vodkas on the rocks the rest of the night until you get into a physical altercation with a brick wall.