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I have a bipolar relationship with alcohol. Even a “love/hate” tag would not do my feelings about alcohol justice. Here is a diary of one brave man’s struggle.
Sunday night is my rock bottom. On Sunday night, I swear off alcohol. A life of sobriety is my new calling. I am utterly exhausted, and I know I have a long, looming week ahead of me. I fight withdrawal and anxiety, and I fight an extensive knockout fight with dehydration. Sunday night I do not sleep, because three days of binge drinking gave me the gift of insomnia.
My alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m., and I emphatically hit snooze–I just fell asleep two hours ago. I arrive to work 20 minutes late, feeling like absolute garbage. Monday is painful; Monday tests my will to live. I check my finances, and see yet again that a weekend of drinking in New York City has done vile things to my already precariously low balance. My resolve for a life of sobriety is strong, and it feels good being a changed man. Despite being exhausted, this newly discovered sobriety gives me some motivation to go to the gym. I labor through a workout.
My alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. and I hit snooze–slightly less emphatically, mind you. I slept well last night. I arrive to work on time, feeling like an average person. Today, I actually get some work done. As a person who has 48 hours under his belt as a sober, healthy person, I am excited to go to the gym after work. I go to the gym and I get in a good workout. This feels great, and I realize I love this new lifestyle.
My alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. and I hit snooze. (I am sober, I am not Jesus.) I even arrive to work 10 minutes early, and feel as if it’s my day to climb the treacherous corporate ladder. My supervisor assigns me a lengthy report. I do not procrastinate. I bang out the report and give it a 100 percent effort. I go to the gym and seemingly have the best work out of my life. Now that I am sober, I think I should begin training for a marathon. Alcohol is no longer part of my life–it’s a distant memory.
My alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. and I DO NOT hit snooze. I arrive to work 15 minutes late because I got distracted by a rerun of the “Fresh Prince.” My buddy texts me about going to our favorite happy hour spot. I ignore his text, because I am going to the gym tonight. I am sober, and marathons do not run themselves. However, I think to myself, “damn a beer sounds lovely.” My boss emails me saying he didn’t need the report I slaved over yesterday after all. Fuck him and fuck this job. I text my buddy back saying, “Down for happy hour, only going to have a couple brews though, nothing like last week haha.” I go to happy hour. I have my few beers and I am ready to leave. But then somebody buys a round of shots.
My alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. and I DO NOT hit snooze. Instead, I sleep right through my alarm. I wake up at 8:23 a.m. in a panic. How much did I drink last night? When did I get home? Fuck that asshole who bought the round of shots! I throw on a wrinkled shirt, brush my teeth, and run out of the apartment wreaking of Fireball. I get to work 20 minutes late. Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. Today will be okay. This is a lie, a Friday morning oasis. I realize I am still drunk, and I dread the remainder of the day. 11:20 a.m. hits and I want to puke on my laptop. I get nothing done all day. I cannot wait to leave work and recover. Finally, Its 5:30 p.m., and it’s time to go. I go home, take a quick nap, and feel brand new when I wake up. It is Friday night, and as much as I want to stay sober, what does a single postgrad do if he’s not drinking on a Friday night? I am not a recluse. I want to stay sober, but I need to go out and mingle with my peers. Unfortunately, I cannot go out sober–that really isn’t an option. People who soberly go to bars and have fun are serial killers, plain and simple. I say I will take it easy, but I brown out Friday night.
Saturday I sleep in, and then I do a half-assed workout at the gym. I think to myself, “This is the only truly great day of the week–I didn’t have to work today, and I don’t have work tomorrow.” There is no internal debate tonight. I am going to the bars, and I am getting drunk with my friends. I black out Saturday night.
Fuck me. This time is for real–no more games. I am taking my sobriety seriously this time.