I have been sober for 2 months. This is the 2nd time, that I can remember, being sober for this long in my adult life.
That doesn't sound very good does it? Not at all Stasik, not at all
I used to be all prim and proper until I was about 17. Well, that's probably a lie, but I didn't start getting drunk until then. High school was just about finished and I still had no friends to speak of. It's been 4 years since I came to Australia, 4 years spent in introspection and watching people as an outsider, I knew there was no coming back from that. Staring into an abyss and all that. One of the first times I got drunk (excluding that one time I got drunk with a bum back in Russia when I was 12), I found that I had a much easier time communicating with people and my accent was less of a barrier for me. In retrospect, I probably should not have tried to avoid having Russian friends, but for whatever reason, at the time I decided I didn't want to be like every other immigrant and stick to their own kind. Not sure that would've helped with the drinking though.
As the story goes, I started hanging out with people I wouldn't generally associate with, but I didn't hang out with anyone before, so it's a step up right? I started dating a girl whose parents were chronic alcoholics and not really having a dad in my life, I'd spend just as much time with her dad than I would with her; drinking and philosophising about life (he'd always circle back to his 0s and 1s, you're either dead or alive). He is now a 0.
A couple of years later, I had some not-as-bad-for-me-friends, and I'd get drunk with them just about every weekend and it was around then I discovered IRC and E2 (around 2001-2002). I now no longer needed to leave the house to be able to talk to people, so I could get comfortably drunk in my own bedroom and be entertained, thanks to my 56k modem and GoConnect a free internet service that showed you continuous ads (which could be easily disabled with a crack found on the good ol' Astalavista site).
Fast forward a few more years, and I no longer required company to enjoy a nice cold beverage. I'd still go to a pub and chat to strangers, or waste time on IRC, but I was just as happy drinking by myself, watching a movie on the couch, gaming or what-not. A lot of time, health and money was wasted, years flew by, as I got by on my measly salary, just enough to pay the rent and keep the beer flowing. I stayed away from spirits, I got different reactions to different spirits, and none of them were good, it got messy more often than not.
It wasn't until I started drinking about 6 beers every day (and a whole lot more on weekends) that I started thinking that I might be hitting the bottle a bit too hard, and no, losing my driving license twice didn't produce similar thoughts. All that didn't stop me from drinking though, I was just less happy about being drunk than before. I really didn't have much drive to change, I enjoy getting drunk and beside the occasional want to top myself off, it really wasn't that bad. So what if after a pub crawl, I occasionally get paranoid and hide in the bushes?
Actually, after the last time I got sober the paranoia started freaking me out and I was wondering what the hell I've done to my brain. I tried to limit my drinking to manageable amounts; not the frequency, but the amount (6-8 beers max on weekdays, 12 on weekends) I can just hear Zeph yelling YOU CALL THAT LIMITING STASIK??, it mostly worked, but when it didn't, it wasn't pretty. The binges were mostly uneventful, but hangovers definitely memorable.
I had a friend (for some reason I typed grief instead of friend just before), whom I watched get worse and worse over the years, he's been exclusively drinking coffee and beer for almost as long as I've known him (about 18 years), he claimed drinking water made him feel physically sick. A claim that I can unfortunately confirm, it does happen. He was(is) about 4 years older and a great example of where I didn't want to be.
Since buying a house and getting serious with not-yet-wifey, I've tried to allocate more and more sober days, which is great, but more often than not, the more consecutive sober days I'd have, the more I'd have to drink to make up for it, apparently not an uncommon thing. Eventually I settled into a somewhat of a routine that almost worked, but after finding out that I'll be a father, that wasn't going to be good enough, I didn't have a plan, but I knew I wasn't going to be one of THOSE fathers. About a week prior to the due date, I decided not to drink for a few days, wanting to be able to drive and definitely not wanting to be drunk/hungover for my daughter's birth. Lucky that I did, 3 days later, Smooshface was born and I haven't had a drink since.
I haven't really had any withdrawals; just think of not having coffee, or soda/coke, or chocolate, or whatever your delicious vice may be, it's probably similar. My body did some weird shit, not sure if that was related or not, so I won't go into details, lest I out my weird and unrelated medical conditions (surprisingly, I have none, thanks for asking). I do find myself less energetic (could be Smooshface's influence) and harder to motivate, which can also be explained by having the house mostly in order, requiring less immediate action. Other than that, I do find myself lingering about, not knowing what to do with myself on the rare occasions when I have nothing to do. We did watch a couple of episodes of Stranger Things on the weekend, and that filled the void just fine, I haven't got that much spare time.
First time I quit drinking I was a bit disappointed, I didn't feel much different, it was a bit easier to get out of bed, and I had a little bit more money, but life went on as it always has, and I didn't suddenly turn into a vibrant, energetic, quick witted 17yr old (yep, we're pretending I was all of those things back then). This time I was prepared for the slightly overweight, almost middle aged, handsome bloke with a newly regenerated liver awaiting me, so I'll just keep on truckin'.