It has now been over a month since I gave up drinking. While I thought I would have quite a bit to say about giving up alcohol, I’m coming up blank right now — what follows here is likely more rambling and superficial observations.
Since the day after graduating high school, I have worked full-time. Additionally, until July 2014, I have always had something academic on my plate to keep me busy in the evenings. Through vast majority of it, drinking wasn’t an option – I viewed it as something inherently evil that could cause me to lose my path. It wasn’t until 2012 that I started drinking a once a week due to new friends I had made who meet over dinner and drinks frequently, and it wasn’t until I moved out of state in a place with no family and very, very few friends for work in 2014 that I started drinking regularly. It helped in killing time.
When I started studying for the bar exam in early 2014, I would spend myself locked in my apartment all evening. Work, study, sleep, work, study, sleep. Through it all, each evening begin with a glass of whiskey, and was followed by a few more as I studied. Living in the Pacific timezone makes it a bit worse too — by 9 PM the rest of the world was fast asleep, and it was just myself, whiskey, piles of notes and half a dozen highlighters. In the end, it worked out. I passed the bar exam, somehow leading me to believe that alcohol and I can co-exist.
This was followed by another move in 2015 — to another place across the country. My only friend, my girlfriend, lived an hour and a half away. Without anything productive to do in the evenings and without anything else to do, drinking and surfing the web became a daily routine.
And then I decided to drive one evening after drinking, and the DUI happened.
My girlfriend has been truly supportive. She not only bailed me out but also encouraged me to give up alcohol. In the month since, I haven’t really had the urge to drink. Part of it may be because I’ve come to dislike the relationship alcohol and I developed. Another part of it is knowing that I made the most terrible decision of my life while consuming alcohol. Another part of it is likely that I don’t t rust myself to drink again without causing damaging decisions. Mostly the last one…
I can honestly say there haven’t been any. When I first started, I thought social events would be the most difficult. But since then, I’ve been offered alcohol on multiple occasions at work events, and each time, “nah, thanks” has sufficed.
What has Changed
This is the part that makes it all worth it. Just a few things that have changed for the better in the last month:
- No more waking up, feeling dazed. Waking up is easy and pain-free;
- I have spent the evenings working on my start-up. I have been much more productive.
- I’ve played video-games to get my mind off the situation. It’s a much less destructive way of spending time.
- I’ve decided to take a professional exam that should help me become better at my job. The books arrived yesterday. Each evening, I shall be spending some time focused on this.
I have been apprehensive about this — but I think tomorrow I will go to my first AA meeting. I am terrified, ashamed and hopeful. At the end of the day, the process does not stop at giving up drinking for a month. For all I know, I am one drink away from it all again. I need to prove to myself and those I owe a humanly duty to that I am reformed. And part of that process is seeking and getting help where it is available. While I can’t be certain of what the future holds, I will continue to try to make myself better.