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Writing about drinking, or not-drinking


I click on all the “articles” and they tell me different variations of things I already know. Statistics mostly, and some exposition about the different types of dangerous drinkers, and those that drink “normally”.

 I'm not sure what I'm trying to find when I click on these articles, like some 22 year old that works at Canada.com, hired to write content for the internet is going to crack the case, put into words exactly what it is about drinking or not-drinking that we all want to read about. He/She is probably just irritated that he/she got the assignment of writing about teetotalling – days after getting smashed at the company Christmas party. What a drag.

So I'll write something, even if it's only relevant to me.

I don't drink anymore. And it's not the end of the world, like I thought it would be.
I could go on about all the positives, but you know them already.

Health.
Money.
Better relationships.

But how about the negatives of not drinking?
You know what I'm going to say.
How do I have any FUN?

FUN: The reason every person I know that drinks refuses to give up drinking.
FUN: What's missing when someone temporarily stops drinking for a week or a month or a year, sitting begrudgingly in a corner of a party, upset that they can't have any fun like everyone else.
FUN: A word that's been altered to mean a variety of different things – in some cases – blacking out, cursing all your friends, embarrassing yourself, puking, and waking up with no memory of the incident – can be considered fun.

Why?

Because somewhere between drink 2 and drink 3 there's that floating-on-air-feeling-no-cares sort of fun. It's that feeling that every drinker is in constant search of. It's that feeling that makes a pounding headache and a vowing to never drink again – go away. This time it's going to be different. This time I'm going to stop when I feel that high – but that search is elusive and you might die trying. Or at least embarrass yourself to a great extent, trying.

FUN: That temporary feeling of fearlessness that drinking gives you.

That's it.
That's the one thing that drinking does that can't be emulated by any other substance.
A bit of fearlessness.
It means safety for shy or anxious people that have a constant fear of everything just beneath the surface.
Fearlessness.
 It's what made me so excited to finally be able to drink anywhere I wanted when I turned 19. Finally, an elixir to turn my overactive brain off.

But fearlessness isn't always a good thing. It's what causes fights, and makes you say things you regret, or allows you to get into the car with that stranger.

But after 15 years of relying on booze to make me fearless, and abusing it, it doesn't work for me anymore. It did at one time, but it doesn't work anymore. It causes more anxiety then it fixes. Not right away, but eventually.

At this point in my life I'm more afraid of what I'll say and do when taking a drink - then not. The fearlessness is not welcomed anymore.

So I'm forced to be brave.
At every social function, every party, every work lunch, every new years - and go it alone.

And I don't sit begrudgingly in the corner, because I'm not missing out on anything. I don't fret anymore about how many, how much it will cost, when we'll stop at the liquor store, how much should I get, what if we run out, what happens at last call. All these variables, I no longer think about. And it's freeing.

After a year and a half I've learned that being brave – not having that crutch - gives you a sort of adrenaline rush of its own, and remembering every conversation and every name and every event is worth it in its own way.

Rather than being in a constant search of a high, I can relax and enjoy the people, the food, the experience.

It's not easy, it's nearly impossible to do it, but you can if you really want to and it will payoff immensely. Which I'm sure you already know.

Not to mention the health, money and better relationships thing.

*I read Kick The Drink, Easily – that helped me a lot.


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