I have been saying how great I am doing with the “one year, no beer” challenge that I have taken on.
“Killing it,” I say.
“Feeling great,” I brag.
I am over 90 days deep and physically feeling pretty fantastic as the alcohol has left my body. People notice it in my face, I can see it in my skin, I look a little different than I did three months ago. The truth of the matter is, however, that there is one major side effect of drinking from 15-34 and then just stopping cold turkey. . . boredom. I am “out-of-my-mind” bored. I am filling my time with new habits and replacing the time I spent drinking with other more exciting things, sure, but on a regular Tuesday night when I am a little stressed out, I do not have a beer in the fridge to turn to to help dull my senses or make me giggle for a couple hours. That couple hours of being buzzed, tipsy, or even drunk, seems like a waste of time, and it is, but sometimes it’s a nice release from the realities we face on a day to day basis.
I used to be, or at least thought I was, the life of the party. The hilarious guy who would say outrageous things and get all my friends laughing hysterically with stupid antics. Hold-nothing-back type jokes coupled with clown on a stranger’s haircut type rudeness often left me beloved by my peers and hated by the unfortunate targets I came across. Granted, I was becoming more tame with age regardless of the break I am taking from the bottle, but that guy is gone now and has been replaced by a more serious person who would rather spend time with his dogs than a pub full of drunk strangers. Sure, I still have some good zingers here and there, but it’s not the same… I’m not the same. The normally restricted zones that alcohol lets you step into are now roped off. I find myself often pondering life, meddling through depressive states, writing, reading, running, lifting weights, staying at the gym for hours, and, generally, being boring as fuck. What has happened to me?!
I turned 34 a week ago. So, I guess that’s probably what happened to me; age. Mid-fucking-thirties… Boooo! Even if I were not taking on this quest of no alcohol and self-improvement, I simply cannot party the way I used to. Drug infused Saturdays are a thing of the past. The idea of doing some of the things I did in my twenties not only doesn’t sound like something I want to do, it gives me anxiety just as a thought. Drinking a fifth of alcohol over the course of a day sounds like a humiliating and terrible experience that will end with me wincing in pain for days after. Add recreational uppers to the mix and I can feel my kidneys shutting down. With that said, a couple beers after a long day, the same doesn’t quite ring true. The opposite does; it sounds wonderful. I do not really think of it much -although Christmas was a little challenging with my drunken silly siblings- because I feel better than I have in a long while and have committed myself to accomplish a goal. Committing myself to accomplishing a goal does not make the boredom just disappear, though. It’s there and it can be hard to deal with. This is also why it’s easy to get sucked into something like video games or some other unproductive activity that seems harmless but is a huge time suck… because I am bored and seeking the same level of entertainment that was once fueled by ethanol and debauchery. That’s the reality. That’s the struggle. And I will keep doing just fine and persevere through it all, but in the back of my mind I know why I am feeling how I am feeling.
Cheers 🤙 ,