Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Seven Stages of Not Drinking

Editor's Note:  The 30 Days Without a Drop project was my personal quest to not drink for a month.  I succeeded (ultimately going 35 days before reaching the seventh stage on this list), but as you'll read below, I had a lot of time to think along the way.

Today's post is brought to you by Day 12 of the "30 Days Without a Drop" project.  And the letter F.

The Seven Stages of Not Drinking

Stage 1:  Holy crap, I don't ever want to wake up feeling like this again.

Stage 2:  Nothing for me tonight.  What am I, some kind of freaking alcoholic?

Stage 3:  Boy, do I feel better when I'm not drinking.  I should not drink more often.  (Also, I should not drink more often...get it?)

Stage 4:  See, I do just fine without alcohol.  Who needs it?

Stage 5:  This was the kind of day where ordinarily I would have a drink in my hand by now.  But I don't need liquor to cope.  I'm better off without it.

Stage 6a:  Although I feel great right now, it's probably a good thing I drank the house dry before I gave it up.  No sense in leaving temptation lying around.

Stage 6b:  I wonder how many days it's been... (counts)  That many, huh? 

Stage 6c:  I'm really thirsty.

Stage 6d:  You know what would be really great right now?  Settling in with a good movie and a drink.  Oh, wait...

Stage 6e:  I don't want to watch a movie.

Stage 6f:  I'm doing really well with this not drinking thing.  But it's not as if I have to prove anything to anyone.

Stage 6g:  God, I'm thirsty.

Stage 6h:  I mean, I don't have to prove SHIT to ANYONE.  Am I right??

Stage 6i:  A person with, you know, a real problem would never be able to stop drinking this long.  So there's that.

Stage 6j:  No one is FORCING me not to drink, you know.  I mean, it's not some iron-clad RULE or anything.  This is just me and my goddamn willpower, OK?

Stage 6k:  I should probably pick up a bottle.  Just to have it in the house.  Not that I'm going to have a drink or anything.  But sometime in the future, after I've cleared out my system, I might need want a drink again.  I won't be desperate or anything.  It just might be nice to save myself the trouble of having to go get something when and if I ever decide that I might like to enjoy an adult beverage someday.  I don't even have to go right now.  But I should probably pick up a bottle pretty soon.

Stage 6l:  If I had some alcohol right now, I would definitely be knocking it back.  It's a damn good thing I don't. 

Stage 6m:  It doesn't MATTER how many days it's been.  It could not possibly matter LESS how many days it's been.  I'm not living my life based on some stupid number.  Pffft.

Stage 6n:  Because I have shown a good effort, godammit!  I have accomplished a goal!  I'd like to see some miserable tosspot drunk show this kind of effort, you know?  Because they couldn't do it, but I could!  I mean, I did!  I mean, I am!  Shut up!

Stage 6o:  I could totally have a drink right now if I wanted to.

Stage 6p:  I should have a drink, just to show how well I can handle it.

Stage 6q:  It's not as if I EVER said I was giving up drinking for good.

Stage 6r:  I should totally have a drink.

Stage 6s:  I deserve a drink.

Stage 6t:  There is absolutely nothing to be gained by not having a drink.  The presumptions behind moral constructivism are illusory at best.

Stage 6u:  Where the fuck did THAT come from?  I am SOBER, man.

Stage 6v:  OK, life, you win.  I'm weak.  I have cravings.  Are you happy now?

Stage 6w:  See, I went another day without drinking.  I can do this!

Stage 6x:  See, I went another day without drinking.  How much longer do I have to do this?

Stage 6y:  In the larger cosmic sense, it makes no difference whether I have a drink or not.  I am but a speck on a mote on a flea.

Stage 6z:  I'm so tired of even having to think about this shit any more.

Stage 7:  It's all good.  I can stop drinking whenever I want.


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