Written by Jannah Bolds
Sobriety – The quality of being staid or solemn (synonyms: self- strictness, puritanism, gravity, self-restraint)
Sobriety is a word the younger generation takes lightly, certainly for me too. We live for the moment and heightened emotions, though, dismissing short and long term consequences of abnormal blood alcohol levels. At least for now, this is me too. That is, until one day an alarm sounded and I soon realized I might be traveling down the wrong path.
It was a random Saturday night where one of my drinking buddies and I decided to link downtown with a thirst for a little late night Atlanta mischief. It’s summertime in the south, so why not? Also, if you’re familiar with evening drink prices, they certainly remind you to limit yourself, or else you might be late on your rent. It’s definitely more cost effective to grab a bottle to carry you through the night instead. So, that’s what I did, thinking I’d have some left over for another time.
So there we were, bar hopping and periodically remembering to dip in the previously purchased stash. Before we knew it, it was 6:00am. The bars had closed hours ago and we were just hanging around riding scooters and enjoying the night air. The 750ml bottle was finished. Fatigue was overriding the effects of our drunkenness, so we departed and drove home under the rising sun.
I DROVE HOME!
I can’t emphasize that part enough because it made me realize that I wasn’t really supposed to make it home that night because of how much we’d actually drank. My tolerance was too high. That thought alone disgusted me. Had I blindly introduced myself to some form of alcoholism?
Am I an alcoholic?!
The next 24 hours I couldn’t help but think about my poor kidneys. They’re the real MVP because, then, I seriously reflected on my drinking habits. I recall buying tequila bottles on a weekly basis, sometime twice a week! I recall needing at least four, five, or six shots of hard liquor before finding a euphoric buzz.
Wow?! What have I become? No wonder why I couldn’t afford those new tires.
So, from that moment on, I decided to put my foot down and challenge myself to break this dangerously expensive habit.
“A seven day detox should give myself the reset I needed,” I said to myself at lunch time that day. I was super confident that I wouldn’t relapse though it’d be equally easy to do so given my environment and peer pressure.
To be honest, going seven days without a drink wasn’t hard. It had its awkward moments though, because I didn’t remove myself from the party scene. In hindsight, I got a chance to view “drunk life” as a Sober. I still had fun, but noticeably not as much. Time didn’t seem to pass as quickly. I got my work done, but not with the sense of “creative encouragement” I was used to. My decisions were direct and thought process appeared sharper. I woke up feeling more refreshed and less fatigued.
But here’s the fun part. Breaking my fast.
On the seventh day (actually that night), it was time to make the decision to break my fast or keep my new-found purity. Oh, I broke it alright and decided to ring it in with an ice cold Creature Comforts Tropicália brew.
(I hope this next statement doesn’t sound like something an alcoholic would say, but my testimony is pure, so just take it for the visual description that it is.)
I raised my glass in a toast to thankfulness and my small seven-day accomplishment. The first sip brought an intensely indescribable sensation. I could literally feel the beer as it touched each individual taste bud on my tongue. Like flipping on Christmas lights the first day of December in Times Square. As that sip went down, a warm tingly purr made its way up my chest. The next few gulps sent that tingle to my knees, then my elbows, and eventually my face. I could tell when it hit my face because my nose and cheeks became flushed.
An intoxicating crescendo.
It was amazing. I felt every delicious ounce. By the second pint (Yes, only two beers), the “lituation” had set it hard! I imagined this is what it felt like to a druggy between doses. “Is this why they’re always chasing their high?” A scary thought, for sure, but it was an honest curiosity. Would I, too, be willing to intentionally go sober just to feel that “first timers” high again?
The lesson here is that if you ever feel things getting out of control, be sensible enough to make a change. This will not only test your will, but it will be a reminder that you can do anything you put your mind to. Addiction not a condition, it’s a state of mind.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please call the help hotline (1-800-622-HELP) for help. It’s open to the public, provides confidentially free help 24/7 365.
Image Source: JannahB, The Bold Opinion