Excuse the upcoming puns in this post.
Is it just me, or while looking back on my drunken self does the time feel extra wasted? Wasted as in Time Better Spent Elsewhere but also, as in Time Spent Hammered. Looking back, I did a lot of both.
Occasionally I’ll think Was there ever a time I wasnt at least buzzed? Parties, work functions, Tuesday nights listening to podcasts and playing video games, all under the influence. I guess I got some things of meagre value done in those times, and I wasn’t exactly wasted on alcohol, but alcohol was definitely present for a lot of my memories of that past 10 years.
They are mostly fond memories. Parties are a normal part of human interaction, and many people are able to have a few at a work function, take a cab home and make it in to work the next day without issue. This wasnt all wasted time, I forged some friendships, met some business contacts and had a good time without hurting myself or anyone else.
Those are the times that are easy to remember, for obvious reasons. The times I was able to handle my shit, and the times I choose to remember out of convenience. Gone are the forgotten memories, or the sadder moments. Where a pint after work on a Thursday turned in to a bit of a bender after the workmates went home and a mid-evening relocation required another drink or seven. The nights drinking a six-pack between 5pm and 1am and falling asleep drunk on my couch.
These are the times that feel truly wasted. These are the times I want back. The hours spent drunk, the days spent hungover, the weeks and months that flew by with absolutely nothing to show. Those are the times I really regret, and if Im honest with myself those are the bulk of the occasions. Not the a few on special occasions or its the weekend, I deserve to cut loose type moments.
Truth is, near the end of my bingeing I felt so alienated from everyone I normally drank with, I just drank alone. If I did go out, Id usually drink before leaving and maybe have 1 or 2 beers while out because I couldnt afford to get smashed at the club. Somehow my social drinking became anti-social drinking, going out to see some people just to prove I wasnt drinking alone.
Then there are the times where I was too hungover the next day to fulfill a commitment, or when I blew off a friend to go party. Thats time I wont ever get back. Those are the times that really remind me of why I quit drinking.
Since I quit, I wont say that Ive become some super productive person. I still waste time in front of Netflix, but now I fill my face with pizza and Coke Zero instead of alcohol. I will occasionaly feel too lazy to go out to a show, or do something more productive. My kitchen still gets dirty with dishes that I ignore.
The positive of all of this is now that Im free from alcohol, I feel like I can tackle these short comings a lot more effectively. I can take tiny steps towards bettering myself, rather than having booze standing in my way. Ive taken this time to write this blog, create art, and best of all cultivate a great relationship with a person I love.
All this and I still have room to improve!
NOTE: the writer of this blog post is not a doctor or an addictions specialist of ANY KIND. If you are having issues with drugs or alcohol you can get more information here: http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/Pages/home.aspx.
If you are attempting to quit drinking and are experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms, please contact a doctor.
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