Friday, March 30, 2012

A Month's Sobriety


So this post might not be very interesting, but I needed to get some writing down because I have been extremely lazy about it lately. I am not proud of this. Instead of having fun, 20-something adventures, I have been having solo, introspective, sober time.  I undertook a challenge to quit drinking, and have been wildly successful. A lot of people do not understand what this means to me, and therefore look at my self induced sobriety with disdain and judgement. Zero fucks were given about these people. Let me give you a snapshot into my unhealthy and destructive lifestyle.

For about 4 years now, I have hovered in between about 4 and 6 THOUSAND dollars worth of debt, which I am fairly sure can be directly attributed to three factors: Drinking, Tattoos, and Traveling. I don't regret the last two, but drinking myself to blackout for the better part of 4 years is not something I can be proud of. If I don't remember what happened, and don't have a good story to tell, what is left but a hangover and shame? Blech.

The past two years I have suffered on and off with extreme anxiety and panic attacks. The first day I had them I took myself to the hospital. I had drank a solid 14 hours the day before, with little food and water and an excess of illegal drugs. From then on, if I emerge from let's say, a two day bender, I will be the victim of roughly a thousand panic attacks per day as I attempt to either sleep or not kill myself. Literally they get so bad that it seems death could be an option. Obviously unhealthy, am I right people?

So maybe you know this about me, but I'm notoriously bad at relationships/meeting nice guys/having any self respect at all. I can say with honesty that I can count on two fingers the amount of guys that I've actually been in a healthy, supportive, meaningful relationship with. Most "relationships" I have run about the course of 4 hours, and are sparked because I am drunk. While I like to live my life with no regrets, I often wonder how these may have changed if I hadn't been so drunk all the time. I wonder how many actually horrible situations I have just narrowly avoided.

My alchohol intake is so ingrained in my daily routine that the thought of not having a bottle of wine, even alone in my house (and yes, a grande bottle), was foreign to me. I didn't know who I was, without the alcohol. I needed the alcohol for creative thought, for spontaneity, to feel social. So I started a little personal campaign to figure out who I was again. I've been pretty much consistently drinking every day since the day my mom died, six years ago, numbing feelings and promoting a sense of recklessness. This isn't so cute anymore. I'm getting older, and I can start to literally see and feel the effects of the alcohol.

Anyway, I'm not going to quit alcohol totally. This is among the favorite questions from my coworkers. The other is, "When are you going to be fun again?" I especially love that one, it does wonders for my self esteem. Why? Why do you all need for me to have a beer? What's funny is I said that myself to others during many a situation. So I get it. If you want to be shit faced, it's easy and comforting to know that the others around you have that same need. But I don't anymore! Huzzah! But, I would like to be able to have a glass of wine and not feel like doing 9 jello shots, crying to my friend about my exboyfriend before blowing the bouncer.

AND the panic attacks continued. Not in as much severity, but enough so that the last 2 hours before I finally fell asleep were at the very least uncomfortable. I have mild anxiety simply at the thought of being bored. I know that's kind of weird. I noticed that the anxiety would immediately get worse if I had a high dose of caffeine, so I stopped that. Then I noticed it would get bad if I had a lot of sugar. So I cut that out too, but they persisted. Then one night I had two slices of pizza, and had a small panic attack directly afterward. That's funny, I thought. So I did a bit of research... turns out gluten intolerant people can sometimes get anxiety or panic attacks from ingesting gluten. "HMM," I wondered. So the past week I have been gluten free and.......... NO ANXIETY!!!!!

First of all, what the fuck. I have had gluten my whole life and been fucking fine. Shit like this doesn't happen to people like me- especially one's that call these "gluten intolerant" people "glutards". Well, my friends, this body isn't 15 anymore (much to my exboyfriend's chagrin). I suppose that it would make sense with the alcohol too, seeing as how all that beer I drank was chock full of my toxic substance.

In any case, I am feeling MUCH much better. I actually felt a glimpse of hope and happiness yesterday, which is huge for me, living in the tragically mundane and gloomy. I've still got a couple of weeks to go in my no-alcohol challenge, and I know I'll succeed, despite the haters. I know this was the right thing to do. I can't wait to get fist pumping friday drunk with my friends and craft an amazing story about a ridiculous misadventure, but it's also nice to know that I'm not an alcoholic. And you know what's even more awesome? I paid off my credit card and cancelled it. Take THAT Chase bank and your Southwest Airlines credit card. Turns out paying $60/month for a "Purchase Interest Fee" kind of blows.

I think I'm going to write a book. Or at least pitch a book idea to.... someone? I have no idea how to do this so any advice (if there's anyone reading this) would be much appreciated. I'm reading a book called 'Wanderlust' about a girl who reminds me of myself... I want to start actually living my life, without my overwhelming fear of success. Steps in the right direction...


  1. We all hate being the first to comment.

    That is touching. I love how you are able to smack yourself in the face. Good luck to you and from reading this it is not always luck but hard work and introspection.

  2. Well done, Mags!
    Good luck on the rest of your journey.