I drink. A lot. Sometimes I throw up. Sometimes I black out. Sometimes I yell at people for hours on end. After one particularly contentious weekend spurred on by drinking, I went to see a therapist. I recounted some of my life to him. “I can’t figure out your entire life in fifteen minutes, but I can tell you shouldn’t drink anymore.” When an objective outsider hears your life story and comes up with “alcoholic,” it’s time to listen. So I tried being sober. It sucks. First of all, there’s the social aspect. Sitting in a bar on trivia night sipping an O’Douls while your friends finish off pitcher after pitcher of beer makes you feel stupid. And jealous. Worst of all, my girlfriend loves to drink. A whopping 5’3”, she’ll throw down a bottle of wine at the drop of a hat. We went to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl and she finished off a 750mL of merlot while I choked down some Fre, the new non-alcoholic wine by Sutter Home. Imagine a glass of wine with all the alcohol taken out and then mixed with Welch’s. That’s called grape juice. Which I haven’t drank since I was five.
Writing’s harder as well. There’s a reason why so many great writers (and bad ones) are alcoholics. It makes you witty and funny. Sure, you might smell like vomit and beat someone up for no reason. But damn. Think Hemingway could’ve come up with “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” if he wasn’t tanked out of his fucking mind? I’d rather deal with the problems of drinking than the problems of life sober. I started adding booze back into my life. Slowly at first. A glass of wine with dinner. A beer at the bar. And it was great – my tolerance was so low, two drinks got me bombed. Now I’m back up to my normal level. I expect my dry-cleaning bills will increase. And my girlfriend may move out. But fuck if I’m not witty as hell again.
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