Yes, the time has come. I am officially 365 days sober.
If I’m being honest, I thought sobriety would be a fresh, clear-eyed beginning to a life full of never-ending joy and success. But, sometimes it feels more like a never-ending marathon, and I hate to run.
There’s a reason you don’t see endless lines, velvet ropes, and clipboard holding hosts in front of AA meetings.
I know, I know… this probably isn’t the inspiring, hopeful, message you were anticipating from a guy who just celebrated one year sober. We’ll get to that.
But don’t let people fool you, sobriety is quite the tragedy. And I’m not doing anyone any favors if I lie and say that drinking doesn’t have its advantages.
At least in my drinking days, I was too blacked out to know I was depressed. Now that I’m sober, I’m well aware.
So, instead of boring you all with an article about how great my life has become – I decided to disclose some harsh truths about my sobriety.
Sorry in advance… Mom.
5 Things I Miss About My Drinking Days
1. I Had Confidence
I never realized how much alcohol fueled my confidence and ability to socialize until I became sober. I figured conversing with people would be much easier when I wasn’t six Old Fashioned’s deep, slurring my words to some rando who was forced to listen to me ramble on because I just bought us another round.
But as it turns out, that rambling, reckless confidence was a crucial part of my charm. And something I do miss, daily.
I don’t slur my words anymore, but there isn’t much to ramble on about. This last year flew by in a blur, and my career, or lack thereof, isn’t much to brag about. My progress has been slow and lonesome (I know, poor me).
2. I Had A Social Life
In my drinking days, my life was in shambles, but I didn’t have to search for things to do on St. Patrick’s Day.
‘Friends’ were in abundance, conversation flowed freely, and our only worry was the lame pick-up line we’d use and who was buying the next round.
When the drinking stopped, the endless stream of friends and plans for Friday night vanished with it. Now, I have to search for things to do, and I often ride solo.
I do embrace learning how to be independent, but I never anticipated getting anxiety walking in a mall. In case you were wondering, malls aren’t built for people who lack confidence.
3. I Had Ambition
Not to say I don’t have ambition now, because I do, but everything seemed more exciting and attainable in my drinking days. Maybe it was blind naiveness, or booze-infused self-assurance, but still ambition nonetheless.
As ludicrous as they were, I loved talking ideas and ways of changing the world when tossing a few back. There’s no better feeling in the world than people listening to your hopes and dreams, even if it was the drink in my right hand that inspired them.
Now, I struggle with finding the motivation to get up in the morning. And I’ve never had that problem in my entire life.
My career is off to a rocky start, and I often question if I made the right decision to leave my high paying job and pursue a career as a writer. William Goldman said it best…
What a grand career choice for a person who lacks confidence.
4. Dating Was Easy
Not to brag, because I’m certainly NOT proud of how I treated women in my drinking days, but meeting girls was much easier then.
Bars and clubs were dark, and everyone’s attractive in the dark. And girls were totally fine with settling for the soft 6 who made them laugh. Which gave guys like me a fighting chance.
Now, I’m that weird sober guy who has to explain to everyone why he’s sober. And no one wants to date the sober guy. He clearly has problems. Sadly enough, they’re not wrong.
On top of that, where do you meet people when you no longer spend your time in bars and clubs anymore? And please don’t say the gym. No one wants to be hit on by the random weirdo in the gym. Even I know that.
So, I often wonder if she will magically appear and sweep me off my feet. Which is depressing all on its own.
5. Life Was Simpler…Kind Of.
Self-development, inner peace and transforming into a completely new person requires years of suffering, persistence, and dedication. Blacking out with four best friends after a long week requires tipping the bartender well.
So yeah, you could say life was simpler. I wasn’t in my head so much.
Considering I suffer from endless waves of depression and I doubt myself more than most, I’m always searching for shortcuts to being happy and living the life I’ve always wanted. But, that’s not how life works.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from sobriety, it’s that there are no shortcuts to happiness. It’s a constant battle with a new Goliath, every day, and I sometimes run out of rocks to throw.
But, I find solace in knowing that drinking now certainly won’t solve any of my problems. One Old Fashioned would send me down a spiraling path of reckless rambling, maxed out credit cards, and late night California burritos. I’ll save you all the misery of watching me implode.
I’m still allowed to miss it though.
Alcohol gave me a new perspective on life and a new form of self-assurance. It gave me the confidence to meet people and have cool conversations that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise. I learned a lot about myself and have a better understanding of who I want to be because of it.
So, for that, I’m thankful for the booze.
But, I owe my life to sobriety. I’m not sure I’d still be here if I continued down that path, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. But, I will say it’s a daily pain in the ass. Let’s just be glad I’m not the belligerent pain in the ass anymore…
So, in answer to the question, is sobriety overrated?
It’s too early to tell. I’ll get back to you 😉
That’s all I got for now. Stay tuned, friends ✌️