Disclaimer: I am highlighting and exaggerating some of the struggles of early sobriety as I have experienced first hand. This article is not intended to get anyone to drink, but to think “Ah, good, there’s someone else who feels this way too!”
Quitting Alcohol – MYTH #1: WEIGHT LOSS
Since quitting drinking I’ve gained twenty pounds. You’d think cutting out 4,000 empty calories a week would slim you right down. This was a large part of my incentive – the idea that I would be able to get into great-ish shape and then go back to sipping cocktails in style.
MYTH #2: DETOX
My best friend used to say he knew I was about to go on a week long bender any time I mentioned I was going on a cleanse. I’d buy a flushing system at Whole Foods and three days later I’d be gung ho in the other direction not answering my phone for days passed out in a random. People who tend to over do it apply that same philosophy to everything. Exit Booze, enter energy drinks. Exit Whiskey stage left, enter a bunch of candy wrappers in the top drawer stage right. And cut!
MYTH #3: CASUAL SEX WILL END
Unfortunately, as my weight steadily inclines so does my romantic sex drive. So now not only am I a total teetotaler, I’m on the prowl constantly making me a total D totaller. You have to replace drinking with something and since developing a relationship takes time (ain’t nobody got time for that!) it’s easy to settle and settle to be easy.
MYTH #4: YOU WILL INSTINCTIVELY KNOW HOW TO HANDLE LIFE SITUATIONS
With the instincts of a hawk on fire you will navigate aggressively through life as if any desk side chat were a fight or flight survival situation. Now any time plans change or you go through a job change or a change of address, any time you have to change your voicemail or your socks it seems like a major event, full of anticipation, anxiety and self-doubt. But alas, your new set of coping skills have arrived. They involve coffee and a bed. Time to buy gourmet coffee and a super cozy mattress because when you’re not hyper-vigilating to co-workers about who drank your red bull you’ll find solace in calming your bedridden nerves with 200 mg’s.
MYTH #5: YOU WILL BECOME MORE STABLE
If you thought you were a non-emotional go-getter before, you’ve now discovered that you are a bi-polar baby, no better to care for yourself than Charlie Sheen sans tiger blood or an infantile crocodile waking up in a dumpster. Luckily, you can Youtube and Google “how to be stable” and just follow what appears to be 2,394 easy steps.
MYTH #6: PEOPLE WILL SUPPORT YOU
Soon after quitting you will have this Aha! revelation where you realize that you are the same asshole you were when you were drinking. When you discover that everyone else has already had that Aha! moment you will literary be forced to invent someone that thinks you are cool or “a higher power”. In fact, you can invent as many of these as you want, just know that if you start addressing them loudly more real (actual) people will be deterred from hanging out with you.
MYTH #7: YOU’LL BE SMARTER
If knowing quotes makes you smarter than you are a true genius. Instead of responding with quick and relevant remarks, you’ll be puking toilet amounts of stock quotes like “hanging onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. You’ll be the guy that sounds wise until someone else points out “didn’t Woody Allen say that?” or “Hey, wasn’t that Beyonce?” Alas, you have your higher power(s) that will listen to your quotes all day and validate you through your Youtube guided meditations.
MYTH #8: YOU WILL BE RESTORED TO SANITY
So now you’re twenty pounds heavier, an emotional wreck with an invisible higher power and the instincts of the MOAB. The only thing that could make you more insane is telling yourself that you are sane. In your mind booze restored you to sanity and sobriety has made you an angry slut that flaunts your post-drinking body like a large glob of fudge on two popsicle sticks. But, ya know, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there!” Does that even work right there?
So wait, you mean when I quit using alcohol to feel instantly good the side effects are weight gain, higher need for intimacy, poor coping skills, social anxiety and general awkwardness? Oh yeah!
Disclaimer: It gets better, I promise!