I gave up drinking when my pancreas exploded.
After a two-week bender, I spent a day with a knifing pain in my gut, vomiting so hard that I ripped my gastrointestinal tract. My mom gave me a ride to the emergency room, and I spent a week in the hospital. A doctor told me that if I kept drinking, I would die.
And I had to think about it for a second.
If you’re not blacked out, is life worth remembering? Would I rather live in sober mediocrity for four more decades or be a kickass rock star for four more months?
The first few months of sobriety are dangerous and challenging, and the first ten years aren’t much easier.
When I was drinking, my life was a mess, but I didn’t have to find things to do on St. Patrick’s Day.
I thought sobriety would be a fresh, clear-eyed start, but sometimes it feels more like an endless homework assignment. There’s a reason you don’t see long lines or velvet ropes in front of AA meetings.
I don’t want to strap on those rose-colored goggles again, but I’m not doing anyone any favors if I lie and pretend that alcoholism didn’t have its advantages. I don’t remember much from that era, but a few things stand out.