It's been a month since I have given up alcohol. You can read about it in my original announcement. Every week since, I have posted a little status update about it on facebook. I figured I should collect them into one place so they'll be 1. accessible to people not on facebook and 2. easier to search for later on. Each update is longer than the previous one, which I find interesting. I don't know if it's because my facebook friends cheered me on (thank you so much!), or if my abstinence slowly restored my appetite for the written word. Either way, it feels good to have it out in the open like that.
Week 1 (August 15th, 2016): Not drinking alcohol for a week is pretty easy. I suspect it will get harder around week three when the residual alcohol has worn off.
That's how it works, right?
Week 2 (August 23rd, 2016): Two weeks and not a drop. After ten days I started to notice people drinking in restaurants, on the street, and just about everywhere else. Berlin might be a stupid place to quit. On the upside: I do feel more energized. It's not that I was drinking every day before, but I came close in some weeks. The fogginess that comes with that is starting to dissipate. Might also be the placebo effect. Regardless, I'm happy.
Week 3 (August 29th, 2016): At one point I will stop writing these, but for now it's a good way to keep track of how I feel from week to week.
Third week. I saw the Bundesliga opening game in a pub and it wasn't hard at all. I drank Spezi all night, that was good. I won't get into the 0% alcohol beers, because they would definitely lead me back to something stronger.
I was going to do exceptions for Christmas and such, but I am reconsidering that now. I feel so good, why interrupt that run? (Cue angry friends.) Not having a hangover looming in the future sounds kind of nice.
Anyway, I have to get back to making a game for Ludum Dare.
Week 4 (September 6th, 2016): Four weeks. 28 days. 1 month. That's how long it's been since I had my last beer. I thought it would be hard giving up alcohol, and it is. It also isn't.
For the longest time I thought drinking was part of my personality, my "brand". I'm that guy who likes DC Comics, Chocolate (close), and Drinking. That was me. Until it wasn't.
I stopped because I wanted to be more productive, and I am. I was moving in that direction anyway, but I really love what I do in a way I haven't loved anything before it. I love writing, I love comedy*. Both satisfied only part of what I want to do creatively. Making games is amazing. It's writing, it's art, it's coding, it's sound. It's everything I love and incredibly hard. I have a ways to go, but I can't see myself doing another pivot. I think this is it for me (cut to ten years in the future when I'm running a snapchat about collectible toys from the 90s).
There is a side effect I wasn't anticipating: I have become more emotionally stable over the last few weeks. It's true. The ups and downs are less pronounced. I don't get angry every other day. It's strange and terrifying. Turns out, drowning your problems in cheap drinks doesn't help you work through shit. Who'd a thunk it?
I don't regret drinking in the past, and I won't regret having a pint here or there in the future. I don't judge anyone else. If you can do it, or need it; fantastic. But I think I have to let it go to become the next version of me. The one that likes DC Comics, Chocolate (second one), and Making Video Games. ;)
*I will get back to comedy at some point. I have to at least give it a try while being completely sober.
Of course, this is not the end of this story. Quitting for a month is relatively easy. I am aware that a lot of hard work is still ahead of me. I am confident that I will make it, though, because I have people in my life that belief in me. To everyone who said something nice about it, gave me tips, virtually liked one those updates, or just nodded in silent approval: THANK YOU! You made this journey much easier and I wouldn't know where I'll be without you. I've come a long way since I was abandoned by my family and friends a decade ago and I don't want to have to go through that hell ever again. You are amazing.
And now excuse me, while I get back to work.