So I made it through September (actually starting Sept. 3) without drinking alcohol.
It was a frustrating yet rewarding experience. I missed having a beer a lot. Saturday night at Frankie's benefit the beer was flowing and people were laughing in that beer buzz way and I had to sip my water and sort of grin and bear it.
This was an event where you paid to get in and drank all the beer you wanted. Normally for me that means sucking down a bunch of beer after getting there, then cooling down because I had to drive (especially in Chicago).
Sunday morning I got up kind of wiped out from the whole thing but really feeling physically fine. And it occurred to me if I'd been drinking, I would have felt a whole lot worse, not really hungover, but just .... run over.
The main thing people always ask me when I tell them I've stopped is simply .... "Why?"
That's a hard question to answer. Maybe to just see if I could do it. Maybe to see if I actually have discipline (believe me, I was sorely tempted on several occasions). Maybe it's to have an excuse to avoid certain situations and establishments.
Maybe to save money .... it's like any vice, you don't really realize how much it costs until you stop. This past summer I estimate I probably drank an average of three beers a day. Many days, especially on the beach, I drank more, and many days I didn't drink at all. Mix in the usual Coors Light with the higher end Goose Island, and that's probably close to $100 a month.
So today is Oct. 1 and I'm faced with the big decision .... stay on the wagon or drop off?
It's really hard to decide, but I'm leaning toward staying on.