Around this time last summer I suddenly decided to go 50 days without booze. It was truly an eye-opening experience. I’ve always been a weekend drinker, but I hadn’t really realized how long it had been since I’d given my liver something to swim in other than Bud Light and Absolute Vodka. After my 50-day hiatus I felt refreshed, was thinking more clearly, and had lost 8 pounds without even trying. It’s enough to make one wonder why I even started up again.
Fast-forward one year. I’ve decided to drink nothing but water and coffee until the Rage Against the Machine show in San Francisco in August – I mean, you can’t chill at an all-day music festival drinking Pepsi for God’s sake.
In the meantime, here are five very important tips for staying sober during the time of season known for weddings, bachelor trips, and BBQ’s.
- Music, music, music. Whether you are playing it, buying it at independent music stores, or listening to old albums you haven’t heard in years (Temple of the Dog? Sure, why not) music is a great escape.
- Exercise. Something has to take the place of the calories you were losing from raising the beer glass to your lips and the subsequent miles of running from the police after getting caught urinating in public. A local 10K is always a good place to start. Hell, if you do Bay to Breakers in SF, you can still be naked only this time without police dogs chasing you.
- Sex. If a partner isn’t available (or barnyard animals are scarce in your town) then there’s nothing wrong with loving ones’ self. Isn’t that what mom has always told us to do over the years?
- Read. I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Fantastic read that will really make you think differently about the world around you. Whether it’s the godfather of the English Language, Chaucer, or the gadget section of Maxim Magazine, filling your brain with knowledge of some kind is always better than vegging out in front of the TV.
- This is by far the most important tip of all: ignore all magazine, blog, and newspapers with “Top 5 Ways to Stay Sober” list. People are all different. What works for me is not going to work for you. If you currently have a broken ankle, then a list with exercising is useless. If you are illiterate, then I’ve just insulting your lack of education with tip #4. If you are a virgin, then the first portion of tip #3 is mocking you.
All jokes aside, the point is this: each of us is old enough to know what hobbies or distractions will work best. We don’t need Oprah Magazine or Men’s Health to tell us what’s right. We are smart enough to know that we shouldn’t start the day with a cup of sugar-laden coffee and a doughnut. Along those same lines, we all know what we need to do in order to stay healthy and sober. A list may spark some ideas, but by and by, they are the opinions of the author, and therefore I believe those ideas to be of little help to the reader.
So here’s the most important tip of all: do what you know is right for you.