Accidental Fifty

19 February 2024 • Personal

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CW: this post talks about alcohol and sobriety. If you, or someone you know, is in need of help, please call the SAMHSA hotline at 1-800-662-4357.

You ever accidentally do something really cool?

I feel like every activity has a couple of little things that you end up doing accidentally for the first time. Guitar playing has pinch harmonics. Baseball has breaking pitches (or knuckleballs). These things that you do inadvertently and go “whoa… that’s cool!” and then spend countless hours attempting to recreate.

That was me on January 3rd. I went out to the garage to get a beer, and was like “hang on… I haven’t had a beer yet this year.”

I’ve been drinking since I was 18, with a few gaps here and there over the years. I started drinking beer in 2010, and really started to pick up on the craft beer scene around 2013. Since then, I’ve gone to numerous conventions, traded beer with people all across the country, and been a bartender at 4 different breweries.

When we found out my wife was pregnant, I drastically reduced my consumption of alcohol in solidarity. After she was born, we started getting non-alcoholic beers to have around so that my wife could have something other than water. Even now that we’re mostly back to normal habits, we still keep a solid supply of Brewdog’s gin & tonic-inspired NA for my wife. After months (years?) of reduced consumption, some days even one beer would make me feel a bit tipsy, so having NAs on hand was always nice.

So here I was, on a cold January day, standing in front of our fridge, realizing I hadn’t had a sip of alcohol yet. “Well, what’s another couple of days to make it a week sober?” became “Well, what’s another few weeks to make it a month?” became “Well, I could make it 50 days, yeah?”

Turns out, yes I can.

I’m not someone who often sticks with things. Learning a language. Exercising regularly. Drinking enough water. Self-study for… well, anything. You name it, I have fallen off the habit train numerous times. So to know that I was able to just say “hey, I can do this” and see it through has been pretty cool.

I don’t know how long this will continue. Having this little widget on my home screen has certainly helped. I’m not an alcoholic, nor someone who deals with substance abuse, so this hasn’t been something I’m doing out of necessity; I’ve actually held off posting something for weeks, simply because I didn’t want to seem insensitive or that I was glorifying my iron will of giving up booze or something.

I just did something cool on accident, and thought maybe I’d share.