I can’t drink for six months and I am terrified

This weekend, I went to a birthday party completely sober.

I Ubered myself home from the bar at 11:45.

Two weeks ago, I started my prescription for Accutane. For those of you who have never heard of it, it’s a terrible—albeit effective—drug for treating acne. It’s notorious for causing birth defects, thereby imposing a whole host of regulations for those who are on it. Under the many, many, list of side effects is potential liver and kidney damage.

Meaning, you really shouldn’t drink on it.

*Granted, my doctor explicitly told me “You can always have one drink,” but an all-out binger is out.

The thought of not drinking for six months fucking terrifies me. I strategically got blasted the Friday before I started my prescription in hopes that a brutal hangover would make six months of sobriety sound more enjoyable.

At the risk of sounding like an alcoholic, let me explain—there is nothing I hate more than a missed opportunity. Or, at the very least, a perceived missed opportunity.

I don’t think I’ve ever been on a diet lasting more than ten days. [Side bar: For anyone reading this rolling their eyes, stop. Everyone needs to clean house once in awhile—it’s also not the point of this paragraph.] The reason my diets fail is because I will always make an exception. If I go home and my mom makes me a homemade apple pie, I’ll eat it. If treats are being passed out at work, if I try a new restaurant, or it’s a holiday, I will always make an exception—which is why my habits never change.

I hate budgeting about as much as I hate dieting—and I am not a shopaholic. I can easily go six months without buying new clothes or shoes. I choose to spend my money on experiences—plane tickets, nights out, gym classes, you name it. I would rather swipe my credit card on a memory over material goods, because I never want to look back thinking, “I wish I would have done that.”

This week, my brother had to decide whether to fly to California to watch Iowa play in the Rose Bowl. Plane tickets for the weekend were more than what I paid to fly to Italy last summer. Forgetting the price, I said, “Will you regret this if you do not go?” His answer was, “Practically speaking, I’d probably have less fun than at a party back home, but it would be a way better story to be there.” I told him he sounded like me.

Being sober for six months does not scare me. The thought of missing out on everything for the next half year of my life, does.

My brother isn’t going to the Rose Bowl, and I still have five and a half months of sobriety in front of me. I foresee myself making a lot of meals for my friends in hopes of conning them to staying in. I’m trying to think long-term happiness here, but I’ve always been an impulsive person. Meaning, it’s really hard for me to think about my nights out come summer, when I want to be out with my friends right now.

It’s going to be a long six months.

2 Comments
  1. Question: Why do you need to miss out on experiences or opportunities if you aren’t drinking? Why can’t you still say yes to the experience and opportunity AND stay sober? I hope the Accutane doesn’t affect you negatively. Good luck!

    1. Calista, I don’t know how I just saw this. I’m trying really hard to not miss out on any experiences. Actually, a few of my friends gave up drinking for lent, so now we’re in this together. Sober activities, here we come.

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