This will be my daily log of each sad… lonely, boring, and pathetic day, of me, not consuming, one single sip, of glorious ALCOHOL. Check back daily for each post. Enjoy.
Jan. 2nd, 2016.
Well, I didn’t die. I’m not sure if that’s because I was still drunk from the Holiday festivities, or if I’m just more of a man than I thought I was. But, hey… that wasn’t so bad.
I chose to start this brave endeavor on a Saturday night because, well… because I’m an idiot… or maybe, courageous, or perhaps, I just really wanted to test my shit on day one.
Guess what, I drank tea at my buddy’s house while we watched football and MMA fights. I was mostly completely sober (if the alcohol was out of my system from the previous night). Hell, I was even funny. I was able to socialize, to communicate, to laugh, to make people laugh, and to be somewhat interesting… without touching one single drop of alcohol.
High five. Gold star. Hell yeah. Smiley fucking face! Go me!
Jan. 3rd, 2016
Sunday. Funday. Football day. A day that was created for the sole purpose of sipping Mogen David from a red solo cup while moving back and forth from the lazy boy to the couch. But not me. I’m over here slurping Gatorade from a dirty wine glass, faking intoxication and slurred speech to a head-cocked-sideways dog.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Oh yeah, I know… I’m “coping” with the loss of my best friend (for a month).
Stupid football, stupid fanduel, stupid Bengals, stupid Sunday funday…. my head hurts, I need a nap.
Jan. 4th, 2016
Dear Bold, Strong, Adventurous, Subconscious, Idea-Driven Jake,
I hate your fucking guts.
Who… in the hell… decides to quit drinking the same week that they start a new job??!!
You do, Idea- Jake. You do.
And, if you had a face, I’d seriously consider punching you in it. But you don’t have a face, Idea-Jake. You just have ideas… which are all bad, all horrible, all stupid, and all ridiculous.
Why did I let you talk me into this crap? I unfriend you.
Seriously not your friend,
Sober, Conscious, Never-Having-An-Idea-Again Jake
Jan. 5th, 2016
Today was a crap day for not being able to drink.
My head was thumping more than it has is a long while. I’m not sure if this was due to the information overload at work, or just that my body hates me for not drinking. Either way, today was painful.
Then, I came home from a stressful day at work, only to hear my dirty wine glasses in the sink calling out my name.
“Jake… Jake…. Jacob. Jakester. Jake the snake. J-dawg. J-dizzle. J-man. Juice.”
They tried it all. And trust me, it was harder to ignore them than you think.
And, as I opened the fridge for dinner, 2 beers jumped out at my feet, begging me to notice them. Of course, I did. I did notice them. Hell, I even bent down and picked them up, set them on the table beside me and my dinner, as if they were house guests, and told them all about my day.
But they didn’t give a shit. Matter of fact, I’m starting to think that they don’t care about me all at….
Jan. 6th, 2016
It’s crazy to see how the smallest circumstances can trigger my drinking response.
Something as simple as going over to my brother’s house and having dinner… having him ask me what I want to drink as he reaches for the Bud light, and then suddenly remember that I’m going “Dry” this month. It’s alarming see how much alcohol has taken over my social skills, that I crave a drink just to sit down at dinner and talk with family.
But, no wonder alcohol is such a crutch; we offer it to friends when they come over, we order it when we go on dates, we drink it when we socialize at parties or at dinner; we talk about it, we laugh about it, and we tell crazy (semi-acceptable) stories about what we did while we were intoxicated on it.
It’s just funny (and a bit frightening) to see how much we actually rely on alcohol, as a culture, to bring us together.
And, since I’m a new found sober person (for 30 days), I hereby declare that we go ahead and look further into this. Standby for more.
Jan. 7th, 2016
I’m wondering how difficult this would be if I didn’t just start a new job. The stress from learning something completely new is just overwhelming. A drink would be spectacular right about now. But, I guess plum pomegranate tea (whatever the hell that is), will have to do tonight.
The headaches are the worst part, right now. I don’t know if they are stress related or a-lack-of-alcohol related. Either way, they’re pissing me off.
This tea better be potent, ‘cause I’m about to get crunk… (or is it crunked???)… I don’t know, but here we go.
Here’s to all the nights that we remember because we had to drink tea instead of something stronger.
Jan. 9th, 2016
If you’re ever thinking about hanging out at B-dubs, sober, on a Friday night… DON’T. Matter of fact, I’m not sure if I ever have, before tonight, but I know that I never will again.
Is it a marketing strategy to crank up the noise: the crowd, the TV’s, the music; and then stuff the bar packed full of people who want to talk over it all, and run around like wild maniac children???
Because it made me, very badly, want a beer… and about 6 shots.
But hey, I didn’t.
Tough night, but I made it.
Screw you , sober B-dubs.
Jan. 9th, 2016
Saturday. Time to kick off my heels, let down my hair, and tear shit up.
Well, metaphorically anyway, as I sip on my sweat tea (is there anything else that doesn’t have alcohol in it???), and help celebrate my Grandmother’s 80th and Aunt’s 60th birffdays; packed in tighter than the kitchen sink in my mother’s purse (if that’s a useful analogy??).
Anyway, we were crammed, stuffed, and elbow to elbow in this tiny seafood restaurant, all 20ish of us; loud, excited, and cackling over one another; I was in need of a celebration drink.
Here’s to you guys! (As I raise my glass and throw back the rest of my watered down sweet tea.)
Happy birthday, I love ya, and I’m tired of sweet tea.
Jan. 10th, 2016
Well, let’s just say that if I was drinking a beer or 2 during that Bengals game, I would have probably smashed my coffee table over my knee. Not because I’m a violent person (because I’m really not, but because I need a new coffee table… and because the Bengals are pathetic, AGAIN, this year.
No drinks, no dranks, no drinky-do’s or drinky-dont’s. I’m stressed, I’m tired, I’m headached, and even my liver is saying, “Just one, you pussy.”
But, I’m gonna hold out.
Just 21 more days.
Son of a bitch….
Jan. 11, 2016
Monday’s were made for drinking. Especially when you’re learning now to be a case manager/activities director. I don’t want a drink… I need a drink.
And sleep. And a massage.
Actually, I think I’ll just trade all of that in, and settle for that billion dollar lottery ticket.
Go ahead and send me that oversized check, I’ve already cleared a spot on the wall above my sofa. Thanks.
Jan. 12th, 2016
I stopped being able to form words and sentences. I’m not sure if this is a common side-effect from not drinking for 11 days, or if this is what happens when you work as a case manager in a residential treatment facility.
The truth is, I have no idea if a drink would help me, hurt me, or give me a bigger headache than I already have.
I still think about drinking a lot, but I also think about going to bed… at 8:30pm.
Jan. 13th 2016
I came crawling through the door like some living dead zombie fiending for some fresh brains and blood.
My blood was in the bottom crisper drawer of the fridge, begging me to pop a top.
But I was able to make it to the sofa, where I stared at a blank tv screen for however many minutes it took to me realize that I was home… and alive.
If alcohol doesn’t kill me, then it will be my new job.
I need a new hobby to abuse for the next 18 days. I wonder how addictive bird watching can be??
Jan. 14th, 2016
I don’t want to admit that I went to bed at 8:30… so let’s just say that I fell asleep “early.” I was so exhausted that the thought of a drink only drifted through my mind for a few flashing moments. To be honest, all I could really think about was going to bed.
Sooo, basically, I have this whole thing figured out now: work until you are completely and utterly mentally drained and void of any reasonable thought, and then just go to bed “early.”
Piece. Of. Cake.
Jan. 15th, 2016
Poker night with the guys.
I walk in to the smell of fermented air and busted ass, I’m carrying a coozy covered bottle of water.
Commence 10 minutes of sissy jokes.
End jokes. Begin Explanation.
Begin another 10 min session of sissy jokes.
Give up explaining something that men drinking beer wouldn’t understand.
Suddenly become comfortable with not drinking.
Play poker. Lose poker. Stay Sober. Still have fun.
That’s… a fucking win!
Jan. 16th, 2016
Against my better judgement, I adventured back to B-dubs with the guys to catch the game.
I’m not sure if I’ve grown up this much in the last week or if I’m just not as irritable, now, but it really wasn’t that bad. My sweet tea was sweet, my wings were perfect, and the atmosphere was a little less hostile.
I found it sort of ironic (and funny) that my dudes ordered “my wing beer,” Blue Moon… even though they used to question my manhood about it, back in my “drinking days,” (ok, so like… 2 weeks ago).
And I didn’t even hesitate explaining why I’m not drinking when they questioned my bizarre behavior.
“Are you sick?”
“Are you dying?”
“Has your body been taken over by aliens?”
No guys, I’m just not drinking, for me, because I NEED to do this, because I WANT to do this, because, if not, then I’ll never know how to handle my problems like an adult, like a man, like a mature, reasonable, rational, sane, nonalcoholic, alien person.
Besides, I had fun, anyway.
Jan. 17th, 2016
Is it just me, or did God invent beer and football so that they could go hand-in-hand together? I’m pretty sure that He did, because that just makes sense.
It would have been nice to watch the playoffs with a nice cold brew. But, honestly… I hardly even thought about it. Hell, I don’t even know if I DID think about it!
How crazy it is, to see just how much I don’t think about alcohol, a mere 2 weeks after my last sip for 30 days.
I’d pat myself on the back, but my arms are too short….
Jan. 18th, 2016
The habit of drinking is slowly starting to slip away.
My first thought, when I went to grab a beverage for dinner, was water. And I alllmooost completely ignored the fridge full of alcohol when I opened the door to grab that bottle of H2 izzo.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, after 2 weeks, I’m a pro. (Ok… ok… semi-pro? Minor leagues? Single A minor leagues?)
Alright, basically, I’m the bat boy.
But at least I’m in the dugout!!
Jan. 19th, 2016
Today was the first day that I actually realized that I didn’t want, or even think about an alcoholic drink.
I came home from another stressful day, and instead of thinking about a drink, I thought about working out and re-hydrating for, yet, another sweaty-stressful day at work.
Not to mention that we went out to eat for my brother’s birthday and I ordered a water with TWO lemons!
Who the hell am I??!! What I have done to myself??!!
Next thing you know, I’ll be going vegetarian and doing yoga in my cheetah-print spandex….
(But, that’ll be next month’s blog)
Jan. 20th, 2016
So, I can come home from a stressful day and not have a drink. I can cook, and not have a drink. I can watch a movie, football, or Teen Mom and not have a drink… weeelllll, ok, if I ever watched Teen Mom then I would probably need a drink.
But my routine is changing. I can see it as clear as day.
I’m feeling like a brand new man.
And I’m getting taller. (not really)
Jan. 21st, 2016
I will be completely honest. I thought about alcohol 3 times today. All of which were jokes. And all of which were made WITHOUT even wanting a drink.
That says a lot.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the jokes weren’t even funny.
But at least I was able to think about alcohol without wanting to actually drink it.
Jan. 22nd, 2016
Everyone is out in a panic grabbing up food and wine in anticipation of this winter storm, and I’m over here picking up pizza and bottles of green tea. Lord knows what would happen if I was stuck in the house for 24 hours drinking nothing but water and eating canned soup.
But here’s the thing, the thought didn’t even cross my mind, to go and grab alcohol, or that I needed or even wanted a drink.
But the pizza… yeah, I would’ve drove the 4-wheeler through a blizzard to go get that.
Priorities, people… Priorities.
Jan. 23rd, 2016
Let’s just say that I managed to make it through another Saturday night without drinking.
Oh. And I won $370 in a poker tournament.
I celebrated with ice cold water and a movie.
Jan. 24th, 2016
7 days left. That’s, pretty much, a week.
Which works out just fine, because I’m sort of overdue on a celebratory drink.
Football is so much more serious when you can have a beer.
Jan. 25th, 2016
What is this, Monday. It feels like a Monday. Monday’s are a pain in my ass. Today was a pain in my ass. Today, would’ve been a good day to drink.
Instead, I came home, worked out, rented a movie and went to bed.
I’m starting to think that sober people don’t know how to have much fun.
Jan. 26th, 2016
What. The. Hell.
Two Mondays in a row?? How is this possible?!
Today was even worse than yesterday, on the stress and shitty scale.
It won’t be the alcohol that kills me, it’ll be this job.
Also, I had a dream about a tall Blue Moon, and then another one, and then just one more for good measure.
I miss Blue Moon. I miss drinking.
But, to be honest… I really don’t think about it all that much during the day. My mind is too far gone to even have the mental space for just one more thought.
I guess that’s why Subconscious Jake was trying to remind me about my long lost buddy, Mr. Blue Moon.
Jan. 27th, 2016
I decided that alcohol isn’t the answer.
Instead, I will punish my body with snack food and multiple workouts.
This is, obviously, the answer.
Don’t argue with me.
Jan. 28th, 2016
The plan is to get up early, workout, go to work, question my stupidity, come home from work, sweat out all of the stress, shower, go to bed at the same time that my grandparents would, and then wake up and repeat.
I’ll be looking like Magic Mike in no time at all.
Jan. 29th, 2016
Fuck you, Channing Tatum.
More like, Jacob the Jester.
Either way, pizza, junk food, 3rd helpings, 4 squeezes of Mio Energy drink enhancer, and poker with the guys.
(Yes, I have a coozy on my water bottle.)
Jan. 30th, 2016
Well, tomorrow is day 30. But today is a Saturday. I should be out raising hell until the break of dawn with all the rest of the (almost) 31 years olds.
Wait, what?! 31 year olds don’t do that kinda shit anymore?
Are you sure??
Son of a bitch.
So going to a movie by myself, and staying in and working on writing things was the “correct” thing to do??!
That was normal??
What the hell?!
This whole not drinking thing is really starting to fuck me up.
-Day THIRY BITCHEZZZ-
Jan. 31st, 2016
The day that will go down in infamy. Or not.
But it IS the last day that my liver and I will be best friends.
Although, this whole experience has honestly shown me that I don’t HAVE to drink… that I don’t NEED to drink.
So with that in mind, if I drink tomorrow, it will be because I WANT to, not because I NEED to.
But here’s the thing… I was really starting to enjoy tea….
Want more from Jacob Paul Patchen? Check out his 5 star rated book on Amazon.com. Or just click the pic!
Jacob Paul Patchen
Jacob Paul Patchen is a strong advocate for love, family, and laughter. He is his mother’s favorite child, his grandfather’s ornery double, and the one who offers the blessing before holiday dinner. With his background in poetry and his open heart, he sees the world in a transcendent light. With a deeper understanding of the importance of life’s “little things,” enriched by his time spent at war in Iraq, Jacob offers a philosophical, light-hearted, and insightfully energetic tone to his writing style.
Jacob is an award-winning writer and poet from Cambridge, Ohio. He was the recipient of the Beulah Brooks Brown Award in Poetry and was selected as the feature writer for Muskingum University’s creative writing magazine, First Circle. Jacob graduated from Muskingum University with a bachelor’s degree in English while focusing on creative writing, journalism, and speech communication. Since graduating, Jacob has written a script for a feature film, started a blog, thebackroadrevival.blogspot.com, (which has made him semi-famous in a small town), and is currently finishing up his debut book called, "Life Lessons from Grandpa and His Chicken Coop: A Playful Journey Through Some Serious Sh*t"
Growing up a few miles outside of a small village in the rolling hills of South East Ohio, Jacob spent most of his youth playing sports, spending time outdoors (i.e. climbing trees and hiding from babysitters), and finding his unique voice in writing. Feeling patriotic, he enlisted into the Marine Corps. Reserves during his senior year of high school. During his six year enlistment in the Infantry, he was deployed to the Al Anbar Province, Iraq in 2005. After his return from Iraq, with a better understanding of life and a renewed appreciation for opportunity, Jacob enrolled into Muskingum University to pursue a formal education in writing.
He is now living outside of Cambridge, Ohio where he balances part time work with full time play.