Party Animal

by Amy

Last night, at a dear friend’s birthday party, I drank one beer and smoked one cigarette. The beer was a Nugget Nectar and the cigarette was a Camel Light.

Before you think, “woah, way to party, lightweight” or even, “ew, gross, you had a cigarette” – calm down.

What I did last night is a big deal to me because I don’t drink anymore and I don’t smoke anymore. I spent about seven years of my life drinking and smoking pretty much whenever I could get away with it. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic – but I definitely consider myself someone whose life is infinitely better and WAY less complicated and dramatic without alcohol. At the end of the day, what I got out of alcohol (first a nice confident buzzy feeling, then feeling out of control, then headaches the next day, then “did I really say that” syndrome) just didn’t add up. It just didn’t make sense for me to continue to drink. And then I met my husband, who just does not drink. Not a drop. So that made the choice very easy – I chose sobriety.

I like sobriety. I really enjoy not going to bars on a weekly (ok, not even monthly. semi-annually, at best) basis. I like not having wine around the house, because then sitting on the couch and drinking a bottle isn’t a possibility.

The last time I had a drink before this was probably on New Year’s Day – my cousin is a very talented brewer and he made some amazing apple something, and I had a glass of that.

Last night, I just had a taste for beer. My hostess picked me out one of her favorite beers, and it was cold and delicious. It went down easily, and I liked it. Then I smoked a cigarette. Almost from the first puff, I regretted it. It tasted terrible. It felt terrible. It smelled terrible. By the time I finished it, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I will never start smoking again. It’s tempting, once you have smoked and quit, to toy with the thought of picking it back up again. That’s out of the question for me.

The beer was good, but I had no desire for a second one. Actually, I didn’t even enjoy it so much to be able to say that, I if I could do it over again, I’d have the beer again.

Last night, I drank one beer and I smoked one cigarette. It was kind of a bridge to my younger self, and she sent me a message: “I don’t really like this, so let’s not do it anymore.” I’m glad that we’re on the same page. I wish I could have realized it sooner – but everything happens for a reason.

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