Sobriety Category

Sober for seven years now!!!

I forget what was the first sobriety anniversary I marked on this blog, but I’ve been doing it at least two or three years now. This time it passed almost without me noticing it. I didn’t even have the alcohol dreams that commonly manifest themselves around this time (dreams where I drink alcohol–it’s a sober […]

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Is it actually a good idea to have recovering alcoholics in positions of power?

I’ve been rewatching season one of The West Wing, and in that show there’s a plotline where some political opponents of the President try to embarrass his Chief of Staff, Leo, by revealing that Leo spent time, seven years ago, in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. And in the show, this is treated like a […]

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On this day, I give thanks to my past self for deciding, five years ago, to quit drinking

Most things in life don’t live up to the hype. But, for me at least, quitting drinking did. Everything good in my life flows from that moment. After I quit drinking, I almost immediately became much more serious about my writing. In the first year after quitting, I finished my first novel. In the second, […]

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I’d define a compulsion as an act which your brain chemistry compelled you to do, but then did not reward you for

Still pondering The Willpower Instinct. For me, the most revelatory chapter was the one on how when we want something, we assume it’ll make us happy (or at least bring us pleasure), even though that’s often not the case. In this chapter, the author explains that dopamine is the brain chemical that mediates how much we want something, […]

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I am now four years sober.

Over the weekend, I hit the fourth anniversary of the day that I stopped drinking. I am now four years sober! Woooooooooooooo! It is pretty weird to me that I don’t drink. I know lots of people who do. And I spend a lot of time with them while they’re drinking. But I still don’t […]

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Whenever I start enjoying life, I start to become really afraid of death

For my obligatory Thanksgiving post, I will just say that right now I am very thankful to be alive. It is an exquisite pleasure to be able to be able to set goals, make progress towards them, and generally feel the slow extension of my mastery over a greater and greater portion of both my […]

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A conversation I have had several times in the last week (Baltimore is kind of a small town)

When you stop going to AA meetings, it can be a little awkward. Because then you feel compelled to have the following conversation: Speaker What is said What is meant Me: “Hey, how’s it going?” “Look, I’m not ashamed to come up and talk to you. That’s because I haven’t started drinking.” Him: “Oh, what’s […]

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Why is there a spiritual side to becoming sober?

I am not a huge Alcoholics Anonymous person. Before getting sober, I went to maybe a dozen meetings and always found them to be a bit of a letdown. People in meetings are fairly friendly and inviting, but it’s still a social scene. They’re mostly there to talk to people they know, and it’s up […]

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I do not believe that introversion is a real personality trait

The number of people who will tell you they are introverts is astonishing. You can talk to the most dynamic, engaging person in the world–someone with thousands of friends, who goes to parties every night–and he’ll tell you, “Oh, I actually find it hard to talk to people. And I usually prefer to be alone. […]

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I feel like a lot of people expect me to weigh in, somehow, on whether or not they should stop drinking

When meeting people, I don’t hide that I am three and a half years sober. I mean, I don’t bring it up apropos of nothing. But if someone asks me why I don’t drink, I see no reason to be coy or to make up a reason. One common reaction to this, though, is that […]

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