This past weekend was back to normal. People gathered without masks, drank out of red solo cups, flip cup and beer pong were argued over, and having fun was a prerequisite. For me, that involves drinking copious amounts of alcohol while attempting to maintain a semblance of cohesion. Fortunately I came out of it alive only damaging 1 Indego screen in the process.

Jeff and Julia threw a party on Friday which celebrated their marriage. Their friends gathered and this was the first time that I’d been in a group party setting in over a year. I show up in a nice shirt and pants and didn’t get the memo that people go apeshit over socks. As in go out of their way to wear overly unique socks and my big toe is sticking out of mine. Big minds have little interest in mundane details. Next time I go to a party I’m buying socks with Kevin Duckworth on them and insisting I take off my shoes so people can ask who that obscure, black, basketball player is? This is seriously what people want to talk about.

Alcohol helps me intermingle in this environment and I converse well . Considering I know most of the people, this is even easier than usual because I’ll know past topics to discuss. My M.O was to stick to beer as I watched tequila shots get downed. Who says you don’t get smarter with age? I even ate 3 slices of pizza. People who don’t suffer from drinking problems wouldn’t know that eating kills the drinking buzz and most alcoholics forgo this step. So the night goes on with karaoke, which I suck at but if you can scream loud enough you can blend in, and some flip cup which I find a fascinating game. Flip cup is my party game of choice because it’s fast paced and it separates the amateurs. What’s an amateur? People who flip with one hand or pour too much beer in their cup. The goal is one gulp and flip. The motion should be done quickly and if it’s an experienced table, you can play survivor past a certain point and people can see who’s the best. Off that tangent, I ended up leaving the party around 4:30am and got stuck in a gated complex. I was drunk and didn’t remember what apartment I came from so I started scanning for ways out like hopping a 12 foot door or breaking my way out. I kid you not, I was as desperate as can be and miraculously pushed 0000 on the gate code and it worked. Apparently there’s a push button behind the gate which allows you to exit but I was drunk and I couldn’t find it (or didn’t look).

I get back at 5:30 because I didn’t call an Uber, and I punched the failing Indego screen along the way which wouldn’t accept my credit card. Hard to say if this was a user error, but let’s hope there is no face recognition. I get some rest, wake up feeling lousy, and play golf at 3pm. Half hungover I managed a 90 while slugging beers around the course. We watch the Sixers at PJ’s and then got a reasonable night’s rest.

The next day is Ween’s party at 2pm which I wasn’t feeling great for. As I was taking a morning shit, my leg is shaking which is generally withdraw symptoms. Sam and I get there and I start drinking Bud Light’s to knock the cobwebs off. We play some pong which had some controversy when people tried to argue that making two in a row supersedes the opposing team making the last cup first which was ridiculous. The party wound down with Weens playing a set that was better than one at Tomorrowland, and I slept over to avoid drunk driving. I get home the next morning and I’m washed. This next part of the post is what I wanted to start with, but got carried away with the story telling, because if you can’t understand the back story, you won’t understand the important part.

The Recovery

After 3 days of alcohol, the body doesn’t feel great. The lack of water is what does a number on the body. For every 1 day of drinking, you need 1 day of recovery. Let’s start with what constitutes drinking? Over 6 drinks during a session in my mind. So in this instance, I probably had 15 beers on Friday, 8 on Saturday, and 15 on Sunday. It could be more because in a 12 hour session, it’s fair to say drinking more than 1 Bud Light an hour is possible. If you drink any beer other than a light beer or do too many shots, you won’t make it. So, let’s just keep the math simple and say I need 3 days of recovery.

Monday is not a fun day. On day 1 of a 3 day recovery, you wake up and feel about 5% on the energy meter. This level slowly rises throughout the day but it doesn’t ever pass 30%. I exercised this day, and tried to drink as much water as humanly possible, but it’s impossible to morph out of a zombiesque state. You wonder what it would be like to forever feel this bad and start questioning “was it worth it?” The one factor that people who are sober don’t consider is that the alcohol brings out an inner dialogue on both ends. When you’re getting wasted, you become more honest with yourself and questioning what life’s all about and what you want out of it. Sobriety tends to allow days go by without thinking existential about it. When you hit the outside of the drinking you ask, “why on Earth would I ever do that to my body?”

So I watch the Sixers Monday night and take an Advil PM because my sleep cycle is so out of whack that assistance is needed. Usually on these early recovery days the body wakes up a few times during the night and I wonder how life can be so dirty. So I get to work on Monday feeling 40%-50% (sleep is the fastest way to boost recovery energy) and it’s a busy day. There are tons of orders from the weekend and we are running a sizable job through the shop. I know it’s going to be a long day when I take a call at 7:45 which lasted 6 minutes and the guy ended it saying he was going to buy it from a competitor. When you feel lousy, there is no way you can be chipper on the phone. So the day passes, as it always does, and same formula with trying to get as much sleep as possible and drinking as much fluid applies. Eating is usually laborious which I forgot to mention as the appetite is killed from the empty calories of the liquid.

I wake up today and feel about 70%. My brain is ready to start creating new ideas instead of going through the motions. Conversing intelligently still isn’t on the same level as it should be as you can find yourself searching for words and they don’t come as readily. You don’t look forward to interacting with other human life. Life doesn’t seem as bad though and you know it’s looking up. Lest you forget, this is day 3 of the recovery process. So the day is a bit easier and the optimism starts to set in. The appetite comes back and I was able to exercise without hating my body. The loads of liquid takes a number on the waist line which sucks but it goes away quickly with exercise.

All good must come with bad and this is the bad of alcohol. As much as I detest the recovery period, the part of interacting and socializing for me is worth it. I enjoy connecting with people and it makes me a more well rounded person. Some people I talk to genuinely find my candor and forthrightness excruciating. They don’t like when I tell them that AJR sucks ass. However, the people who get it, or me, depending on how you want to look at it, I feel a connection that is irreplaceable and I don’t know if you get that without alcohol. Perhaps people will tell me that’s sad and I’m ok with that. Life is short and I don’t want it to flash by with me saying that I wish I did that. I can say that I enjoyed my time this weekend and have a few memories that were worth it to me. I’m sure the people who read this, and understand why they don’t drink, I hope this reinforces that principle.