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The story of a boy and his wagon.

So you want to hear abot that-there wagon I done fell off of, do ya? Weeeeell call over the neighbors ya'll, GJ gonna' tell his tale.

I first want to just say that I'm fine. I'm not doing keg stands before work or anything. Not today anyways, so don't worry about me. I'm just not being a nazi on myself if I'm out with some people and want to have a beer. If I want a beer I'll have a beer. It's the least important thing in my life. I haven't gotten drunk and don't plan to. I'm just sick of being made out of wood. I want to be a real boy, Fairy Godmother!

So let me back up to when I first quite the sauce. I was 19 years old. Me and my long, long, long-time girlfriend broke up a few months previous. I was staying with my uncle on his animal farm (seriously) while I tried to kick Xanax. Xanax, if you don't already know, is a highly addictive tranquilizer type pill the doctors use to give out like tic-tac's despite the enormous risk of dependency. The guy I was seeing obviously didn't know what the hell he was doing. My aunt was taking them at one point in her life. She's a grown woman, her dose was .25 miligrams a day. At 19 I weighed about 120 lbs. My doctor put me on 3 miligrams a day. 12 times what my aunt was taking!! Not only that, I was hitting maybe 5 or 6 miligrams a day.

There were two different ways I got addicted to that crap. The first was emotional. At that age I couldn't keep a straight thought for 5 seconds. My mind was always going a mile a minute. I couldn't look at a pencil on the floor without contiplating the history of the written word. My brain couldn't handle the stress, hence I needed something to slow it down. Looking back on it I see myself as just having a wild imagination that didn't know how to channel that into productivity. If I had, I would of releived the stress I was suffering from. The doctor's answer was to take a bunch of pills that make you feel like a lump of crisco. And who am I to agrue with a doctor?

The second way I got addicted to it was, of course physical. I've never felt as miserable than when I was coming down from Xanax. It took three long months to be done climbing walls. It took a lot of determination to get off that shit, and it's that same stubborness that made me quite alcohol as well.

Once you go through something like that, you reevaluate yourself. Well, I did anyways. I promised myself I wouldn't ever put myself through anything like that again.

Anyways, in regards to drinking I began my partying career at 15. I was using alcohol the way I would later use Xanax. I wasn't sleeping in gutters or anything, but let's just say I wasn't hanging with the chess club after school. At that age, my friends just referred to my behavior in such terms like "he's partying" or "he parties." The "party" that I would refer to as the motivation for my drinking would usually travel past the house with people and music playing, over to places like school, and Sunday afternoons while I was just sitting at home doing nothing. My parents didn't care too much. They were drinking at the same age. That is unslee their booze was being disappearing. Then I was told that I'm acting "unacceptable". He'd usually say that holding a bottle of vodka that's been 75% watered down.

Anyways, getting off Xanax was a turning point for me. I wasn't drinking that much when I was on the pills. Basically because I'd have to get up off the floor to do so, and that became too much of a chore. Part of helping me get off the crap was keeping myself busy doing whatever possible. It started with desperate activities like lying in the snow wearing next to nothing. That was the closest I could get to numbing myself. Later I'd go for hikes in the hills. I'm taking 6 hour hikes! It progressed into channeling my energy into stuff I enjoyed doing. I joined a band and put a lot of time and effort into that. I stopped hanging out with people that were always trying to get me high, and started hanging out with people that didn't "party" at all, or very little. The next thing I know, I was sober and couldn't stop. If I went to a bar or a show I'd be sober. If I was at a party I'd stay sober. It took on a life of itself. I soon became known as "the sober guy" and people started getting uncomfortable around me. Whether it was eight at night or eight in the morning I'd show up at their house stone sober. I didn't care.

I'll tell you this, you get a much, much less shit for being young and drunk then you do being young and sober. You had to be tough. People would criticize me left and right for drinking milk while everybody else would be shitfaced off vodka.

Quite honestly that was a motivation to stay sober. I never let anyone dictate to me what I should or shouldn't do. When someone would make fun of me because I wasn't drinking with them, I looked at it as if I'm seeing someone's true colors that I may not have seen if I just went along with whatever the pack was. And I don't care how liberal-minded your group of friends are. Just be ever so slightly different from them and you'll find out who likes and respects you for real.

So anyways, that sort of shit went on for 9 1/2 years. Drinking was the most unimportant thing in my life, and it still is. I don't think I would have started if it was anything else. Now, I don't drink very much. Not everynight. I haven't even gotten drunk and don't plan to. Quitting drinking at that point in my life was definately the right decision. I probably didn't need to go so long with it, but that's how I opperate. I'm stubborn.

So, I'll leave you with the story of the first time I had alcohol in almost 10 years. Basically it's the Catholic church's fault. I'll explain. It was at my brother's wedding. where I was the best man. Me not being catholic, much less never being in a church save for maybe a dozen times in my life, I was a bit confused when the dudes in the robes started liqoring everybody up with the same glass. When they came over to me I thought "fuck it" I made up my mind that I was gonna drink again when the opportunity presented itself, and this looked to be it.

So after drinking the blood of Christ all I could think of is how ironic it is that alll the places I've been sober at. Bars, parties, concerts. I stayed sober at them all, and it took a Catholic church of all fucking things to knock me off the wagon.



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