Things I Wish I Had Experienced Before I Got Sober

Quitting drinking nine months ago continues to prove to be the best decision I ever made in my life. However, every once in a while I can’t help but feel a little wistful at the few opportunities I missed to get trashed in style. These feelings are mostly provoked by the better posts on and lurking the social lives of my peers via Facebook, but they are there nonetheless, so let me indulge my fantasies, damn it!

Four Loko

I would have torn. This. Shit. Up. The gaudy cans, “flavors” that are actually colors, and an appalling combination of booze and caffeine? Sign me up! I’ve sampled similar brews such as Tilt and Sparks, but they just don’t have the pizzazz of the already-legendary Four Loko. Never mind the fact that those sugar-laden craptails used to make me hurl my guts at least 56% of the time (note: aforementioned hurling may not have been the drink’s fault so much as potentially caused by chugging four warm ones in the parking lot behind the movie theater before seeing Eagle Eye in IMAX, riding the Scrambler at a Mexican carnival set up in a dirt lot next to a gas station, or equivalent). In my mind, I envision my Four Loko night to be a wild but ultimately harmless Hangover-esque caper involving minor vandalism, an unlikely happening (i.e. finding a stack of money, ending up at a party at Gucci Mane’s house, etc.), and a police chase that ends with me triumphantly escaping into the night only to wake up at a friend’s house the next morning and recount the story over waffles. In reality, my Four Loko drunk would consist of wild mood swings, public indecency, and almost certainly a real and very humiliating arrest (which has not happened yet, knock on wood).

Las Vegas

How a former party girl with a lust for buffets, sequins, and boozing has never been to Vegas by 24 years old is beyond me. I’ve been obsessed with Vegas since I turned 20 and all my friends have been multiple times, but my broke ass has never been able to swing it when the opportunity presents itself. I mean, did you know you can drink in public in Las Vegas? Even though I am sober now, I still know a good time when I see one. Hell, if I could figure out how to drink/get drunk without being a complete terror, I would be the queen of Vegas. The Yardstick is quite possibly my favorite alcoholic accessory, and I’ve never even had one. Despite the fact that they are expensive as hell (I’ve heard) and impractical as all get-out (a friend recently told me the end of a Yardstick basically amounts to “warm alcohol slush”), I’ve always thought they were fucking rad. Some gold hoop earrings, a bikini, and one of those and I’m set. I wonder if they make them virgin?

Whiskey in a Can

Ok, so they haven’t put this on the market yet, but I heard from a reputable source (um, The Huffington Post-have you heard of it?) that it is on its way. Despite being more or less of a trash can drinker, whiskey was always my favorite. And the only time I like kitsch is when it’s an ironic way to drink, so really it’s a perfect combination. Hmm. Maybe “kitsch” isn’t exactly the right word, but I used to have a thing for drinking in ironic or unique ways. Maybe to take attention off how much I was actually drinking, or to use it as an excuse to drink more. It doesn’t matter, either way I would have been totally into it.

As I sit here and try to come up with more things I wish I had tried before quitting drinking, it occurs to me that I honestly can’t think of any more. I’ve been drunk a thousand times – a lot of them were really fun and great, but more of them were dark and scary, and I regret that more than anything on this list. If the only things I missed out on were Four Loko, Vegas, and Whiskey in a Can, then I think I made the right decision. Besides, I’m doing Vegas this year, and now that I’m not pissing my money away on booze, I can afford to just light it up and smoke it at the Blackjack table and I don’t even have to get my dick out. TC mark


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  • Tera Kristen

    Things I wish I could experience sober:
    1. Dancing in a club
    2. Daytime summer patios
    3. Montreal, QC
    4. Getting to know new roommates
    5. Cranberry juice (so tart it needs to be cut with vodka)

    • Anna B

      for some reason, it's always better to be intoxicated at dance parties, clubs, and social gatherings :]

    • Ginny_h

      Obviously this is controversial, but (apart from number three) I have done all these things completely sober. I personally believe it's about your frame of mind and what mood you are in.

      • Tera Kristen

        Oh I agree – there have been moments of experiencing all of these things sober. Yet, time and again I return to getting drunk and doing them (in order to do them?) I know it's definitely not the situations that are making me drink – it's definitely just myself in those situations…

    • author

      Haha love this. And mega ditto on #1, I'm still trying to figure that one out.

  • Michael Koh

    Things I wish I remembered on Four Loko:

    1. Dance party.
    2. Getting stranger's phone numbers during said dance party.
    3. Dance party in a hot tub.
    4. Dance party on a farm.
    5. Sex during a dance party on said farm.

    • author

      I knew I was missing out. However, if that was me, I probably would have gone missing somewhere between #2 and #4, and you could probably find me in jail/nursing a sprained ankle/walking home with one shoe on. Party!

  •!/nvvmxac danne rassle

    How about learning how to drink so you don't need to quit drinking in the first place

    • Rockandrollme2003

      LOL. Yes. An alcoholic can “learn” how to drink just like a paraplegic can learn how to ride a bike.

      • JJ

        But you can't compare an alcoholic to a paraplegic. An alcoholic is someone with low self esteem who can't handle the minute stresses of everyday life and instead must rely on substance abuse. Whereas a paraplegic is, well, a paraplegic.

      • Seriously?

        Wow, it's not often that I see ignorance that makes me lose my breath for a second. I'm going to assume you're trolling (because that's the solution that makes me feel least sick to my stomach), in which case, ha ha, you're controversial, good for you. On the terrifying off-chance that you believe that poison, well let's just say that I'd gladly wish paralysis on you before I'd wish that your life was deeply affected by alcoholism.

      • author

        THANK YOU. Honestly I try not to respond to the comments at all, ever, but the comments on this piece make me feel like I've been punched in the stomach. I don't understand how anyone can fail to appreciate the dedication and motivation it takes to change your lifestyle like that, especially at 23 (my age). Honestly, if I could drink normally, I would. But I've come to accept the fact that I can't control it and I never will, and the fact that I posses the ability to recognize that and change myself continues to blow me away. I can only thank you and everyone else who recognizes this dangerous ignorance and feels strongly enough about it to comment on it.

      •!/nvvmxac danne rassle

        omfg, my whole point is about AVOID the adiccion, if you had it and you quit that is OBVIOUSLY excellent congrats. I'll just live this right here… , Rassle out.

      • Jackie Chiles

        you are an idiot

      • author

        This is untrue. An alcoholic is someone who does not have the ability to control their drinking, NOT someone who chooses to not control their drinking. It has nothing to do with self-esteem OR willpower.

      • ricky schitltiiz

        na this is bullshit, sorry

      • Michael Koh

        Thanks for that.

      •!/nvvmxac danne rassle

        my point here is that your don't need to quit drinking, just control your self your entire life, people who quit drinking are mostly idiots who hit rock bottom

      •!/nvvmxac danne rassle

        and alcoholism not a disease, is a choice

      • Rockandrollme2003

        “alcoholism is not a disease, it's a choice”?


      • author

        hahahahaha. Right?

      • genna mae

        Denial is a choice, alcoholism is definitely not. Do you even know any alcoholics?

      • author

        You need to check yourself. People who quit drinking are on the whole extremely strong people who recognized the need for a change and went out and got it for themselves. Recovering alcoholics are among some of the strongest people I know. You clearly lack a working knowledge of addiction and what it means or doesn't mean to abuse or be addicted to something, and your ignorance on the subject shows very, very clearly in your comments.

      • Ela

        People like you are exactly why people with problems—be it alcoholism, depression, drug addiction—are afraid to seek help. You make them think they're weak by asking for help, that they can do it through sheer willpower.
        Go crawl back under your rock.

      • author


    • Michael Koh

      Thanks for that.

    • Yahoo


    • Author

      Been there, done that, didn't work for me. It's called alcoholism, maybe you've heard of it?

      •!/nvvmxac danne rassle

        with all due respect I don't believe in 'addictions', I'm not judging but I think it's all mental. Even though your body physically needs the alcohol, the mind is stronger, hard to explain but that's how it works for me.
        For the record I do drink and I've done all kinds of drugs, but I'm not addicted to n e.

      • Ginny_h

        Good for you that you find yourself immune to all addictions.

        I think that is a very naive attitude to have. Most addictions aren't simply physical, they are mental addictions as well and it is precisely the mental addiction which is the hardest to overcome.

      • author

        Ditto, ditto, a million times ditto.

      • author

        with all due respect, it's common knowledge that addiction is not all mental. some substances are psychologically addictive only, this is true-but many of them are physiologically addictive (meaning the more you use the drug, your body grows the eventually NEED it to work properly). Google “addiction” or pick up any medical textbook on the subject and you'll find the same information.

      • uhhuhhh

        charlie sheen?

      • Tessah


  • L.S.

    On a can and a half of Four Loko, plus a few games of beer pong and some ill-advised shots, I blacked out at perhaps 10:30/11:00 at my own house party (Jock Jams themed). I passed out around 11:30 and woke up with eye black smeared on my face and couldn't figure out why my white tearaway track pants were so fucking dirty. Goodness. I'd totally do it again.

  • Cody

    I drank whiskey from a can in Japan. It was whiskey and water. Pretty disgusting but fun.

  • Caitie Rolls

    I had to write off whiskey the night we made out for an hour and sobbed about our unborn children after splitting a bottle.

    Also: H8ERS KEEP H8N!

    • Tessah

      haha god i know. whaaaat was that??!!!

  • Sam

    The writers and commenters on this site are so EMO. Why you gotta be so serious bro?

  • halfling_rogue

    Great article! I know that when I first stayed stopped drinking, I had a few things that I was sorry that I had never tried, but now, I love my Happy, Joyous, and Free Life! As to the M.D.O.s (Medical Doctors of Opinion) who have been commenting about Alcoholism not being a disease and that will-power is enough, fie to you, I say! I tried to just drink one hundreds of times, but I always ended up going until passed out, I have something called the phenomenon of craving, that once I put alcohol into my system, I NEED MORE.


    “People have a lot of trouble understanding that addiction is not an issue of choice or will or morality. ” The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association all define this state of driven, compulsive use as the essence of addiction. Someone who abuses drugs may suffer negative consequences from using, as the addict does, but generally can and does stop when these consequences become too severe. The addict may be unable to stop, even after massive negative consequences, without medical and/or behavioral help. Says Steven Hyman, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, “An alcoholic taking a drink looks like anyone else engaged in that behavior, but what's happening in his or her head is different.”


    n a 1992 JAMA article, the Joint Committee of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine published this definition for alcoholism: “Alcoholism is a primary chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, mostly denial. Each of these symptoms may be continuous or periodic.”

    From the Doctor's Opinion from The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

    “We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.

    Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.”


    I have had that psychic change, and I no longer need to live in the Hell of addiction, and I would just like to echo SERIOUSLY?'s sentiment.

    -Good Night, And Good Luck

    -Wiggums, The Halfling Rogue

  • JJ

    The amount of brainwashed 12-step program trustfund hipsters in this thread is astounding. I'm sorry, but contrary to whatever your counselor led you to believe in group therapy, you are nothing special. I'm sure it did take a lot to overcome your addiction, but do you think anyone actually fucking cares? Your friends and family are just glad that you stopped taking your pants off and vomiting everywhere at social functions.

    • halfling_rogue

      Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I: 1) Am not a trust-fund anything, 2) a hipster, 3) Did not go to a rehab, detox, or any type of group therapy, 4) did not go to any family functions or places that puking or taking pants off would be out of the ordinary, and 5) I know that I am nothing special, I am just another drunk with a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition. However, when I see people calling alcoholism and addiction a failure of will power rather than what it is, a chronic, progressive disease, especially since the medical community, on multiple occasions, in many different papers and books, has deemed it as such, I feel the need to call them out.


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