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Now I know what many of you are thinking, “Haven’t you always been an insufferable douche, Dan?” and the answer to that question really varies depending on which fraternity brother of mine you ask. I like to think of myself as good company, though my friends and family have probably tolerated me either out of apathy to dodge me in a social setting or have become desensitized to my douchebaggery altogether. That was up until the last few weeks, where rock solid relationships have started to crumble into dust at my feet.
But why? Why are my loving parents who never miss an opportunity to check in with me suddenly skipping out on our Sunday Skype calls? Why do my roommates Jared and Boosh drop conversation whenever I walk into the same room and pierce through my soul with glares of “he drowned a litter of puppies in an oversized street puddle in front of terminally ill children” type of disdain? Why does PGP writer and all around good dude Will deFries constantly keep telling me to get off my high horse whenever I politely decline his offer to fill my water bottle with boxed wine in favor of clean, crisp H2O? After letting it marinate in my brain over the last few days, I’ve finally come to the only sensible conclusion: they’re jealous.
Alright. Fine. I admit it. I’ve become a complete prick.
Growing up as one of the youngest in a tight-knit extended Irish Catholic family in Delaware County, alcohol was synonymous with my adolescence. From that first beer my cousin Ryan slipped me at the age of 10 during his high school graduation party at the American Legion, to mixing and matching different kinds of spirits from my dad’s liquor cabinet into a 2-liter soda bottle like a deranged chemist before conspicuously stashing it at the park under the bridge for twelve or so people to take pulls from later on in the night as high school underclassmen, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today without drinking like a total degenerate the majority of my formative years. I’d argue many would feel the same way. You just develop into a more personable, likable individual, faster than those that are sheltered and boozeless.
Of course, college was one continual bender — especially as an art major. It slows down a bit as a post grad, but not much. You suddenly have a few responsibilities, but the goal is always to make happy hour and get lit up after a long week of work. So with all of that said, I’ve been drinking at least on the weekends for the better part of a decade. Then, in the most irrational, brash decision ever made throughout the history of mankind, I decided to stop.
Was it the death of my uncle who drank until he choked on his own vomit that made me reconsider this lifestyle? Nope. How about just the general alcoholism that runs rampant on the “Murphy” side of my family? Didn’t give that two thoughts. Was it some type of disease diagnostic that made me severely alter my way of life? My motto with my Crohn’s Disease has always been and always will be “do it now, pay for it later,” so that’s not the case either. What made me not just pump the breaks but roll out of the booze cruise controlled car entirely was a girl.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve gone under a bit of a transformation physically the last few months.
Blogger body and constantly swollen from an allergic reaction fat-faced Dan from before the girl:
— Dan Regester (@Dan_Regester) December 13, 2015
Your boy is under two-bills now, back into a single digit body fat percentage, and never been healthier physically, all because I cleaned up the diet, work out a few hours a night, and, most importantly, stopped drinking. This sounds like an overall success story and a way for me to publicly stroke myself off for the accomplishment — and that it is — but I’ve also never been a more unbearable human being.
I’m constantly on edge because my life has become a pleasureless bore, I’m exhausting myself at the gym because I now have body dysmorphia and think I’m as small and soft as a honey pot ant, and I’m going against every principle I ever stood for — spitting in the face of back guys everywhere — as my abs become more visible with each passing day. I look in the mirror and I’m disgusted with the miserable hypocrite I see in the reflection. With my life falling down a cynical ravine of darkness, my relationships with my family, coworkers, friends, and the girl I did this for have taken a drastic change for the worse — all because I haven’t blown off steam on Sixth or Rainey and have been an inconsiderate and impatient dick.
But no more. It’s time to get back on that saddle, ride into the fiery gates of hell, and pick up that first round on my tab. I need to get inappropriately hammered and I think this Thursday offers the perfect opportunity at our company Christmas party. I’m officially out of retirement, guys. It’s time to turn this life back around, one brew at a time..