First and foremost, I would like to heartily apologise for the lack of furious updates around these parts. The fact of the matter is that I was bogged down with electoral duties in college (long story) and I was up to my eyes counting ballot papers, citing inane (and partially fictional) sections of the DCU Students' Union Constitution at drunken blondes and having my every move calculated and analysed by journalists, right down to what I was having for lunch. Needless to say that blogging didn't really fit into my schedule.
Anyway, as basically all of you will know, I've been repeatedly harping on about how I'd given up the booze for the guts of the semester in an effort to save money. Well, I'm happy to say that it's over now and I more or less did what I set out to do. It's interesting to note though that while I did manage to save a lot of money, a lot of that money has already been spent on various deposits, accomodation and flights, so my credit union savings account is still worryingly south of the €1000 mark. But I'm happy with the amount that's there and hopefully I'll get enough hours in at work to be safe enough.
The number one thing people kept telling me throughout my sabbatical was that the drink would hit me harder than ever once I started again. Funnily enough, this didn't happen at all. I went through about seven beers and several glasses of champagne on my re-introduction night and I was no worse than usual. So that's that theory out the window.
In terms of things I've learned while socialising sober, I have a lot to say. First and foremost, I think it should be re-iterated how annoying it is when people pressure you to drink. Alcohol is a personal drug and people need to stop pretending like it matters whether or not everyone's drunk at a party in order for it to be any good in retrospect. If you like drinking or doing drugs, fine. That doesn't mean everyone else has to in order for you to be justified. It's really ignorant and off-putting and they act as if there's something terribly wrong with you for avoiding their over-arching wavelength of awesomeness. Some of my best friends and some of the wisest and most sensible people I know really let me down in this regard and showed me a side of them I never knew existed. On the other hand, there were people who I thought were going to be complete assholes about the whole thing and showed nothing but support. Basically, the experience really showed me a lot about the friendships I have with certain people and the respect people have for me and others.
Secondly, if ever you find yourself in trouble with money, give up alcohol. Seriously. You save so much money, almost straight away. Even if you don't drink that often, you won't believe how little you spend in a week when you cut it out of your life.
Finally, I think I realised more than anything else that I really just don't care about spirits. They're really nasty and filthy-tasting and if you drink too much of them, getting sick feels like getting tortured by Zombie Nazi Ninjas. If you get sick from drinking too much beer, it ends in about five seconds, with little or no pain, leaving you ready to get straight back into drinking. Give me a beer, any day, I say!