Well, in case anyone was wondering, I'm still around. If you weren't, then please feel free to not care. I don't.
I'd made an effort over the last 3 months or so to stay away from anything bar related. It's been that long since I quit and to be quite honest, it's seemed like a very long time. And by "anything bar related", I mean drinking, bars, lifting weights, acting like an asshole, and getting into fights about meaningless shit. And how has it all been?
In one word: Great. Really-fucking-great. Besides my one trip back to Athens in October, I haven't been back. It's been a nice - and much overdo - break. I haven't subjected myself to the horrors of downtown, even as a customer, since then. I've had exactly zero drunken 19 year olds yelling in my face about who their daddy is, how much money they had planned to spend in the bar, or how I would somehow come to regret my erroneous decision to not let them in/kick them out/cut them off/whatever. My stress level has plummetted to practically nothing, which has been amazing.
So recently, I've gotten my ass back in the gym. Gotten back to doing things that I used to do like lifting weights and staying in shape for reasons other than making sure I was bigger and stronger and faster than the hapless drunken college kid that I was throwing out that weekend. I'm doing it now for the original reasons that I started staying in shape for before I worked downtown: because I like it.
I've gone out a few times around where I live now, and I make sure to stay in the corner, away from anything that could ever lead me to a situation that I know all so well, but I'm still a little suspicious of everyone around me all the time, for some strange reason. I close my tab out long before last call, and I turn in for the night hours before I would even consider doing it only 3 short months ago.
It's been great. Although, I admit I've been getting a little stir crazy. Could there be a return to the bar scene in the future? Probably not, but I've been thinking about some things, and I have a few trips - read: more than one - to Athens planned in the very near future. I'll keep those of you who care posted. And like I said, if you don't care, then please feel free to keep it to yourself.
Or don't. Whatever.