No one believes me.
The first person I told was my dad. He laughed.
“I’m going to stop drinking.”
Is that really a ridiculous question worth laughing at or is it the concept of me not drinking that moves people to laughter? I suppose the fact that on the first day of this adventure I happen to be quite hung-over may cause some people to doubt my resolve, which us understandable. At the height of my drinking I could drink half a bottle of vodka on my own in one night. I could drink a bottle of wine and then get up to get another (by myself). I have since stopped drinking that much (and never alone), but it’s not enough. When I do drink, I don’t stop. I don’t drink because I like the taste. I don’t drink because I have social anxiety. I drink to get drunk and I do it often. I think it makes me funnier or more attractive, but what it really does is it takes away the impulse not to say or do the things in my head.
My father once described his alcoholism like this. “I never did anything when I was drunk that I was proud of the next day.” That is the truest statement about drinking I have ever heard. I drink and suddenly men are all attractive, and my ex needs an immediate update on my emotional stability (via text). It’s a neurotoxin and it affects every aspect of my life. I’m in a relationship with a wonderful man and I’ve realized that our relationship is based on drinking. We met over drinks and drink every time we hang out. I have already forgotten many dates and wake up at his place with no memory of how I got there. He is a wonderful man, but he doesn’t know me. Not really. He knows the version of me that is drunk and outgoing and flirty. When I’m not drunk I’m not very affectionate, and I feel guilty about that, so I drink to feel emotions for him when really I have no more emotions to give. I spent them all on my last heartbreak and I have no idea how to get them back. Therefore this endeavor to end my drinking will most likely include the end of this relationship, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
I’m tired of waking up with no memory of the night before.
I’m tired of hangovers.
I’m tired of hating myself the next day when I do remember the night’s events.
I’m tired of spending my paychecks in the liquor aisle.
I’m tired of risking my life when I drive home.
I’m tired of skipping meals so I have calories for going out.
So now, on the lighter side, I will now begin chronicling my new life without drinking. The above points are the things I hate about my drinking. It is my goal to eliminate ever one of them from my life. It will not be easy or fun, but it will be better.
Tonight I am going out with my boyfriend to meet his sister who lives in Chicago. It is the first of many challenges I will face on this journey, but certainly not the toughest. As I mentioned before I am quite hung-over and the thought of drinking (or opening my eyes for that matter) is simply nauseating. It will, however, be an experiment in how people react to me not drinking. I am supposed to be making new friends and impressing my boyfriend’s family. This is a difficult task even when smoothed over by alcohol, so now with it just being me; we shall see how it goes.
Wish me luck. To be continued…