It is day three of not drinking. Technically it has been four days since my first post, but I messed up a bit and therefore its 3 actual sober days. As Professor X eloquently stated, “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they are lost forever.”
I took another step today by telling my former drinking buddy about my choice. I say former drinking buddy not because my sobriety has removed this from my life, but because he decided he needed to “clean up his life” and therefore he removed me and all of our friends from college from his life (completely). So when I spoke to him I expected some sort of understanding statement at the very least. Instead I was presented with the same child I knew so well in college.
Me – “Well I’ve actually decided to stop drinking.”
Him – “Huh wow, That’s boring… but ok.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I spent 5 years of my life with this person (and unfortunately in love with this person) only to be told earlier this summer that he couldn’t hang out with me because his mom (he is 26… his mom should have nothing to do with it) said I was a bad influence. Now that I decide that I’m not going to drink anymore he wants to shoot me down? This guy was obviously not the model character to begin with, but I really was expecting something more.
It’s funny how scared people are of sobriety. Talk about showing True Colors. To be continued…
Well that was not the most convincing display of sobriety I’ve ever produced. My failure mostly lies in wanting to impress the family of my boyfriend (let’s call him . . . Hanz). It was a gathering of hip young people with tattoos and lip piercings drinking IPAs and pretending to enjoy them. It was the sort of group where one’s standing was determined by the size of your beard or the obscurity of your record collection; certainly not the sort of group to be impressed by a newly reformed alcoholic with no grand and telling story of their struggles through life with alcohol.
I tried the “only-water” technique, and noticed I was quickly being ostracized as The Non-Drinker of the group. There were no soda options either that could mask my sobriety. So I chose the socially acceptable option of grabbing a beer and holding onto it taking small sips so as to not feel any effect. I even drank lite beer so it was less tasty and therefore I would be less likely to drink it.
Why did I feel embarrassed to not be drinking? And why did I let those feelings push me to drink, even for a second?
On a more positive note, I did take all of the alcohol in my house and dump it out; 13 beers and ¼ of a bottle of rum (but who’s counting). It was actually therapeutic in a stressful kind of way. I felt, to a lesser extent, like a hoarder who was being forced to choose between their beloved collections of used up napkins and their family. The beer and rum smelled great and I didn’t realize it then, but I was holding my breath the entire time is went down the drain. With that in mind it would seem that the choice to stop drinking is a good one for me. We shall see how Hanz handles this change… To be continued
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…