In case you haven’t been out with me for the past few months, here’s a heads up; I’m not drinking.
I’d like to add “anymore” to that sentence, but “right now” and “today” will need to do for the time being. No, I’m not being brave coming forward or whatever. It’s a fact. I am working on not drinking.
I’ll do my best to answer the questions I’ve already been asked and react to the comments I’ve already heard.
Q. When did this all start? I was drinking with you in the summer.
A. I stopped drinking slightly before Labour Day. In the summer how’d that go? I have a feeling I know. We drank a lot, I disappeared to keep drinking and the next day we talked about how shitty you and I both feel. Good times.
Q. How long are you quitting?
A. For as long as I can. Up to and including the rest of my life, if I can.
Q. Why are you quitting?
A. I’m a binge drinker. I sit down with the best intentions of having one drink, but inevitably have them all. I can’t stop until I do. I am unquenchably thirsty. It’s not healthy.
Q. You won’t have one? What’s the harm in one?
A. When I was asked out “for a drink”, my favourite response was “That’s cute. You think they come in singles.” I don’t know how to have one. If I have one, I instantly want another. Best I don’t have the first.
Q. Do you think you’re an alcoholic?
A. Uh no. I KNOW I’m an alcoholic. Thinking I might be an alcoholic allowed me to excuse my drinking for nearly 30 years (I had my first drink to excess at 14 or so).
Q. Do people miss you drinking? You’re a lot of fun.
A. …thanks…? I’m still pretty amazing. I’m just not drunk.
Q. Does it bother you if you see people drinking? Are you judging them?
A. Here’s the thing, I am in advertising. Binge-drinking is par for the course. It’s “how we roll”. I have witnessed my behaviour thousands of times in the nearly 15 years of being in advertising. For the most part, it’s innocuous. Folks blowing off steam. If any of you have tried to keep up with me, you know where you end up; sick the next day. No, I am not judging anyone but myself. If you feel judged, that’s on you.
Q. What does Libs think of what you’re doing?
A. Libs is down on all this. She misses sharing a bottle of wine with me (I know how to pick wine like a champ) but she knows full well she’d have a glass and I’d finish the bottle. Potentially, ordering and/or opening a second while she sits and/or goes to bed.
Q. Why are you offering me booze at your home? Doesn’t it drive you nuts?
A. Because I’m a kick-ass host, duh. I make an amazing bourbon sour, caesar, mimosa and know how to pour a glass of wine and open a beer. Why should my guests be dry if I am? I’m sober, not a dick. No, it doesn’t drive me nuts.
Q. Did you join AA? Are you in therapy?
A. Wow, we’re really feeling familiar, aren’t we? The second A in AA is Anonymous, by the way. But I am generous. No, I’m in neither. I have a wicked cool wife and friends who are supportive. If I need either or both, I’ll do it. You don’t stop having an addictive personality. For the time being, I am muddling through.
Q. Have you fallen off the wagon?
A. I don’t really see it as a wagon, because things fall of wagons all the time. Have I drank since my decision? Yes. Do I feel like a failure? Maybe, but I didn’t just go back to drinking either. So whatever.
I am sorry if it makes you uncomfortable that I’m not drinking with you. I’m happy to see you drink and enjoy yourself. I don’t care if you drink to excess.
Don’t drink and drive. I mean it. If you come close to that, I’ll offer you a place to crash or cab fare. Imagine all the money I’ve saved on drinks! I can pay your cab ride home. Alternatively, if I’m out and driven, I can offer you a ride. Designated driver, yo!
If you see me drinking, I’m probably okay with it in the moment, but will be bummed out about it later. The last time I drank, it took a full 15 minutes for me to pick the glass up. I need a “days without incident” counter.
If you have any questions, ask. I’m fairly open about this whole thing. The last thing I quit was smoking and it’s a similar situation which I blogged about a while back.
On a related note, I dropped 10 pounds and my blood pressure normalized. Weird, right?