Sober — Part II


Failing to simply be there for a friend because I was physically so weak that I couldn’t bear anything but solitude. That was the the moment when I realized that I had run aground and would be stuck there forever if I didn’t change my drinking habits. So I quit drinking. For two weeks I was happy. My depression vanished, emotional spikes stayed in a manageable range, and I felt completely confident. So confident, in fact, that I thought I could start drinking lightly again without falling back to my old, self-damaging habits. I was right. For a couple of weeks. Then I was wrong again, so I admitted to myself that I have a significant problem which calls for a determined measure.
I have been sober for but a mere week now, and I experience the same welcome effects as the last time I managed to pull this off, mainly elevated energy levels and better self-control. But most of all I feel relieved. Relieved from the need to decide whether to have that next beer or Scotch that I will have anyway. Whether it is impolite of me to turn down a friend’s request to get drunk with him or her in order to bond in a haze of loosened bonhomie. I am relieved because I know the answer, and it is “no”. It is written all over the recollections of the past decade, reinforced by the few moment of clarity in-between.
Drinking has had it’s moments. But it has turned out to be a less-than-zero-sum game, and it’s time for me to turn away from it and move on.