Friday, December 30, 2011

A Sober 2012

Hi there.

My name's Marc and I am an alcoholic. Or maybe not. But probably.

If I am an alcoholic, I'm the kind of alcoholic that one would call "functioning", which is an interesting term in itself.

Where I work, our department has a printer. This printer is old, and so it has a few quirks. It takes about 20 minutes to print one page, paper frequently gets stuck inside its inner workings, and over the last few weeks the ink has been running so that all of our pages come out with black lines and smudges that are less and less professional-looking as time goes on. Sometimes a technician or somebody comes in and gives it a tweak and the printer works sort of like a printer should (it still takes forever, and still has smudges and clogged paper trays, but slightly less often), but before long it's back to its old tricks again, making work a bit more difficult and our output a bit less crisp and appealing. The bigwigs won't replace it, though, because it still "works". That printer is "functional".

I have been Not Drinking since October 6th, 2011. Before that, I was functional like our printer is functional. I went to work (most days), but my sick day count was high, I was crabby, and some days I would just be trying to get through, rather than actually do a good job. I'm in a longterm relationship, but sometimes when I drink I say or do things that embarass my partner or make him uncomfortable, and sometimes I would skip out on social events because I was hungover and wanted to stay home instead. I'm generally a creative and bright guy, but when I'm drinking I'm not writing, I'm not taking classes, I'm not growing or changing in any productive way. I'm a 30-something who's scraping by but with no savings for emergencies and no plans for old age. This is "functioning".

The Plan was to quit drinking for 3 months, or until I lost 20 pounds, whichever came first. Due to my cleverness, I substituted fast food for alcohol and have not lost an ounce, so maybe I can give this sobriety thing a real shot. I haven't really told anyone (not even myself, so, Shh!) that I probably need to quit drinking for life, so so far as everyone knows, I am only doing this for a year, the year of 2012. My claim is that this is the year to "get 'er done": I have goals and I have dreams, and I would like to be an old man one day who can say that he achieved some of his goals and dreams. Alcohol, for me, is incompatible, unless I choose to make liver disease one of my goals. Not quite there, yet.

So, this journal can be a place where I talk about the struggles and joys (there are some) of facing the world completely sober for the long-term. I hope that by the end of this year, and beyond, that I can be a better person: smarter, more accomplished, more caring and giving, successful in my career and in my relationships. At nearly 3 months of sobriety, it looks like this is possible.

My name is Marc, and am Dry.