I went to Boston with my partner this past weekend, the first of two vacations we have lined up for the winter. In advance, our hosts knew that I didn't drink, and were fine with it, and it really didn't come up, except for towards the end where one of our hosts asked (with his great Bostonian accent) whether the next time we visited I would be sharing a beer. I told him that anything was possible, and that the current plan is to not drink for a year and see what happens. But the answer is supposed to be "No, because otherwise it will mean that my life is on an undesireable trajectory, and anyway, you probably wouldn't like me as much."
I feel like in a subtle way I am setting myself up for failure by holding off on saying this is permanent. I don't know why I need to think of it as a temporary thing, something I'm just "trying out", as if it's all for laughs and all of the work I'm doing is just an experiment after all. Because there is ample evidence that I should not be drinking.
The biggest sign of that is how much I really want to. I mean, I really, really want to. Right now, while I have my defenses up, life is good, I've been at the gym, I'm relaxed, I feel loved, etc, etc, I don't want a drink. But if I try a little thought experiment, if I say to myself: "Drymarc, would you like to get a beer right now?" Hoo boy.
I know that the first sip of beer would be glorious. And I know that it would be the first of many, many more sips.
While on vacation, our hosts offered my partner some scotch, and on another day, some wine. Both were good versions of what I would ordinarily drink, and they discussed how expensive they were, how they tasted, how long they were aged or what year they were from etc. I nodded politely, but to me their worth can only be measured in how easily they would get me drunk. I have absolutely no interest in what a "good" scotch or a "good" wine is, that's just window dressing. The point is getting drunk, if I'm being honest.
Since I've been sober, I've started to see how other people actually drink, and it's kind of amazing, because how I drink and how they drink are completely different. And if I even tried to drink like these other, not-alcoholic people, I would hate it. I would chaffe at the bit. I would despise them for taking so long, for "savouring" their sips, I would hate the time they take before refilling their glass, I would scoff at them for saying they feel drunk after only three or four drinks. Drunk after four drinks?!? Are you shitting me?? That's a snack! Barely!
Our second vacation this winter will be one of those all-inclusive deals, probably in Cuba, where there is sunshine, a beach, pools, and, oh yes, open bar. I'm of two minds on this, because, well, open bar! And it's vacation! Do it!!!
But I think the best choice for me is to stay sober, even if it feels like I'm wasting the biggest perk. Because I know that if I drink, it will take that much effort to stop, even if it is only on vacation. Right now one of the things going for me is that I am almost 4 months sober, and I'd hate to ruin that record just because it's 25 degrees and I'm sitting at a pool.