Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Stick

Well, so far this summer is going fine. No real temptations to drink (I get little "micro-temptations" every now and then - a brief, wistful thought, "Boy a beer would be great today!" that is instant banished), in part because, I think, last summer was so horrible. Last summer, booze was king, and booze ruined pretty much every typical summery event there was, either by me skipping the event so I could stay in and drink myself, me skipping the event because I was hungover, or me attending the event and being so drunk that I said and did things I'm not happy with and will carry the shame with me forever.

So this summer, I have the handy crutch of - when I go to a BBQ, say, or next month when I go to a friend's cottage - knowing that if I choose to drink, I have a recent, horrific example to compare consequences with.

I'm a little bit nervous about the cottage, actually. Not because of the possibility I might drink, but because of knowing what I did last year. On the second-to-last night there, after everyone else had tired of the camp fire and gone inside to bed, I stayed up and drank. Hard-core. And it was a BAD drunk, where I worked myself up into a rage about something. I sobbed and fumed. Thank goodness I didn't yell or shout (that I remember....), it was a quiet rage. But when I ran out of logs for the fire, I crept over to other peoples' cottages and stole firewood from their property and probably (I can't remember) engaged in some "minor vandalism" - like tipping over garbage cans and the like (but I can't remember if I did this....I just have that deep feeling in my gut that I did things I don't remember that I would be ashamed of).

So far as I know, no one really noticed, and I was invited back this year. But what happened last year CAN NOT HAPPEN.

There are positive reasons to stay sober, like my health and getting shit done, and there are reasons that come from a negative place, a place of embarrassment and shame. The carrot and the stick model of motivation, I suppose. In the end, I'll take whatever works.


  1. I hear you on last summer being a reminder of what this summer could have been like. I'm kind of afraid of fall this year, for no reason I could put my finger on, but summer feels safe somehow.

    Hopefully the unpleasant memories/associations from the cottage last year will dissipate early in the trip so that you can relax and savor this time. What a difference a year makes.

  2. Good luck with the cottage. Have faith in yourself, realize that you will have thoughts about last year, and alcohol, and thats okay, just deal with them by seeing the bad things about alcohol and the good things going for you, for example your health, bank balance, relationship etc.

    Thanks for you story, it's been relatively difficult to find active male sober bloggers, so keep in touch! From down under, Paul.