Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A decision not to drink that is not made in the throes of a hangover

This morning I woke up, clear-headed and strong-stomached, with my eyes open wide to the bright sunshine splashing across the room. There was a gorgeous bottle of Moet on the kitchen counter waiting for my orange juice. I stood for a moment, glass in my hand, and thought about it.

And I decided that I wasn't going to drink alcohol anymore.

This is not a New Year's resolution. This is not a response to recent events, or a judgement of others, or even a fresh start..... this is just a girl, looking at the internet, and saying "I don't want to drink anymore".

I have said that before. And I meant it every time. So what is different now?

I don't want to not drink because I hate how it makes me feel (though I do). I don't want to not drink because it's expensive (though it is). I don't want to not drink because it's bad for me (though anyone who has seen me drink knows that is surely the case).

I want to not drink, because I feel like I'm done drinking. I am all drinked out. It has been a very long time coming - from the dusty bottle of Gibley's in my parents liquor cabinet, to out-running the cops through the woods carrying a keg, to having a "two panty" rule when I went out, which ensured it would be a challenge to flash anyone accidentally (or purposefully, as was more likely the case), to having my husband usher the babysitter out of the house hoping she didn't see me on the kitchen floor where he had left me sound asleep, one shoe still on, my skirt around my waist (but still wearing panties!) because that second margarita had been a little too much.

Because two margaritas, you see, is frequently all it takes. A combination of high metabolism and prescription medications means that I get drunk very efficiently. It is, in fact, one of the most efficient things I do.  I am a notoriously cheap date. The local barkeeps will not be wearing black armbands. I don't drink every day, not even every week. Which makes "I am not going to drink anymore" an easy thing for me to say.

It will not be an easy thing to do.

Never is a very strong word. It will mean saying no, which is not a strong suit of mine. Drinking is a huge part of ...... everything. People give bottles as gifts, buy drinks for friends, suggest meeting for a glass of wine or a beer as an activity. And because this decision isn't coming from a point of desperation, it will be difficult to say "No thank you."

I will be nervous about hurting feelings, or having people feel judged.
After all, it would be easy to have "just one drink".
And then there is this bottle of champagne in the kitchen..........

So I am going into this whole thing with steely determination. I have said in the past that I was done drinking, and it always fell apart, mostly because I didn't really care that much, and I didn't drink often enough or heavily enough for it to bother me. But as I have seen things in this world spin completely out of control - not my control, just anyone's control - control in general - I want to take hold of something that is totally within my power, and just hang on for dear life. It is a totally do-able thing, to not drink. But it is something that you really do have to embrace anew every single day.

And now that I have made this decision, I can make a New Year's Resolution:
I am going to be the most fun sober girl at the party. I am ready to show everyone how this shit is done. I will drink pretty drinks, with fruit and umbrellas and lime and bitters and bubbles and sugar rims and not a drop of alcohol. I will still dance on tables, and maybe, if you are lucky, I will go back to wearing just one pair of panties when I head out for the night.


Roobacca said...

Isn't it funny how our bodies/minds just start to reject the things that don't make us feel good? I was thinking about this today, even before I saw your post. My body has pretty much decided that it will reject fried or oily foods and soda. I drink wine almost every day, but lately my body has been telling me to knock it off. So, I pour a little less each time, and sometimes I skip a night. I'm not sure I will cut it out entirely, but I will certainly cut back.

I think that the key to dieting (by which I mean eating healthfully) is listening to your body--understanding how you feel when you put certain things in it. It takes a while to learn this, but it's pretty amazing once it happens.

Anonymous said...

I am sending you huge hugs, because I'm proud of you for listening to your own needs and wants. When I choose not to drink I do get some funny looks, but for the most part my friends get it. It's a choice. If they don't get it? Not your problem. And they can go screw.

And for the record, you ARE the most fun girl at the party, no matter whether booze is involved or not. We love you for you. Just keep being that. ;)