It is 9 AM on a Wednesday, and relax, all I’m drinking is coffee.
Two months ago, I began this series in an effort to confront my relationship with alcohol, and further, to abate the negative habits corresponding to that relationship. It’s worth pointing out that this measure was preventative rather than interceptive, which is to say it was intended to stop a potential problem from developing, not to intervene with an existing one.
Several of you, my friends and family, have reached out to me since reading that first post to commend and show support, but yet more hearteningly, to ensure me of your presence in the event that I ever need your help. It is impossible for me to overemphasize just how grateful I am for that, and for you, truly. You are all of you fucking magic, and I hope you’re aware of it each and every day.
Writing these entries is tricky, because I have to simultaneously address my drinking while also reassuring those who are close to me (not to mention myself) that it remains nothing to really worry about. That said, I’ve found transparency to be most effective in matters such as these, and moreover, I accept that I have no control over how you will receive my thoughts — which acceptance has come only from years of putting this shit out there and just sort of hoping for the best.
Take my word for it, that is still far from easy to do. Having a drink usually helps, though.
In spite of that, I trust you with said [shit], otherwise I wouldn’t be foolish enough to keep putting it out there. Many of you I don’t know — most of you, in fact. The metrics on my website show that you guys are reading this from all across the globe, everywhere from Southeast Asia to the Middle East to Eastern Europe, even Idaho.
Plenty of you drink, I’m sure, but I’ll bet more than a few of you don’t. Some of you care about me more than others. A lot of you find me pretentious and self-righteous, but hopefully some of you find me witty, if nothing else. I can say with resolute confidence that most of my readership finds me arrogant; but regardless of how you feel about my voice and work, I trust you simply by virtue of having written to you — sincerely, I do — so again, I appreciate your giving me the courage to do this.
Said metrics also indicate that 2/3 of you are women in the 25-34 age bracket, which is interesting, because those are typically the people who trust me least in the real world.
Here is my full debriefing [re] personal drinking habits over the past 60 days:
- I limit myself to wine on weeknights — no more than half a bottle per sitting — with exactly six exceptions thus far. This also serves to maintain some perceived degree of refinement in my indulgence.
- I don’t drink beer, with exactly four exceptions to date, but in truth, that’s owing to my not wanting to get fat.
- When I drink hard liquor, I stick to clear ones, and do my best to avoid shots. Tequila on the rocks proves far less nefarious than chilled and dressed.
- I no longer go out with the sole intention of getting drunk.
- I make a point of drinking with friends rather than just drinking buddies.
- I’ve stopped comparing my own habits to others’ as a means of justifying them, those of whom I know that qualify as heavy drinkers, to wit.
- I am watching my spending habits more closely, although that’s mainly because I don’t start work until next week, and finances are less than abundant.
- I am far more conscious of bullshitting myself and others in social settings which involve drinking (and in general, with varying levels of success).
- I dread the hangover, dread it deeply so.
- And finally, I avoid intoxicated flirtation simply for the sake of attention — which is a very new and revolutionary development, rest assured.
I’ll admit the last one has marginally effected my sex life, but I’m quite alright with it.
That’s about all I’ve got for now, folks. While I can’t promise I’ll make this a regular occurrence, I can say that it has become a genuinely cathartic exercise for me — redemptive, even. So I plan to keep you posted and myself honest, such as it is. As ever, I ask that you hold me to it, and of course, that you do please keep reading. Thank you, whoever you are, and wherever you are, have a drink on me.