You’re going to have to learn it some time

One little practice I’ve been doing for a few months which I’m starting to suspect is really useful is to note when my urge to drink goes from 0 to 1, out of 10. In the past I probably ignored those, usually with no harm done, because who cares about a 1? Or even a 2? But lately I call out when I see a 1. It occurs to me to walk down the beer aisle at the grocery store. The thought of a trip to a wedding in May raises a split-second excited thought from Bernadette because it means an open bar. I smell something similar to hops and the mind slides over to beer with a casual hint of going to get one. It’s helpful to see more clearly what those things are that I consider a 1. And quite often naming the 1 leads to my taking some sort of beneficial action, like, not walking down the beer aisle.

So that’s all good, but identifying 1’s doesn’t help in the throes of a 9 attack. But today I got handed a new idea that I find promising. I have belle’s audios on infinite loop on my phone, and something she said recently made a new kind of sense to me. The old idea, which I love, is that the moment of desperation for a drink is a moment when something in you is about to learn something. Drinking in that moment, in addition to wrecking whatever string of sober days you have going, prevents you from learning the thing. The new angle on that that I grasped today is, you’re gonna have to learn the thing sometime. If you forego the option of learning it now, and drink instead, you’ll just have to learn the thing later. Might as well learn it now — I think that may be at least somewhat convincing to me and Bernadette in the moment. (I also sense that it might make me scream and cry. But when did a little screaming and crying ever hurt anyone?)

The efficiency aspect of this is appealing.


6 thoughts on “You’re going to have to learn it some time

  1. I love this! There have been some really hard times staying AF, like you and others have mentioned. Honestly, looking back through some of those times makes me proud of myself and awe struck at the same time for having grit my teeth through them. Like, who goes to Key West and doesn’t drink? Umm, hello, been there/done that/TWICE! Also have gone away for girls weekends with three very close friends and they are all hammered for a good portion of the time. Would I have had more fun if I had drank? Maybe? But definitely I would’ve been sick, regretful, hungover, depressed, and who knows what else. Herein lies the problem, one’s too many and a hundred ain’t enough. And having a “cheat day” or “I’m only going to drink at this wedding then stop again” does not work for me…it leads to month/years of more drinking. What a waste. Waste of many things, time, money, calories, health, blah blah blah. Does it suck? Occasionally. I’ve learned that it sucks a whole lot less than the rugged road of drinking/regretting/sick/hungover/etc sucks. I guess that is what I learned at some point, that the occasional grit is so worth it…
    Here’s another “learned” thing…pretty funny how easy I would forget this one…after the first 2-3 drinks people (me included no doubt) aren’t that great to be around…louder, slurrier, think they’re funnier, repeat themselves, turn sloppy, act like a fool, and the list goes on. Arrive late (looking fresh and fabulous) and leave early! The people that really matter to you will respect your choices…❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, this resonates with me, both Adrian’s post and your comment. Now that I’m vaccinated and can get back out in the world, the added “yay I’m free”, gets in my way at times.
      I’m tired of groundhog type days. Yet, real life is like this, anyway!
      So, I go on, at times fighting urges, to keep a sense of real adventure, not a fake one.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is awesome. You going to Key West and on the drunken girlfriends gatherings sober is so bad ass. Your comments also bring up a couple of thoughts for me. One is the total availability of the option to stand in awe of oneself for doing this stuff. It appeals to my competitiveness (which I’m recently coming to accept/acknowledge more following on a marathon discussion about the enneagram last week with my best friend from college) to remind any wobbly thoughts that I happen to be awesome for what I am doing. In particular, awesomer than all those other people. Not a pretty sentiment to express out loud, but just fine in the complex, weird, unrational underworld of the psychology of quitting alcohol.

      And the other is puzzling over the thought that we’re missing out on “the fun” when with a group that’s drinking. I hear others say it, I feel it myself, and yet I can’t figure out why that’s a form of “fun” that I’m “missing out” on. Maybe I’ll write a post on this. It assumes there’s a shared “fun” among people all buzzed on alcohol. When it’s not actually shared. Each person is voluntarily trapping themselves in their own buzzed brain. They’re all in the same room, but alcohol is SEPARATING us.


      • Agree!
        Bad ass, yes!
        Awesomer, yes!
        You should write a post about the very realness of feeling like missing out on the fun, yes!
        Here’s a couple more tricks from the tool bag…
        1 – When you’re at that wedding and Bernadette is coaxing you with her “fun”, focus on how shitty those imbibing will feel (and look) in the morning, and conversely how fabulous will you be? And how damn thankful will you be that you glided through those six hours keeping YOURSELF as the priority?
        2 – Nothing bad ever (EVER!) happened from quitting drinking!


  2. Adrian, the last sober wedding I went to was in Wisconsin. Ugh! A family member’s wedding.
    We had our own hotel room, left early.
    Next morning at breakfast everyone looked horrible, I was all chipper! lol!
    Decided I’ll not do breakfast again when I go to the NEXT FAMILY MEMBERS WEDDING IN WISCONSIN IN SEPTEMBER!
    We can do this!

    Liked by 1 person

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