Ok, so I’m a week or so into my taper-down program. I had 5 drinks on Thursday, 2 on Friday, 2 2/3 on Saturday. A wee bit more last night because on Friday night I couldn’t get to sleep until after 3 AM and woke up around 8. That always happens when I drink less—super bad insomnia kicks in.
Last night I treated myself to a home-made pizza. I say “treated myself” because I’m trying to give myself positive reinforcement in the classical psychological sense. It hasn’t worked much before (!) but is still worth doing, even if it only helps a teensy. Hey, every little bit counts in this damn battle!
While the pizza was cooking, guess what happened? One of my best drinking buddies called me! Never fails! I don’t know how many times I have done well at limiting or quitting my drinking and then he suddenly shows up, which seems weird because he works a thousand miles away! He comes into town once every 6 or 8 weeks. He was just here a couple of weeks ago! I didn’t answer his call this time. I “successfully” ignored it!
I emphasized, “successfully”, because normally, almost without fail, I cave and join him for beers. He buys me a couple, which is nice, but then I buy myself another 6 or 8 and start myself on a bit of a bender for a few days (or weeks) as I try to manage the drunk-hang over cycle. This time, however, I’m not going to cave!!! I’m going to tell him that I’m on the wagon and have other commitments to attend to. If I don’t tell him I’m busy he will encourage me to join him regardless. In times past when I’ve resisted he’s explicated, “Don’t be a pussy!”. Some friend eh? Well, he’s one of those guys who has a drinking problem even worse than I do but will never ever think that he does. As far as I know he has never, ever, thought about limiting his drinking. When he came down with gout a few years ago, he started taking allopurinol, which cured the gout and freed him to continue drinking, unabated. Was he ever happy!
Some friend, indeed. Actually, I like him very much. I enjoy his company. He’s got a great sense of humour and for the most part is caring and compassionate. He is blind, however, to his own drinking and just as blind to that of others. It’s hard to ignore him, then, because we are otherwise good—almost best—friends. Well, as much as I love him (as a friend), I know that I need to love myself more and continue on my own private path to wellness, which means. not. drinking!
Let’s see how this plays out…