It’ll start with the justifications. Even before I choose the bottle – a nice bottle, a treat, one of my favourites, because it’s been so long without – I’ll have a list of reasons in my head. Look how long it’s been without a drink, I don’t have a problem. Look at how surprised everyone was when I said I wasn’t drinking for a while. There weren’t any looks of relief, any knowing nods. It was all seriously? That seems extreme. Are you, you know, pregnant? And if I had a problem, obviously people wouldn’t be surprised, or they’d make a joke about never thinking I’d manage it. In fact, if it wasn’t so very normal to drink they wouldn’t be surprised either. Everyone drinks like me really.
And even if I do have a problem, well. Most people relapse at least once, it’s almost necessary. It doesn’t mean I won’t get sober later, if I want to. I mean really, it’s one night, it practically doesn’t even count. I’ll go back to not drinking tomorrow, I don’t need to tell anyone, it won’t be like a proper Day One again because I’ll have had all that practice at saying no and staying sober, so it’ll be fine, in fact I don’t think I even need to reset my days. I shouldn’t bother counting days, it’s meaningless.
Also, it’s been a really hard week or a really special occasion or there’s something else going on that hardly ever happens so it’s not like real life anyway, so I’m not drinking in real life, this is just…an anomaly.
And that first glass. Familiar sensation in my hand pouring it out, and I’ll pause, feeling like there should be a sense of occasion here. My first drink afterwards. But then I’ll laugh at myself. It’s not a big deal. It’s just wine. Really, it’s making a big deal out of it that is half the problem. I’m sure that if I didn’t obsess about how much I was drinking, I wouldn’t have drunk so much.
It tastes good. Well, actually. It tastes kind of sour and a bit…not as good as I remembered, anyway. But nice! I’m sure it’ll taste nice, like it used to, once I kind of remember how it’s supposed to taste. There, that’s better, a few sips in and it’s coming back. I even feel a bit warm, tingly. Mmmmm. My tolerance is down, of course, which is great, I can get tipsy on a normal-person amount of wine.
I might as well have another glass. It’s just this one time, after all.
Should I drink a third? What harm can it do, honestly. But I might regret it, because I told myself I wasn’t going to drink like I used to, and this is waking that line, but on the other hand if it’s just once I might as well make the most of it. And anyway I’m sure that most people, normal drinkers, get a bit loose and drink three glasses of wine if they’ve had a really stressful week like this, or they’re celebrating. I know lots of people who don’t drink problematically who can drink a whole bottle every now and then. My friend A drinks a bottle on a Saturday night and she’s fine. My friend F definitely has 3 or 4 beers when she’s out and nobody would ever think that was wrong. I’ll have the third glass.
The bottle is mostly gone. Might as well finish it. That way it’s gone and there’s no temptation to drink tomorrow.
Shit. I’m pretty drunk. Shit. This wasn’t what I wanted to happen. Maybe I can’t drink normally. Maybe I’m really an alcoholic. Look at how I drink. Obviously I’m an alcoholic. I can’t even quit when I try really hard. I fucking relapsed. I’m a fuck up. I can’t get out of this. I can’t quit. I always thought I could quit when I finally decided to and I can’t. I must be an alcoholic, and most alcoholics relapse and can’t quit and keep drinking and ruin their lives. I’m just going to have a crappy life, I’ll be one of those people who disappoint their families, I’ll always regret never making anything of myself. Poor me. I didn’t mean to be an alcoholic but it’s too late, I guess. Life didn’t turn out like I thought it would. Sobriety is just beyond me, I have no willpower, I’m just a pretty crap person. I might as well learn to live with that. Fuck it. Lots of people are crappy. We all grow up and learn the truth, that we are just not that great. So I drink. So I’m a drinker. What the fuck ever. I wish I weren’t, but also I wish I were thin and dynamic and good at crafts and successful and I’m not. We can’t all be perfect. I’ll just accept that my life isn’t great. At least then I can drink, which gives me something to look forward to when I’m bored and depressed.
Might as well open the second bottle, then.