“Still” meaning – as a continuation of my last post. Not as a continuation of the past eight or nine months. I feel like this resurgence of desire is on some sort of schedule: I’ve never read anything in addiction literature about an 8-9 month hump, but I’ve definitely read similar things from bloggers in the sobersphere. So, once again, thanks for being you. It’s easier, knowing that this will pass again. I had a moment the other day where I felt like I was going to be fighting cravings forever. And now I understand why people say “don’t think about ‘forever'”, because that’s exactly the sort of overwhelm that could drive one to drink. But I know I can not drink today, and not drink tomorrow, and the chances are good-to-definite that fairly soon, I’ll go back to not missing it.
On the weekend, some old friends came to dinner. The male half of the couple is one of my closest and dearest friends, although since they moved to the other side of the world almost a decade ago, we’ve drifted apart. Back in our twenties, we used to meet at a bar and share a bottle of wine and some snacks. And then we’d share a second bottle of wine. And then we’d look at one another, because we knew perfectly well that the third bottle would tip us over into uncomfortably drunk, and we always said we wouldn’t drink that much next time, but neither of us felt done yet. And so we would, always, order that third bottle.
Those were nights of talking so fast that our words tangled together, too much smoke and alcohol, and feeling slightly nauseated on the last bus home, near midnight. Nights of bad judgement and hungover mornings afterwards. I wonder, now, whether our friendship would have been as close if it hadn’t been so alcoholic.
This time around, I knew I’d have to tell them that I no longer drank, and I managed to slip the information into an email giving them directions to my house. No big deal at all, luckily: we’re of an age where several of us have stopped drinking for various reasons, I gather.
So I cooked beef fillets wrapped in prosciutto, and they arrived with some fancy gin truffles as a hostess gift (2% gin. I’m going to eat them, but not this week, not when I’m feeling a bit shaky) and three bottles of wine. And the food was amazing and the conversation was great, and I’m glad I got to see them again.
Three bottles of wine. For three people, for one dinner. They arrived mid-afternoon, and when LH failed to offer them a glass by four o’clock, they opened one themselves.
By ten o’clock, the conversation was flagging, a bit. It never used to do that.
I find that I look at people differently, now. I watch my old drinking companions drink, and I notice how fast they tip the last bit of wine into their glass before opening the next bottle, and I look at their faces closely; are they puffier, redder, then they used to be, or is it just age? I feel mean, thinking things like that, but I don’t intend to be critical. I’m hardly Dorian Gray to their picture, after all. It’s just that I’m not very far down the path of sobriety yet: the crossroad is still in sight, behind me, and so is the road I didn’t take. When I watch my friends, I’m peering down that path. I’m reminding myself why I took the one I did.