Dry. It really sucks. Dry, meaning alcohol free, it’s miserable. At least it is for me. Lots of us (dry people) use the euphemism sober. It sounds adult, more mature. I don’t call myself sober because of what it implies, which is: not drunk. It’s not that I’m not not drunk, it’s just that before, when I drank, I wasn’t a drunk just a drinker. So dry, not sober.
Yesterday I read a blog post about alcohol. I thought I was reading about pie—pie for breakfast. Readers who have memorized every post I’ve ever written already know that having pie for breakfast is something I enjoy. The post was called Pie for Breakfast and while part of it was about pie, most of it was about the power of alcohol to wash over one’s resolve, to steal sobriety even when you don’t want to give it away.
Another thing my blogger-friends know about me is that I’m a serial commenter. I can’t help myself. If I can, in any way, relate to what you’ve written, I’m going to comment. So, here’s yesterday’s comment:
I love pie for breakfast. It’s usually apple, but yesterday it was pumpkin with three fried eggs (not on top but on the side). Do you want people to comment on your drinking problem? I have a lot to say, but you seem pretty content so I won’t preach.
And then I went to the bank. As I walked around the corner, I thought about what, exactly, I have to say, and about how much I actually wanted to preach.
Not too long ago, I read another blog post. A woman wrote an angry scrawl about her drinking problem. She painted out-of-control scenes that left her in dangerous situations. I suggested that she talk with someone, maybe one of her parents, to see if she could get some help with her alcoholism. She slammed me. She told me that I’m just another in a long line of men who think we can fix her problems because she’s a woman. She told me what I wrote was triggering, and it only made her feel worse.
What I wanted to tell her is that back before I was a drinker but not a drunk, I was actually a drunk. A big one. I wanted to tell her that I wasted more than ten years, and I didn’t want to see someone else go through what I did. Instead I just hit like and tried unsuccessfully to forget her.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called My Intervention(s). Don’t click the link, you don’t need to read it. The important point is that my feelings were hurt by the fact that nobody ever staged an intervention for my uncontrollable drinking. Possibly, I could have skipped the drunkenness. I could have moved earlier into that long period where I drank, but didn’t get drunk. Maybe early enough that my relationship with alcohol wouldn’t be screwed up. Maybe I could still, to this day, be a drinker and not dry.
Because I’m dry, I mourn the loss of flavorful red wines, Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs. I miss hoppy pale ales and nitrogen infused stouts. I miss hanging out at parties, glass in hand, feeling that particular relaxation that only comes from a modest amount of alcohol.
These are the things I would tell the pie blogger. She’s young. Maybe young enough to change her habits. Possibly she could alter her drinking now so that in thirty years, she won’t need to be dry.
Read Dry. Part 1.