The last week or so was super busy with school deadlines etc, and it still is. But somehow, and I don't know why, I made that even harder for myself. I also had to think my way through this not drinking thing all over again. After three months of doing just fine, thanks very much, I had another round of wondering whether I might be able to drink like a normal person again. It's not clear to me why this was suddenly such a burning issue. I wasn't craving wine, or anything like that. I just, out of nowhere, got extremely irritated with all things to do with being sober. I didn't want to think about it, or talk about it, and I certainly didn't want to pretend it was anything other than a royal pain that I couldn't have a glass of wine if I wanted to, even though I didn't at that point want to. It's convoluted, I know, and also typical. Bog standard.
I didn't drink anything. But I did plan to. About a week ago, I decided that, after 100 days, I would start to have an occasional glass of wine. I would set strict limits, and see how that went, and if it didn't work, I would go back to not drinking. Mainly, I didn't (don't) want to live in fear that one drink will wreck my life, so in response to that, I thought having one would solve that. (Maybe not logical , but it was my way of facing the fear, as they say.) At that point, I decided that in twelve days, at day 100, I would have that one drink. Or split a bottle of wine. And then I'd have none for a month.
But a day or so later, I wondered if I needed to wait a month after that first one. Maybe I could have a drink once a week. Or twice. Anyway not every day. And then I thought if I was going to do that, why wait until day 100? Why not just go ahead? Somehow, in all this, I just sat with the thoughts. Finally I decided I might just buy some wine and cut the suspense, but I didn't really want any. I was riding my bike right past the wine store and thought, nah, maybe tomorrow, but not now.
The next day, I did some careful thinking. It seems to me there are two ways this could go wrong, and one is definitely, way way way worse than the other. One, I could actually be someone who, after a period of not drinking, could have an occasional drink. If that were the case, then I would be depriving myself unnecessarily in the meantime by not doing so. The other thing that could go wrong is that I might not be that person, in which case having a glass of wine would start the whole nasty ball rolling again.
I'm busy these days, and I don't want to have to deal with a crisis, self-imposed or not. At worst, I don't actually mind not drinking, and at best, I prefer the sober me. And it kind of frightened me, how quickly that one glass I might have became wine 3 or 4 times a week, all in my mind. It's just like I've always done when I've quit for a little while and started again: it starts again small and reasonable, but it doesn't stay that way. Even just thinking about it--with no actual alcohol, just the thought of it--I was already scheming for more.
So no wine for me. Not after day 100, and not soon after that. I may think this through again after six months is up, which will be late December. But then I have another school semester. More likely I will finish the academic year first, and by then it will be April, close enough to a year that I might as well quit for a whole year and see where that takes me.
I don't know what happened to my forever idea. Maybe in a way I'm back to it, or almost. Maybe it doesn't matter. I'm not too worried about that for now. I guess I just have to think my way through things the best way I can, and that might change up once in a while. Throughout this, though, I was firm on one thing: no surprises. I can plan do do whatever I want, drink or not, but I have to be honest with myself about it. So far, being honest means this: I know it won't work out if I do drink, and I don't have anything to lose by not drinking. It's not rocket science, is it?
The whole process, getting caught in this and thinking my way out, it wasn't any fun. I feel like saying I wish this were easy, but I know I haven't had it so bad mostly, and my tough few days came out just fine. Anyway, here I am, day 97, not drinking and not planning to, and I'm pretty darn happy about that.
I'm glad you're out there, fellow sober folk. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do this without you.
(I had to do a slight edit, as it's 97 days today, not 96. Apparently counting isn't my strong suit!)