"You can have a drink, if you want."

Captains Log - Mission Elapsed Time 8 days, 20 hours, 33 minutes and 30 seconds

I had been thinking about quitting drinking just about everyday for the last 6 months. Listing the reasons I needed to quit (there were a lot) and weighing them against the reasons to not quit (there weren't any). I was talking myself into it. Just like I did before I quit smoking.

But this was all just internal dialogue with myself.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone with my girlfriend. I had been drinking (of course...I was home, wasn't I?). The conversation drifted towards a subject that we've been nibbling around the edges of for a while now. Moving in together. Neither one of us are really ready for that and we both know it, but we think about it occasionally.

Well, this particular night, she had some things to get off her shoulders. Things about how I raise my daughter (I'm too permissive), how I handle money (like a sailor on leave), and how much I drink. She actually said, out loud, "I think you might be an alcoholic."

There it was. No longer just an internal dialogue. Not just me talking to myself. This was objective evidence from the woman I love. Wow.

Now, I want to make something clear. I didn't quit drinking for her or for anyone else. I did it for myself because I wanted to and needed to. Drinking was preventing me from becoming the person I wanted to be.

When I quit, I didn't tell anybody. I don't believe in making any big, dramatic pronouncements. "Honey, I'm gonna quit drinkin'! I'm serious! I'm really gonna do it!" Go around making a big production of gathering up all the booze and pouring it down the drain. Fuck all that. Anybody can talk and make promises. I just did it without all the drama.

So Tuesday night, I'm staying over at the girlfriends and she wants to go out to dinner, her treat. We go to Red Lobster and as we are looking over the menu, the waiter comes by. "Can I start you out with some drinks?"

"I'll just have ice tea with lemon."

The girlfriend says "I think I'd like a drink. I'll have a strawberry margarita."

Looking at me, she says "Do you want a drink? You can have a drink, if you want."

There it is. My out. She doesn't know I've quit drinking. No one knows but me and the readers of this blog. I don't know any of you folks. I can delete the blog. I can have a drink and just forget about all of this. She's giving me permission and she's buying.

"No thanks, honey. I'll just stick with the tea."

After the waiter left she said "You know, when I said all of those mean things the other night, I didn't mean that you couldn't ever have a drink."

I said "I know I can have a drink if I want, baby. I just choose not to. But thanks!"

Later on I let her know that I've given up alcohol. She lets me know she's proud of me.

I'm pretty fucking proud of me too.

Until next time this is Rocky Jones, Sobernaut, signing off.



hey! glad you prefered the iced tea, that was cool. you sound very determined... your voyage is one track....

August 10, 2007 at 4:28 AM  

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