I awoke last Tuesday and surveyed my kitchen. A quarter-full bottle of red wine sat on the counter. That meant that the night before, all by myself, for no good reason, I had celebrated Labor Day with more than three glasses of wine.
I was disgusted with myself. I'm a big lightweight. To me, three glasses is a lot of wine. What was I doing, drinking that much? And it wasn't just that night. Almost every evening, one gin and tonic turned into two. Maybe three. I often wondered "Am I drinking too much?"
Sometimes I would even stop for a few days, but I always went back. It never affected the rest of my life much, but I knew it wasn't doing me much good. And now, with the evidence before me, I knew I had to do something.
With new resolve, I poured the rest of the bottle of wine down the drain, along with the rest of the Tanqueray gin that had been stored in the freezer.
I had decided to quit drinking. Just like that.
Then I started reading blogs and found that Kristin of Better Now had just made the same choice. And recently Stefanie Wilder-Taylor had made some blogging-world waves by getting sober, too. I was in good company. I felt like a follower, but still.
I was proud of my decision, of my steely nerve. I told my friend who has been in AA for years what I was up to.
"Are you sure?" he asked. "What happened?"
"What do you mean, 'Am I sure, what happened?' I drank 3/4 of a bottle of wine," I said.
"Well, usually the women I know who quit drinking when they don't have a serious problem do it after they wake up after sleeping with some random guy," he said.
No. No random guy. Just shock at my behavior, which had seemed extreme to me. But held up in the light of day, it was starting to seem pretty mild.
This weekend, I saw Mr. Mojo, my ex-BF, famous ex-drunk and raconteur. Ironically, we met at our friend Jim's bar. Sitting on the patio sipping fizzy water with lime (me) and diet Coke (him), I asked him how long he had been sober now.
"Five years," he said, almost wonderingly.
He had once been a huge drunk. For about 30 years. Straight. The last time we broke up, he was drinking so much that he had pretty much given up eating - he got all the calories he needed from alcohol. He was THAT kind of drunk. I have no doubt that AA saved his life. He loves to joke about it, though.
"I quit drinking, too," I said. "Five days ago."
His eyes bulged out. "Why? What is WRONG with you?"
I explained the 3/4 bottle of wine thing.
"Ooh, 3/4 of a WHOLE BOTTLE?" he whooped, "You have to be KIDDING me. And now you're quitting drinking? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard."
"I HATE YOU!" I shouted, smacking his leg. Probably only about the 5000th time I have ever said that to him. This time, I was laughing.
So if I go back to drinking, I have a good excuse. My two best friends who are involved in AA made me do it.
With a support group like this, I may need a liver transplant one of these days.