Dry November: Day 3

November 03, 2018

Yesterday I took the easy way out. I don’t mean that I drank, for I’ve done several things to ensure that this way would be hard, telling friends, for example, and committing to writing about it here. What I mean is that I was alone. For me, much as I love the taste of beer or the effects of spirits, I never had the strong temptation to go it alone, to drink alone. I might not be able to resist a good beer in the fridge, but as I rarely replenished them, this never became a habit. I know of people who get into the habit of a glass of wine while cooking, which becomes a bottle or two with dinner. I drew a line in the sand on this point, and only drank in the house on special occasions. Like if the hangover was truly the stuff of nightmares.

Partly this tendency comes from the nature of my drunkenness. After even one or two drinks I become more social. Some people think that I am always social; mostly they have not seen me sober. Alcohol makes me more outgoing. This is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing in the sense that I’m typically fairly friendly and easygoing when drinking, as well as in that I’m not tempted to get smashed alone. It is a curse in the sense that a social pint after work can wind up with me drinking and talking until all hours, derailing the best laid plans of my sober self. If I am alone (coming home for instance) and tipsy, I notice that I send more messages than I would otherwise; in my sobriety I am more flaky and reticent, less likely to respond, more likely to be grumpy.

And so today, with coffees and cokes, I’ll see close friends and brook their jokes about what I’ve become, how I used to be fun—though even in this I am joking. I’ll be seeing my friend with whom I set out on this mission, and a few others, and they are supportive as all true friends are on resolutions of self-improvement.

Bryan Kam

I'm Bryan Kam. I'm thinking about complexity and selfhood. Please sign up to my newsletter or see more here.