I wait for an hour after work before my first drink. It seems to help mask the reality of my powerlessness. Just like saving corks is a “hobby,” not a perverse, enduring testament to my vice.
Humor dilutes the gravity of my choices.
I don’t black out, I travel seamlessly through time.
Euphemisms are helpful too.
I don’t get blitzed, I unwind.
Justification is another useful tool. I came from humble beginnings, put myself through graduate school and have a great job, so why not indulge?
After all, I work hard.
Given these persuasive tricks, it’s a wonder I’m even writing this.
But it’s hard to ignore the deterrents.
The mornings are the worst. The sad, tired face in the mirror staring back at me with regret and something resembling pity.
The irrevocable damage inflicted on friends and family alike.
And the selfishness that my drinking engenders.
Being a drunk is easy; all you need to do is drink lots of alcohol all the time. There are few barriers to entry into this lifestyle.
Most of my day is spent on autopilot. My job is full of rote duties. After work, I go where I please, which usually means to places with lots of micro brews on tap, extensive wine lists or notoriety for pouring stiff cocktails.
What I’ve realized is that I drink to become numb. If I didn’t, I’d have to face the reality that I really don’t know any other way to live. Or that my preoccupation with self-indulgence has impaired nearly every aspect of my life.
But the thought of never again enjoying a Hefeweizen on a summer’s evening or swirling a fine Bordeaux terrifies me beyond end.
And that, of course, is the real problem.