Every few months, I meet three of my oldest friends. Over the years, we’ve developed a relaxing routine, older than most YouTube influencers age.
We meet in a bar, then go to dinner, during which we talk about our private lives, our children, the state of the world, and how much better it would be if we were in charge. Then we decided it probably wouldn’t be better if we were responsible. Anyway, we are so tired now that we can’t manage things. We have the obligatory class about the bill, then we head to the pub again.
I’m always the first to go home. I very much enjoy the company of my friends, but I’m also, to use that weird Irish phrase, lightweight. Always. I seem to get drunk faster than the others, and my wisdom is to leave before I get to the stage when I can’t pronounce my address correctly to the taxi driver.
Lockdown was happy to co-sign any illusion, so my drinking habits spread to other nights of the week
All sorts of developments and non-developments, good and bad, go back to the epidemic. Work from home. marriage breakdown. Weight loss. overweight. The growing interest in knitting, candle making and magic. So, I’m going to share the action: What has changed for me is an increased tolerance to alcohol.
Weirdly, this is circumstantial. I went out with my friends a couple of weeks ago, and as usual, I still had to weave out of the house before my lips and tongue stopped working. The place where he changed is at home.
As I’ve written here before, Friday night takeaways have become a staple in our home during lockdown, and still are. Myself and I were eating, listening to music, digging and drinking wine. Lots of wine. I would routinely drink an entire bottle myself, and routinely be surprised that I did. And I wouldn’t be particularly drunk: my speech was completely normal. I didn’t sway when I walked into the fridge to get a beer. Neither of us have a hangover, so on Saturday night, we’ll do something similar.
Lockdown was happy to co-sign on any delusion, so my drinking habits spread to other nights of the week. Nothing excessive: a beer if you had a hard day, or a shared bottle of wine if we had it together. Maybe whiskey before I sleep. There were always some excuses available. Months turned into years, and eventually I realized that as a normal week spread, nights when I hadn’t had a drink were the exception.
It’s a little more under control now, but it’s an ongoing effort. I have to count the number of days I go without drinking, and resist the temptation to reward my abstinence by allowing myself a drink. Obviously I’m not alone in this: all The data showed a significant increase in the rate of alcohol consumption in Ireland over the past two years.
I am upset that I have come to this position. I am annoyed with myself and the alcohol for exercising power over me
None of this affected the way I work. I can work and pay the bills. My health was not affected. When I researched it, I didn’t seem to display any of the “classic” signs of addiction. But perhaps addiction is on a large scale, an infiltration process where a bad habit gradually turns into something darker.
I am upset that I have come to this position. I am annoyed with myself and the alcohol for exercising power over me. Because I didn’t drink to achieve oblivion or paper over some shock. I drank because I really liked it. I still do. Even the idea of a beautiful cup of red springs from the synapses in my brain.
It saddens me too. I want to get to a point where I don’t drink and I don’t notice because I don’t drink; Which is what I used to be. can i get that back? I’m not sure. I want to. When I drank less, I enjoyed it more.