And, let me tell you (though, I probably don’t need to), there’s a shit-ton of it here! 😦
Mental tantrum, deep breath, moving on. That’s all I can do. I’m here visiting a friend and fortunately, the hard part is over: I’ve already spent a few months down here before, drinking and not drinking; the point is, I know what the culture is like and I’m neither expecting to drink nor expecting it to be easy not to. AND, I’ve had FIVE WEEKS as of today to practice not drinking when I feel like I want to, with more than once hanging out at bars and not drinking. Sure, it sucks, and it takes focus, but it can be as much or more fun. Plus, you don’t get drunk and stupid, you don’t get drunk and sick, and you don’t have to deal with a hangover the next day.
Is it hard to not drink at bars, or on [beautiful island where I now live] (which, in essence, can feel like one island-sized bar)? Sure. I’ve wanted to drink since I got here two days ago. I mean, I feel the pull, the association of “vacation” with drinking, and then of “relaxation” or “break” (from daily grind) with drinking. However, I’m constantly rationalizing myself out of a drink anyway, so add a bar or an island-sized bar, and eh, it’s not that much different, is it? I’m always thinking about it, so here, it’s just a next-level challenge to which I have to apply that practice. Or rather, to which I have the opportunity to apply that practice.
Do I want a chilled glass of red wine right now? Hells yeah. Will the short-lived “buzz” (and now, I’m wondering, will the buzz be pleasurable or irritating? I’ve quit before, but not for this long, and even then, the buzz was sort of weird, I guess, after having not drunk for a few weeks…) be worth it? Nah. Not before, not during, not after. Sigh.
Still, it’s easy to get caught up focusing on the craving and not on the life around me, the astounding beauty of the island, the relative seclusion, the amazing view from my deck. The craving is so temporary, so fleeting, so…uninteresting, really, compared to the reality around me. And, quite frankly, the calm of being able to watch it stone-cold sober, remember it, and process the experience without it being tainted by booze or a hangover is seeming somewhat…the opposite of temporary. Timeless?