On New Year’s Eve I had a huge rant about how stupid the concept of Dryanuary is. It’s stupid, I said. If you don’t have a problem, it shouldn’t be a huge deal not to drink for a month. So why make such a big deal out of it? Why did I bother stopping for seven months, when other people, ostensibly without problems, couldn’t stop for a week without making some stupid excuse as to why they “had” to drink? If other people are so normal, why is Dryanuary even a thing? It annoys me that people make a big deal out of how hard it is to go out without drinking, how very difficult it is to have a good night when everyone around you is pissed. Well poor f*****g them. How difficult it must be, when drinking has never been a problem for you, to spend one month off the booze. How you must think about it every day- no, hour, how it must suffocate you in the night to think of the day ahead without alcohol. Poor. You.
I couldn’t be reasoned with.
I’m over the anger. Myself and Wonderful Girlfriend are doing Dryanuary this year. I don’t really know why I am doing it. Perhaps I am just ludicrously masochistic, and putting myself through yet another month filled with cravings and panics feels like a good idea because I know it will hurt. Or maybe, the same as I do Lent every year, I am trying to test myself, see how far I can really go. I don’t know. I am consumed by fear that one of us will let the other down (and it would kind of be a letting down, frame it how I will). I am conflicted over the concept of this month.
I am also conflicted with my own understanding of my “problem”. Is it something which I am now over? Did I only need some time away from it, to get my head straight and take a different perspective? And if so, was I wrong in thinking I needed the support I thought I needed at the time? I mean, if it really is something I could get over, then other people were wrong about me, and I was wrong about myself.
“Hi I’m Becky and I’m…”
A former problem drinker?
A potential future problem drinker?
Just a normal drinker? (And this is problematic. My relationship to alcohol, to other people’s alcohol consumption, and to a number of other things surrounding alcohol, is still difficult. I don’t think it’s normal but I do think it’s less drastic. Perhaps time will tell).
Just as it’s hard to know when I crossed the line from relatively normal drinker into really quite sick person, it is very difficult to know when, and whether, I have re-crossed the line to become a healthy one.