When I don’t drink my friend thinks I’ve got control issues. That I have the need to control everything in an unhealthy manner. I can’t let go and “have fun” for a bit. This seems to be a problem for her. Similarly, when I do drink and evidently can’t control it or anything else in my life at those times, she thinks I should exercise more control such as allowing myself certain drinking days per week, certain amount of drinks per session (preferably with her!). The more I go over the things she says to me concerning my drinking, the more I question her own drinking. She is a very sensible person who likes a good drinking session and even has the occasional hair of the dog on a Saturday lunch time, but very rarely does she drink during the week. When she does, she can happily (or so she says) have a glass of whisky or some wine and then stop and save the rest. That all seems like fairly normal drinking to me, but why is my drinking or non-drinking such an issue for her?
It seems like she thinks she knows best. She wants so badly to make my decisions for me that it makes me wonder what the hell her problem is! She is the same sometimes with food, but not half as bad. I remember when I’d been sober for 6 months, we went out for lunch on my birthday and she asked me if I was planning on ever having a drink again, and I said no, I can’t. She asked “But say if you were with me and I only allowed you one glass with dinner or something?”. I was speechless. I truly didn’t know what to say apart from maintaining that no, it’s not possible for an alcoholic to have even one drink even if their friend tells them they can’t have no more. That one drink may just be one drink that time, but it won’t be long (for me anyway) before it’s back to daily uncontrollable drinking.
The first drink is the one that sets the wheel spinning and you just don’t know where it’s gonna land or when. I appreciate that this is very hard for a non-alcoholic to understand but what happened to just being a supportive friend? If she decided for some weird reason to completely give up ginger bread men because they made her feel like shit, I wouldn’t dream of dangling ginger bread men in front of her and say “come on, just one, you’ll be fine, you’re with me, I’m sure it was never that bad”. Or more seriously, she can’t have wheat or gluten because it actually makes her feel like crap, so I would never pressure her to have a sandwich. She very occasionally has a sandwich but that’s got nothing to do with me.
My god. That’s the end of that rant. The reason I’m going on about it today is because my newly sober mind is trying to decide what to say or not say when I next meet up with my friend. It’s going to be at the weekend, I’m sure, and there’ll be wine involved. The reason I can’t just ditch her as one of those no-good friends that need to vacate my life to accommodate my sobriety is that I love her very much and in every other respect she has been there for me during trials and tribulations, let me stay at hers when my ex has gone wild, fed and watered me when I’ve gone through bad patches, lent me money when I’ve been short and she’s just an awesome friend. I could not let her go. I guess, in the light of that, I’ll have to figure out a way of making her understand how serious this is for me. That it’s not about simple rules and allowances. That it’s about life and death.
On that dramatic note, that’s me for now. Good night.