Friday, 4 June 2010

Not Drinkin'

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

We quit drinking eight months ago, Marie and I. I was ready to leave. I'd had enough. She felt judged. I said it just made me sad to see her that way - wasted. I was tired of feeling anxious, hungover, sick. On top of adjusting to living with each other, money problems, insecurities, doubts, fears, etc... drinking just made the relationship too difficult. I said I just didn't think I could do it anymore with her if we stayed on drinking the way we were. We'd already tried the monitoring and fazing it out trial that didn't work. So I felt I was left with two choices: accept or go. I didn't feel that I could accept. Things just felt too crazy. The drinking was just too ugly at times, always leaving chaos in its wake. She saw that I was serious and her resistance snapped. She said she'd give it a trial run - three months - and see how it went.

And that's been that.

Once she gets her mind set on something its almost impossible to knock her off course.

To say that our relationship has been better is an understatement. To say that's it's been all roses would be a lie. It's been an ongoing adjustment, a work in progress, as opposed to what it had become - stagnant.

Not drinking started off a little rocky as it was almost like we were getting to know each other all over again. But immediately she was less irritable and I was more at ease with things. There were anxieties about how to live without it, like - what do you actually do when you're not drinking? Drinking was the end, the reward for making it through each day. Then what? A lot of staying in. Movies. Ice cream. Exercise. Then Paris where we had a lot of long walks and talks, a lot of questioning about what's important. We began to sort it out - school for both of us. Change. Grow together. Write. Something happened in Paris. We settled into each other. We found simple enjoyment and trust in each other. I'm much more at ease with the relationship. I don't fear what chaotic scene is lurking on the horizon. She's lost her sense of hovering dread. The infidelity issue has become almost nil. Our fights are less frequent and less intense. It's just harder to be careless when you're clearheaded, and a lot easier to talk about what's really going on.

Sometimes I miss it, drinking. Most of the time I don't even notice that it's not around. I spend more time reading and writing. I exercise. I've got a good job. I share my life with someone I love. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything but unnecessary drama.

I hope we stay on this road.


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