N.B. I recognize that this isn't a real quote, but instead a mashup from some ancient Atlantic Monthly contributor's piece. Still makes me laugh though.

Well hello again!

I am confronted with a situation that is both a dilemma and an opportunity. I am off this Wednesday for a bachelor party weekend for one of my best friends. But as you may know, I am off the booze forever - thus I am the de facto designated driver for this shitshow.

Even back in my drinking days, being sober around drunk people was the worst. They're loud, they tell you the same crap you've heard time and again, and they're prone to irrational outbursts of rage, grief, joy, or occasionally vomiting. I'm tall and a bit hard of hearing, so I have to bend down to understand sober people with good diction. With drunk people I generally just nod and smile and feel alone.

I have a feeling that it's going to be worse this time around. My friends love drunk me, even going so far as to ridicule and cajole me back in to drinking when I swore it off five years ago. I'm funny, witty, a crazy dancer, and generally people love TheDrunkWL. It also sets off my bipolar something awful, and I generally end the evening in a white-hot rage and wake up in black depression. But they don't care because they never have to see that.

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So I'm a bit scared - peer pressure is highly effective on me and I know that I'll be given shit for being sober at least once, if not the whole trip. I am steeling myself for the "just one couldn't hurt" line. I am practicing smiling through gritted teeth when someone with shall we say an amateur interest in psychopharmacology assures me that I can drink on Lamictal. I have girded my loins against bro-icing, shotgunning, and the siren song of a pong ball dropping into a Solo cup. If I have even one drink I'm going to feel like I'm betraying myself, and I'll be right.

So I write to all you lovely people for two purposes:

1) I am now on record, and will come back with a follow-up post of what I witnessed on my sober spirit quest. Names will be changed to protect the guilty. Being on record will bolster my will, and if I succeed I will triumphantly write about it.

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2) HELP. I know there are some people out there who have had to do this. Please give me tips. Sadly weed/molly/xanax/bath salts/soma/dex/ultramorph/paint/nitrous/other mind-altering substances are likewise off the table.

I hope to write back in a week with tales of both my success and others' debauchery.