Every day I find new upshots to complete sobriety. The biggest, of course, is that my meds work better and my bipolar has less of a chance to come out and play. Other secondary benefits include better sleep, better skin, weight loss, and an amazing improvement in cash flow. As it turns out, watching football on Sunday is more fun without a jackhammer headache and a Gobi desert in my mouth. Shockingly, I also am less ashamed and guilty about last night's actions when I can remember them all. But all of this was hoped for, if not expected. I never hoped that I could use sobriety for evil, which is what I did yesterday.
A bit of backstory:
My four best friends in life and I have made it a tradition to have a drunken New Years blowout. We have done this every year since my freshman year of college (I am 27 now). Some (not so) highlights:
- Being punched in the face by my then-girlfriend (2007)
- My dad getting way too drunk and trying to win at beer-pong, leaving me mortified and my mom crying (also 2007)
- Breaking up a fistfight (2008)
- Getting lost in NYC and getting frostbite (2009)
- Being attacked by a drunken and sobbing best friend because of aforementioned ex-girlfriend pugilist (2010)
- Slamming my chin into a wine glass, causing me to bleed profusely and leaving a scar that I'll have forever (also 2010)
- Babysitting my benzo-addicted friend who managed to break his collarbone and shatter a tooth (leading to him pounding vicodin in addition to his usual regimen) on December 30th, who proceeded to apologize for the same shit that caused him to assault me in 2010, apparently not remembering the prior event. On January 3rd he had a seizure and was admitted to a hospital for observation. Upon going home from the hospital he proceeded to down a fifth of vodka and nearly died. (2012)
Needless to say, I was not excited about the prospect of another NYE with these degenerates, and decided that I was taking a holiday from the holidays. No travel, no being around booze, no non-smoking weeks with my or the girlfriend's parents, just going in to the office with no one around, decorating the tree, and pounding some hot chocolate.
Remember that downer-addicted friend? The one who assaulted me in 2010 and nearly died in 2012? Let's call him Mr. C. Yesterday, my friend V told me he was concerned about Mr. C, given the events of last NYE, his continued drug use, and what happened recently in Vegas and the bachelor party. V laments that he has no idea what to do or how to help, and I agree that it's really hard to help mentally-ill drug addicts who don't wish to help themselves. However...
I tell V that one thing we can do as friends is create environments with minimal stress and a lack of substances. We could do games, we could go see movies, we could play Magic, or even just sit around and do nothing in particular. V strongly agrees.
In fact (I say), while we can't control his pill abuse, being around a bunch of alcohol probably isn't helping him. Alcohol certainly isn't his main problem, but speaking from some experience I say that binge-drinking certainly doesn't help anxiety or depression. V agrees again, with a mealy-mouthed caveat that "it might be hard" because he "doesn't know how to get the group to hang out like that." I respond by saying that I'm just saying how we could help him - cost or logistics are not relevant when you're worried about a friend's life.
"If you really want to help him, have a dry New Years."
And so the backpedaling begins.
"Beer and wine only?"
"A sober day?"
"Perfectly and completely arid."
"Only drinking on the Eve itself?"
"Drier than an LDS mission in Death Valley."
"Whatever let's talk about something else."
It really comes to something, when I've sworn off alcohol completely and Mr. C's disastrous alcoholism and benzo-devouring could kill him, that my friends are unable to even entertain the notion of an important gathering without delicious, delicious booze. Bravo, guys. Fucking bravo.
Regardless, I hope you enjoyed the trolling. I was laughing about it all fucking day.