1,000 Weekends Without A Drink
Today is September 17, 2022. It’s only been 1 day since the demon booze braised my blood. And I think I’m done forever.
Long ago, the liquor seemed like alchemy. Each cup let me glimpse the liminal space where my mind was oh-so-quiet for a couple hours. But the quiet never lasts, and the guilt grows without bounds.
And for some reason all these years I’ve convinced myself that it’s impossible to quit. I’ve been telling myself that I’m not strong enough to do it. Or that it’ll be easier in the future.
Yesterday I told a friend that I’m proud of myself for improving. Drinking is not making me happy anymore, so I reduced my intake from 6 drinks per day to 3 drinks per week – aren’t you proud of me too? What nonsense. Why not 0 forever?
To say “0 forever” is obviously making an impossible statement about your future selves. Of course your future selves are different than your current self. They’re different people with different beliefs and values.
All your future and past selves are bound together by memory. Everything that you do at every moment can be a message to your future self. But remembering can be tricky – your future selves will delete and distort and deflect your bad memories. And without the negative feedback, there can be no positive change. You’ll be driven to live the same bad decisions until you decide to remember them. Dreadful, blinding, vivid memory is your catalyst for change.
We don’t like to remember the bad stuff. We want to forget that red flags are all around us, and have been there for longer than we can bear. Friends, lovers, places, and careers – we keep them past their expiration dates. And our minds become moldy. Our memories accrue mildew. And every time we finally acknowledge our rotten situations, and we purge the filth, we say “What h*ck was I thinking? Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
Many people don’t need to confront “0 forever”. But some some of us ruin it for everybody else. And we usually already know who we are.
For some of us, “0 forever” is a dream worth trying. And “0 forever” is possible. And there’s no reason we can’t simply do it right now. Not tomorrow. Today. Right now. You only ever have “now”.
So here I am. Remembering. And it feels awful.
I’ll be turning 30 years old in a few days. 30 years is 1,560 weekends. And I hope the universe offers me another 1,000 weekends to let myself be happy; 1,000 weekends to let my bad memories fester and rot and crystallize; 1,000 weekends to curate a better collection of memories.