It has been almost one month since I resolved to quit drinking for the year and in that time I have had varied responses to my decision. Some people responded with disbelief and questioned my decision. Others encouraged me with suggestions of how to drink more responsibly, and still others completely supported my decision. But today I received a reaction that made me question what friendship really means and how good of a friend I have been over the years.
As part of my journey into the world of abstention I am hoping to discover some new things about myself and improve on areas that need improvement. I use alcohol as a way to alter my reality. When I am feeling dissatisfied with my life, bored, frustrated, lonely, I drink and it all goes away, at least till morning. Handling life this way allows for very little time for reflection and self-discovery.
An area of my life that I feel dissatisfied is that I often feel lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I have friends, several very dear and close friends but we don’t get together very often. I always figured it was because our lives are so busy we just don’t have time, and while there is some truth to that, I wonder if perhaps it runs deeper than that. Perhaps people don’t reach out to me as much as I would like because I haven’t been a good enough friend to them.
This morning I had breakfast with two friends who were interested in my decision to quit drinking. We had a wonderful conversation and we agreed we should get together again. I offered happy hour, with the bonus that they have their very own designated driver, and they both responded that they would rather support me in reaching my goal and that Starbucks would be a great alternative to the bar.
Not only were they supportive of my decision but they would be willing to forego their desires to make me feel more comfortable. And I had to ask myself if I would have done the same thing. Unfortunately, I would have been more excited about my very own designated driver.
A journey of self-discovery is not always pleasant, but it is necessary for growth, and I am grateful that today I had the opportunity to learn something about myself and the kind of person I want to be.