I just finished selecting a lovely array of craft beers online from a local delivery service while sipping a cup of strong coffee. I got an Ommegang Hennepin, a Westmalle, and a Dogfish Head Theobroma. I’m familiar with all three but am especially fond of the Ommegang. So delicious but poison to me, nonetheless. I carefully entered the billing information as my own and entered my credit card before advancing to the next screen. Delivery information was next and a checkbox was preselected which populated my address as delivery location. Beers would be here in 30 minutes if I left it as is. It isn’t bad enough that I can be inside a liquor store within 2 minutes if I really wanted to? It’s just around the corner. I’ve stumbled there hundreds of times. But now I can easily and discreetly have my poison sent to my home, too? Fucking fantastic.
Check this box if delivery location is same as billing. Fuck no, it isn’t. I unchecked the box and entered the info for my friend Steve who just finished his degree and is holding a celebration on the roof of his fantastic apartment in Brooklyn. I’ve been to several events there and each ends with me pretty lit by early evening and a massive hangover always follows. The crowd that usually attends is fairly mature, a little older than I am, and a lot of people have and bring their children. Everyone drinks to varying degrees but I’m somewhat certain I always had much more than anyone else there. I’m pretty confident that I never acted a fool or flashed my titties or anything obscenely sexy like that. But like any other social setting where interacting with strangers was a required activity, it always ended badly as I desperately tried to get myself to a place where I could “be myself.” Before I relapsed almost 6 years ago, I had no problem with sober social situations. The last 6 years of drinking have essentially stripped me of any social skills I once had. And while I’m very gradually noticing an increase in confidence, I knew that going to Steve’s today at this early stage of sobriety simply isn’t an option for me right now. I accepted that as fact and refused to get worked up about it.
So in lieu of my inevitably awkward sober ass, I sent him alcohol. I could have sent flowers or cupcakes or something equally generic. Some might argue that perusing an online liquor store isn’t the ideal Saturday afternoon activity for me. But Steve is not an alcoholic (that I know of). This is Steve’s day and Steve wants to celebrate and Steve wouldn’t want cupcakes or flowers. He would want good beers. So that’s what I sent. And to be totally honest, I feel fine about it. I would NOT have felt fine about trekking to Brooklyn, stopping at a liquor store, holding the bottles in my hand, going to his place, etc. So I did what I could do and that’s ENOUGH.
It makes me happy that he’s so happy today. We can congratulate and celebrate with our friends in our own ways. There is nothing we are required to do and although some of our activities in early sobriety might limit us, it doesn’t mean we have to lose the qualities that our friends have come to love in us: loyalty, gratitude, and a genuine interest in their well being and accomplishments.
Since I decided that today is not a good day to be drunk on a roof, I’m filling the time with exercise, reading, writing, walking in the fresh air, playing with the puppy, and being thankful that I know people who will ultimately love me no matter what. I need to take this time to myself to recover so I can eventually get back to the party so people like Steve don’t have to spend their special days without me there to pat them on the back and be the friend that they deserve.
CONGRATS, STEVE. WE LOVE YOU. CHEERS.