100 Cocktails Later

Entry by: Alobear

18th August 2015
100 Cocktails Later

100. That’s how many days it’s been since I last had a drink. One day at a time, they say. That’s all well and good, but each day builds upon the last to create an increasing pressure of expectation. My number has three digits in it now; an accomplishment, to be sure, but also a burden that grows with every addition. The higher the number, the worse the return to that humiliating zero, the harder it is to start the count again. But still, I suppose I should be proud of myself, though it hasn’t got any easier over time, like I was promised. While the counting is a mark of my daily achievement, it’s also a constant reminder of what I’m fighting against. Tracking progress of not drinking means that drinking is all I think about.

“Cocktails?” I look up into the bright, hopeful face of the newest member of my team at work. Some of them know about my daily struggle, but the gossip mill obviously hasn’t reached her yet. She’s evidently one of those types who like to instigate drinks after work on a Friday. It’s not something I’ve ever encouraged, but I suppose I shouldn’t stop their fun. I could always look at it as an extra test of my resolve on my hundredth day. If I can survive a rowdy cocktail bar at the end of a long and stressful week, then surely I can get through anything. I see a couple of my colleagues casting worried glances in my direction; those in the know, as it were, wondering what my reaction will be. I paste an encouraging smile on my face and reply, “Sure. Why not?”

Later, I look back on the evening as one of both highs and lows. It was fun to induce hilarity by announcing to the waitress that I would “take a Virgin Princess of Rangoon”. But the sickly sweetness of the fruit juice cloyed in my throat, absent the familiar accompanying kick of alcohol. I quickly switched to Diet Coke, the caffeine keeping me bouncy and alert, as my companions gradually succumbed to varying states of drunkenness. It was good to spend time with them outside of the work environment, but I was reminded of why I tend to avoid such occasions. Being the only one sober in the group stabs home my constant desire for the demon drink that much harder. Now, as I get ready for bed, I contemplate the vast and looming empty hours of the weekend. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day. Day 101.