Years ago, my friend and I were in a bar and found a beer magazine. There was a list of drinking definitions. One word it had was “alcoheimer.” It meant the inability to remember what happen when drinking. My friend started laughing real hard. He said that was my condition. We joked for years every time I blacked out “oh must be that alcoheimers! “

I am away for the weekend and my first stop was to visit this friend for the night. I told him I quit drinking before I got here. As soon as I walked in the door, his roommates asked what was I drinking. I said “water or juice.”

Their response: “And? Gin? Vodka? Rum?”

I said “no really. Water is fine. ” They turned to my friend “do we have water?”

He said “yea that handle we turn to wash the glasses? That is water. ” This was even funnier because they are all plumbers.

I did ask for coffee a bit later because I was tired. I am trying to adjust to normal waking hours after 5 nights of night shift work. He had some caramel vanilla coffee but no mugs. He served it in a tall glass. He offered me milk but I declined because the coffee in a tall glass looked like an IPA. I could try to blend in.

The evening was nice with good conversation. Discussed movies. Relationships. Social issues. They drank Budweiser in a can. I told my friend I was glad they were drinking crap beer because I was not tempted. Now if they had Fat Tire or Sierra Nevada, it might have been a struggle for me. Then we discussed drinking and my not drinking.

His roommate asked if I had a problem and I did not feel ashamed admitting that I do. He asked why did I think I have a problem. I gave a brief summary of some of the stupid things I have done drunk. He said “but that is normal. We all lose phones and forget things and do stupid shit.” I said no, that is not normal. I also left out the drunk sex stories and the drunk sex I used to have with my friend. I did not know if his roommates knew.

They made comments they were starting to feel guilty for drinking and I was worried I was gonna be a killjoy. I stressed that drinking was a problem to my life but that doesn’t mean it is a problem for them. They asked “but have you ever lost a job from drinking?” No, not yet. “Well then you don’t have a problem.” I told them if I kept drinking, I could lose my career. It is not worth it. This is more than about cell phones and DUIs. This is a change in my life I want.

I did not mention other negative sides to drinking nor point out the roommate’s sister who was falling over drunk when I arrived at 8pm. She was passed out by 10. They kept apologizing for her behaviour and saying “she is not always like this.” I thought “but I was.” I was not looking down on her but I was so glad I was sober.

The worst part of the night was I had 3 cups of coffee and couldn’t fall asleep until 4am.

I did not write a mistake yesterday because I rushed to post about Alcohol Awareness month before leaving for the weekend. So I will add two today and both related to my friend.
Mistake #73- The first time he and I had sex, I do not remember it. I had a crush on him for a long time but he had a girlfriend when we first met. Right after he broke up with her, he came to visit me. I bought him a lot of shots to celebrate. The girlfriend cheated on him with one of my friends. He was better without her. But I was celebrating “yea he is single!” I blacked out somewhere in the night and woke up with him in my bed. I do not regret sex with him. I just regret not remembering it. In fact, everytime we had sex, I was drunk and don’t remember it.

Mistake # 74- He and some other friends were visiting. We all went out to bars. They said we got a taxi at the end of the night but I could not tell them my address. They were able to give the taxi directions to the subway stop near my house. But I either could not remember my house address or not articulate the words. I could not give the driver directions. He dropped us off a few blocks from my house and the plan was to walk. A walk that should have been 10 minutes took us an hour because I kept taking them down wrong streets.

They said I insisted stopping at a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts. I asked for a bagel. The guy asked if I wanted cream cheese or butter. I replied “yes”.
“Which one?”

They told me these stories the next morning. My choice of “cream cheese AND butter bagel” has been an inside joke the past 10 years. I brought some this weekend for breakfast with a few choices of cream cheese. But here I am awake, with no hangover, and gonna have my bagel with brown sugar cream cheese. And more coffee.