It is these situations that make things hard – a going away party. There were lots of great and interesting people talking about journalism, current events, and what is going on in their lives. We gathered for a going away party and haven’t seen each other in almost two years. The company was great, but it was hard because of the booze. The center table was filled with wine, beer, hard liquor, and juice. I brought my own tea.
I have chosen to do a dry month, no alcohol for January in the hopes it continues throughout the year. This is the best month since most of the social events happen over the holidays in December. People are low on funds and not wanting to go out to spend money. It is the perfect time to try a new habit by getting rid of an old one.
My family has a history with addiction. My brother has been struggling with drugs, booze, and food for a long time. My father smokes too much and drinks even more. My addiction to alcohol started in secondary school to be ‘more social.’ It became easier to become something I am not – social. I can talk to one person but not in a group or crowd.
It became easier to become something I am not – social.
When I worked in politics in Ontario, it was critical to schmooze to mix and mingle. There was no shortage of wine and cheese receptions around the city. My job expected me to network and grow my group of people to understand the issues and build out election campaigns. Then there were the fundraisers with supporters who paid a lot of money to talk to me and was expected to have a drink in hand. There was a reason to control my drinking to beware of not saying anything too controversial or reveal secrets.
After I left politics, I went to Korea to teach English. My drinking got worse since there is no need to control what I say to whomever. As well, the drinking culture in Seoul was central in the 2000s. Here in Hong Kong, it is different as well it is where I met my love. He doesn’t drink and never has although his family has a history with the drink. He gets angry if I have too much and he has acted as a curb on it. He knows my history and knows my family’s history. He gets mad if I have more than one beer. It would frustrate me, but over time I understood why he was this way. It was out of love.
Now I am on a path. The last drink was on December 31, 2018. The last time I was ‘drunk’ was back in the summer while visiting my family. But there haven’t been a lot of parties, socials or other events. I have avoided friends who I know drink too much and lured into having more. It is not the best way to deal with it but something needed. This weekend was the first time I have been to a party in a long time and stuck with the tea.