Sunday, October 04, 2009

Cheers to a rocky road ahead.

I have a friend, a very old (well, SHE'S not old), dear friend who I have reconnected with fairly recently. She and I had some absolutely super fantastic times back when we lived in the same time zone. At one point in her life she worked in our local watering hole, and I can't even count the number of Saturday afternoons her then-fiance and I (and sometimes just I) would hang out with her at the bar, slamming Harvey Wallbangers through a straw, drinking beer and listening to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett on the jukebox. Fun, relatively care-free times, with way less resonsibility than today (or maybe I just blew everything else off).

The problem with so much fun like that is that for some of us it takes more and more to make it fun. Or, you know, you think it does. It's that whole "off-button" situation (like, I don't really have one). Over the years I moved away, and my friend and her fiance married and had three kids. Life throws some major challenges at the ones that can deal with it the best, and it did not spare my dear friend of any of it. Over the years she coped. And in the world we grew up, coping means we drink a lot.

Now that it's time for her to quit, I know what kind of struggles she is going to face. Not the physical ones, the cravings and the anxiety and the trying to figure out what to do instead (because I never really had that), but the social ones. Last night we spoke on the phone about how it will be difficult for her to go to a bar to meet friends and not drink. I told her it will get easier - and with three kids it's not like she does that a lot. But I also told her not to be surprised that the people who invite her out looking to see the old KD may not like the new KD and may stop calling her. I think she thinks she's prepared for it. I don't think it's something you can prepare yourself for. I think those of us with no off-button don't really like rejection.

But whatever challenges lie ahead of her, I am extremely proud of her and look forward to supporting her in the good times and the bad times. People who don't have this kind of personality trait don't understand like those of us that do. And I really understand. So Godspeed to the woman who helped me dream up the name "Trauma: The Drama" on a sunny afternoon in Cuyahoga Falls, drinking beer on her driveway and trying to figure out the world's problems. Salud - and I mean that.

Yes I'm upset about it, but what can I do? Nothing, just like the other times. Nothing but wait, and wonder if it's me, that suddenly everything just changed because of me, or something I said, or just me being me. I always wonder that. And I try not to think about it but it's always there, and I try not to miss it, but I really, really do.


At 8:51 AM, October 04, 2009, Blogger Tulum Living said...

That is wonderful for your friend. I have a very good friend of mine- originally in SF and now here outside Merida and she knew that - with her personality- that not drinking was the only direction to take. It was hard for her but she said that it was mostly the "well, what do I do instead?" thing. Luckily we have other more relaxed ways of hanging out that don't involve stupors and violent tantrums so that is good.

But she said that she was amazed -after the really hard part in the beggining- how easily she quickly forgot about it. How it quickly became something that she did not even think about.

I know that your friend will have success in her life. Anyone who can keep you entertained in a trooper with the best of them.
Besos to you and her!

At 9:05 AM, October 05, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure you are and will continue to be proud of her like I am of you for making the tough decisions. You're still a blast...Coors Light or Diet matter. I'm sure she is too - she just has to discover that. BH


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