Drinking Diaries: Drinking and the "Finish Line Effect"
This, I did. I didn’t know I did it, all the freeeeeaaakken time, but I did it all the time. Time pushing, racing, rushing those sweet little chatters along. “Bye, bye, Yo… I gotta go!” (drink). I didn’t say out loud “Please remove yourself from my presence kind ladies and sirs, you see, I must open a bottle of cheap red wine within the next 20 minutes or something bad will happen to me, or even you”. But I did think it. I wanted my reward for winning, (i.e finishing another day). I wanted my participation metal for showing up. I wanted my prize for doing what I said I would do and all that extra stuff too. I deserve “MY” time now! (i.e my DRINK NOW.) The amount of “anticipation thinking” that I donated to that stupid fermented juice is “redrunkulous”. I mean, seriously, I would think about that glass that I was gonna have when I got home at the weirdest time. These thoughts would start edging in on my mental field about 2p.m then again at 3, 4, 5 and then the build up was like a garden hose leaking in 10 spots, “UNBEND me! I’m gonna blow”. Of course, no one could read my mind, thank God or they would think I was so rude. I would be thinking about my wine glass halfway through that conversation and if we happened to be talking at a drinking event and my glass happened to be empty (Hell and Heaven forbid) then I would be thinking about the ER-wine during your entire conversation with the person that looked like me in front of you.
I never knew what I would do with all that anticipation, planning, thinking, butterflying, and rushing everything energy if I gave up the prize that I thought I was earning everyday. I worried that I would work so hard, and rush everything and get to that finish line and the officials would say “NOPE, mame, You are disqualified and will not be receiving your award today or EVER” and I would fall down and kick and scream and that would be the cries heard around the world…. or at least at all the local bars.
But that is not what happened- a miracle happened, or maybe this is normal wear and tear habit breaking procedure, but I didn’t miss it at all. And I stopped rushing around like the headless diva needing that drink to calm the crazy. I am no longer fixated on my watch or ends of things. I am not planning reward drinking after perceived hard days ahead, or during events that I eagerly anticipate or ever. I am not planning drinking anymore. “Drinking thinking” for the likes of me takes up a lot of time. Not just the evening but the damage control, morning after “time” recovering from that and then more thinking about how the next one won’t be that much but still must take place maybe there is a way to have a great big night without a great big amount of wine and no hangover or just a little funny hangover that we laugh about later and say it was worth it, all of it, and maybe I will alternate water every other drink or have just light beer and not a drink before I leave the house but just once i arrive… no, no that causes me anxiety…. SEETHIS IS WHAT IT IS LIKE!
Today the finish line doesn’t exist. I am on the long hike with all the best views and the top and the bottom are the same. The beginning and the end both feel good and the middle is the best part. The clock is my friend again. I love my sobriety.