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[ Personal Narratives ]

Monday 5th January 2015:  DONDE-ESTA LA BIBLIOTHECA PEDRO?

I should start off this post with a confession. Two nights ago, I accidentally drank alcohol. I was so distraught when I realised what I had done, but then realised that no-one had seen, so no-one had to know… I then woke up. It was Sunday morning, and I had had a full-on, guilt trippin’ dream about secret, accidental, drinking. Shit.

Anyways… Happy freakin’ Monday…. Did you get to work today and wonder quite where you were? What this ‘inbox’ was that everyone was referring to? Did you experience the moment of clench-and-spasm horror when your direct dial rang with, *gulp,* ID withheld?

Welcome to Monday 5th January – bleakest workday of the year. We are talking more desolate than the Monday after the last May bank holiday (the one where you are confused as to why the working week is a horrendous 5 days long?!), more confounding then the tear-your-hair-out-if-only-you-had-time crazy that was the last 2 weeks of November, and first 2 of December (lets face it…. the booze helped then…), *and* on top of all that you are expected to make the basic small talk after not seeing people for two weeks. Its like, ‘excuse me, as riveted as I am… because I truly am, but I’m actually pretty fucked here – notice the two odd shoes because I forgot how to function, and ultimately, dress myself for work during my 2 weeks off for christmas?!’

If you’re reading this and work in a job, or industry that operates outside the Mon-Fri 9-5, such as the hospitality or retail industries, I’m talking about that Sunday double shift, the one where no-one is functionable – or at least plays it that way – and requires you to get them to function because they don’t know what they want, nor how to get it themselves, so could you? Oh, and because you forgot to take you trousers out of the wash last night, they are still soaking wet, and yet you are wearing them. Isn’t chaffing a bitch?

Anyway today helped me to realise why the dry January is quite so difficult – why would you want to sober up from the party that was December? Do you really want to risk the hangover? Who hasn’t woken up on a Saturday morning/afternoon in that precarious ‘am I hungover? I feel fine…. Do I feel fine? Shall I just have another drink just in case?’ and then found themselves at 4am in a kebab place asking why their food policy prevents having *both* garlic and chilli sauce on your donner?

I haven’t seen some of my colleagues since my ‘shame? is that just a made up work that rhymes with tame?’ night at our work end of term drinks, so telling them today about my dry Jan plans was a bit of a shock to some of them. Firstly I should say that in the same way I let my ‘party boy’ persona define me, or created an image to give something to define me I should say, my non drinking is now in danger of doing the same. One of my colleagues was so shocked that she told me she would give me a tenner (this is quite a lot… we are a tight office) if I did the whole month dry, whilst one of the managers said she would take me out and buy me *all* the drinks (clearly hasn’t been out with me often…), and thus I found myself being spoken to like I was a dog being petted because I wasn’t licking myself in public, I was the child with chicken pox who wasn’t scratching… essentially I felt like I was the person who no-one could believe wasn’t drinking. After 5 days. 5 days. 120 hours. I didn’t want to ask if they thought I had a drinking problem, but looking at the evidence not sure I need to.

So my challenge now, for the rest of the week (other than not drinking…. obvs) is to not talk about not drinking (don’t worry team, you are excluded from this – I wouldn’t want you missing out / who else would I talk to if not you?!). It is just as bad for me to hide behind the ‘sober alkie’ tag than the ‘which party tonight?’ tag – at their base they are the same thing.

With this is in mind, I have decided to brave a birthday night out this Saturday. In Soho. For an Old Work Friend of mine. Ok, so I used overused the caps lock to try and translate the gravitas of the situation, but let me break it down… Saturday – needs no explanation. Soho – my actual kryptonite, I can’t go within that area without using at least one item of clothing (along with my dignity). As we all know, the ‘old work friend’ is the most dangerous type of drinking associate, and I shall explain this by a simply equation

(you don’t seem them as often as you used to + you used to go drinking with them alot) x (need to show how well you are doing / how far you have come since you last worked with them + how you are still the same person underneath all that ‘success’) = The Hottest of all the Hot Messes / Evacuate the Dance Floor

I am looking forward to it – I imagine that I will be smoking an unprecedented number of cigarettes, but you can’t win them all right? I genuinely can’t remember the last time I tried to do a night out sober… either it was a really great (read. failed) night (in a laugh or cry way…) or it actually hasn’t ever happened.. Oh..

I hope you are all *enjoying* January so far. Only 26 more days to go. That’s nothing right? Nothing at all.