I was never a big drink-in-public kind of guy. I didn’t like paying for drinks when I could just get a bottle from the store, crack it open, and drink in peace. And that was the big thing–there was no peace for me if I drank in public, whether at a restaurant or bar, no matter how intimate the setting. I’m not terribly keen on eating in public, for that matter, but that’s a different matter. I was a closet drinker, and even if I wasn’t, I would have been a home drinker.
The same goes for so-called “drinking holidays,” like St. Patrick’s Day. My city does it up big for St. Patrick’s Day and has a massive parade and gathering downtown rivaled only by festivites in cities like New York and New Orleans. I have never gone downtown on St. Patrick’s Day, never quaffed a green beer in a racous bar, or set foot in anything location bedecked in green and filled with people wearing t-shirts saying, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” St. Patrick’s Days of the past saw me following my old routine: I drank or I didn’t. If I did, I got drunk. If I didn’t, I felt a small sense of accomplishment, but it was tinged with sadness, because I knew I’d go right back to drinking the next day.
I write all this to say that while yesterday wasn’t a temptation for me (just like the Super Bowl doesn’t cost me a moment’s thought), I imagine it was difficult for a lot of people. I hope everyone fared well. I’m grateful for over two years of sobriety, and the only threat to it as my job.
I teach middle school English, and it’s the hardest, most wretched position I’ve ever taken. The worst part –and this is the reason I left my previous public education job, though it was alternative school–is I’m forced into combative situations with students in every class. Multiple times a day, day after day, week after week. I haven’t drank over it yet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it a lot. It’s easy to fantasize about disconnecting, drinking enough to forget my job and troubles with students, but the solution would be painfully short, and I’d pay like hell for it the next day. And the day after that because I’d start drinking at the same killing pace where I stopped.
I applied for two jobs today (and sent poems to three markets!) and am hopeful about both. Contracts come out next month, and while I don’t think my principal will offer me one, I’d love to have a job lined up so I could politely decline it and thank him for his support. I’m just not cut out for teaching middle school, and now I know. Actually, I knew it after the first two weeks. I’m sure my administration knows it, too.
Anyway, it’s Spring Break for me and my family, so I have some down time for a week. After that, we have state-mandated testing. And then, according to a teacher who was at my school last year, “things go downhill, fast,” and not in a good way. She told me to expect more arguments, fights between students, and even lower morale among teachers. Fantastic, I thought.
Hopefully, I’ll have a new job lined up soon, and I can take this last year as a learning experience. I’ll certainly be happier, and so will my family.
That’s it from me, folks. Happy sober Saturday to all.