No. This isn't a post about a song by Dinosaur Jr
. Right after BLFC, albear
said that they were going to go cold turkey when it came alcohol. It put the idea into the back of my mind, but I had AlbuFURque and the 4th of July on the horizon. After those 2 parties I decided that I would join Al and Dex on the wagon for at least a little bit. I'll probably want a drink when we take our eclipse vacation next month, and we'll all hop off the wagon when we go to Europe in September. But I wanted to do an experiment to see just how much of an alky I really am. I have been a self-proclaimed "booze bear" for many years. I almost get embarrassed when I read through old LJ posts from the early 2000's and see just how many nights I spent drunk in front of the computer screen. I make no bones about how much I enjoy alcohol. Over the years I have switched from beer, sometimes made by myself, to martinis, to wine, and lately my new poison, bourbon. I don't like fru-fru drinks. I like my booze as unadultered as possible. But there has always been this little voice asking if I was an alcoholic. The old joke is that alcoholics are quitters. I'm just a good old fashioned drunk. I watch movies where alcoholics are abusive assholes. I have seen the Oscar-winning movie from the 40's "The Lost Weekend" where getting the next drink is an obsession. I just finished reading the novel "Under the Volcano" where the main character gets physically ill if he doesn't find the next drink. Compared to those stereotypes I am a long way from there. Compared to a tea-totaler, however, I'm probably close to WC Fields. And I really hate those self-righteous folks that think if you have more than one drink, you have a problem. No, I treat booze like everything in life...moderation. I still hold the basic principal that you should want
a drink not need
a drink. To me it is one of life's pleasures to sit on the patio in the evening with a bourbon on the rocks, preferably with a sprig of mint picked right from the garden. The downside to all of this comes down to putting empty calories into your body as well as putting an unneeded strain on your liver. So I wanted to see if there was any difference to my health, or at least feeling of well-being, without booze as with booze. Thus I began my little experiment about 2 weeks ago. So far I have not seen any difference in my health. I'm sleeping about the same. I have the same energy level. I don't feel better or worse one way or the other. I have found my cravings similar to what I have heard about smokers. Having a drink just before or with dinner had become a habit. Like a smoker needs to have something between his fingers, I needed to have a cup/glass in my paw. I just switched to soda that had been left over from previous parties. When I started thinking about all of those calories, I resorted to water. Now I drink a ton of water every evening. While it may be much healthier, it does make for many more late-night trips to the toilet. I have also noticed that I get triggered by media. If I'm watching a movie, especially a western, I get cravings when a cowboy walks into the saloon and asks for a whiskey. To a lesser extent it also happens when watching a movie about 1920's or 30's socialites when they ask for a martini. But so far will power has won out. Do I miss it? Yeah. I do. As I said, it has been a part of who I am for a long time. I do enjoy the flavor of a good bourbon or gin. I just want to prove to myself that I am not too far down the road to ruin. The old adage "I can quit any time I feel like it" actually means something. On the other paw, if it is truly something that makes life a little better, why deny yourself that pleasure?