Monday, September 03, 2012

That's a year

Well, if I couldn't technically say it before, I can today. I've been an entire year now without a drink. I guess I've demonstrated I can do it. Been around it, watched friends have a few, had a couple of cats pass away on me and I still didn't sink into it or take the edge off.

Now what?

Except for five cans of beer I had a year ago today when a friend visited from New England, which I "built into" the project, I haven't been drinking socially since, as I recall, Dec. 18, 2010, or had liquor or beer at home since two years ago this month. But now that I've achieved this arbitrary goal, I'm not sure where I go. I didn't really have to face this while I was keeping an eye on the date.

I miss it. Not hugely, but I do miss it. Thing is, what I really miss is the feeling of being drunk. That kind of soft, mellow, relaxing sense of really sinking into the chair. There was something to be said for a Saturday afternoon with old movies and five or six Cuba Libres. I never really quite get to that sense of release anymore... that feeling you're just chewing soft bubblegum with your brain. And I do missing giving that to myself, or promising it to myself as something to look forward to.

But I sure don't miss the expense of it. I don't miss wondering if I'm really okay to drive. I don't miss the pigging out I tended to do and then feel bad about later, and things like that. Or how common it was getting in my life for a while a few years ago.

I didn't set out to become tea-totaling [edit: teetotaling?]. But given how easy it would be to just ease back into the comfortable old ways, I guess I've decided to just move forward with it. Save the money, save the worry. Reserve to myself the privilege of having a drink now and then when there's an occasion, rather than making occasions to drink, which is kind of what I was doing those six months or so I didn't have it around the house and only drank when I was out with folks. I've made my year. Now let's see about just treating it as the new normal.


jim said...

Sounds like a good plan. It puts alcohol in a good place in your life.

Bridgewater said...

Congratulations on achieving your goal! Your reasons for abstaining certainly are valid--the money, the safety worries, the overconsumption that tends to go with...and the sense, perhaps, of being on a slippery slope.

Statistics do seem to indicate that moderate drinkers have significantly less risk of dementia in general and Alzheimer's in particular than teetotalers. "One" is a good rule of thumb; five or six, drinking alone--not so much. A pint or a glass of wine at a meal with friends, or one drink at a party, can give that pleasant buzz you miss--if the drink is drunk *before* the edibles are et, with sparkling water for the rest of the evening. Shorter buzz, but sufficient to lubricate the event without unpleasant consequences. Less money spent, no deterioration of driving skills, firm footing on that slope. And there are better ways to take the edge off.

The statistics are meaningless, though, if drinking negatively affects your quality of life. Sounds as though you've got good self-insight and self-control. Here's wishing you well in your new normal.

barefoot hiker said...

Ugh, teetotaling, yes... I knew I should have checked that! Funny thing is, I did, and "tea-totaling" was fine with Google's spell checker. Or chequer. :)

Thanks, gents, for your support.