Saturday, November 12, 2011

For the best reason of all... to prove it to myself


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Last week, one fine evening, I looked at the glass in my hand. It carried several ice cubes, and a comfortable dollop of quite good bourbon.

It was my third such glass of the evening.

Into my mind came this thought: "My friend, you seem to be drinking quite a bit of this fine beverage, and quite often too".

This thought could run good; "Life is good, that I can afford such fine luxury as I wish!" or it could run bad; "You have fallen slave to the devils brew!".

The thing is...you see... at one time... both my parents were alcoholics. Not nasty, not dysfunctional, but alcoholics none the less. I was tending bar and mixing drinks at age ten, for them and for their parties. At the time it was an adventure. Later in life, as I took part counseling groups of people working past dependencies, I realized better the dangers involved.

Those memories, and a very healthy respect for the life destroying effects of chemical dependency, were what flashed to mind as I looked to my chilled glass of excellent bourbon. I decided as I sat there, nicely glowing from several glasses of Mr. Brook's finest distilled spirits, that a week of abstinence was in order.

Not as a response to danger, but as a canary in a coal mine. A week of nothing alcoholic at all... a way to clear the decks and turn a cold and calculating eye towards my own habits and 'needs'.

I'll not deny myself the enjoyment of a cold brew or fine spirit, unless it becomes something I must have.... in which case I'll go to my grave never having another drop past the day I realize that.

So, a week of abstinence has passed, and the only change in my life is a certain increase in freedom as to when I take NSAID's for the aches and pains of onrushing years. Other than that, not a quiver.

Good.


4 comments:

Suz said...

Yes, good. In my misspent youth I was at slight risk for wandering down that path, then I had the sense to marry a man who, among other good qualities, rarely drinks. I became the family lush at a rate of about a case of beer per year. Now I'm such a wimp that one drink leaves me hungover for a whole day. And that bit about NSAID's is no joke.

Jean said...

It can sneak up on a person, especially when dealing with more stress than usual. Good on ya for paying attention to yourself.

Me, not you said...

Good work. I have several family members who are counselors, several others who are/were in need of same. I, too, self-test on a regular basis.

Borepatch said...

Yup. I like this strategy every once in a while.

Plus it helps with the weight. A bit.