Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Goodbye To (Almost) All That

Despite some of the requests in the previous posting's "Comments" section, I don't think I'll be sending too many drunk emails in the future. No, I'm not giving up email. I think I'm gonna phase out the other thing. The drunk thing.

I wasn't drinking a lot. Just a beer or two each day, either with dinner or in a bar on the way home from work. In addition to the inner glow that a nice drink provides, I enjoy pub culture. Relaxing with a book and a beer in a dim, cool bar, waited on by a bartender who is pleasant but keeps a respectful distance...each day I anticipated the pleasure of not doing anything. Of course, this period of "not doing anything" would pretty much stretch out until I went to bed because after getting home after a beer or two, I didn't feel like doing anything. Look at a book (as opposed to reading), maybe. Watch some tv, definitely. Anything constructive? Nah. Maybe tomorrow.

But the big surprise came one Sunday morning. There was a Saturday in which I didn't have any beer or wine. This occurred by happenstance rather than by design. I was working on something, didn't feel like drinking, and when it came dinner time, I just had water with my meal. No plan, no big deal. But when I got up the next morning...I felt great. Rather than my usual groggy creaky morning self, I felt bright, rested, and awake.

"Uh-oh" I thought, remembering a friend who had quit drinking. One of her reasons was that she was tired of feeling like shit every morning. I decided to test that theory so I didn't have anything to drink that day...and felt good when I woke up the next morning. "Oh damn" I thought.

So I've reduced my alcohol intake to social occasions only and find myself surprised at how little I miss it. When I walk past a former favorite haunt, I think "I don't want to feel crappy tomorrow" and keep going. It's kinda like Indian food. I used to love Indian food and ate it at least once a week. However, every time I had Indian food I would wake up late at night with a stomachache that rolled between nausea, bloating and cramps. So Indian food is now a rare treat, enjoyed only in careful portions. It is no longer a consistent part of my life. Same with alcohol. Out of curiosity, this past Sunday I had dinner at Mug's Ale House and had two and a half pints of one of their delicious specialty ales. Guess what? I felt crappy the next morning.

I write the above knowing that I'm going out with friends tomorrow, will be out with co-workers on Thursday, and have a wedding this weekend. Despite all that, I feel a small change has come. I'm also aware that if I do send another drunken email, everyone will think "Oh no, John has fallen off his (training) wagon!" Not at all. In the end, I suppose that if I want to send entertaining mass emails, I will have to find another way other than getting drunk.

I'll probably drop acid instead.

8 comments:

Carol said...

Thank God you're back! I missed your posts.

Julie said...

It took me until my mid twenties to come to the realization that I could have a good time without a drink, even if I was out with friends at a bar. Not only did I feel physically good the next day, but I never woke with that horrifing realization that I had done something humiliating ( like vomiting on Chuck Isley's roomate Terry's arm!). I think dating and marring Tom also was a big help. The best part is that the boys haven't grown up seeing alcohol use as a normal part of adult social behavior. Given their family history, that's a good thing.

Molly said...

Alright, well anything I say now is going to come across as a very poor attempt at backpeddling, so I'll just say that John, I enjoy your writing regardless of the catalysts and inspirations that make it so...and I'm happy you're following the choices that make you feel best. We all know I'm never going to go with the "what?! c'mon! alcohol=good!!" argument...

Anonymous said...

mmmmm....indian food once a week....I'd put up w/ the pain/nausea/bloating!

colette

k.c. said...

johnny, you amuse me both sober and drunk. as for the indian food, that bathroom belongs to you now, so whatever you eat is on you. (so to speak)

Number2sister said...

John, honey, the "training wagon" -- it's call getting older. Sorry.

Julie -- do you realize that in your comment you said "dating and MARRING Tom . . ." Coincidence?

the hanged man said...

Yeah, it looks like Tom is marred for life...

Julie said...

Heeeeeeyyyy!!!! I resent that!!!!!