dry

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for some this may be the most shocking post i will ever write. sure, that sounds a little dramatic, but i’m about to admit to something drastic.

it’s been over six months since i had a drink.

no beer while watching football. no wine while chumming with girlfriends. no champagne while ringing in the new year. no cocktails at holiday parties.

not a drop. not a sip. not a taste.

it didn’t really happen intentionally, it just happened. one day last july i woke up as one person and i went to bed as someone else. at a point between the two, everything changed. i never consciously declared that i was done with booze, but a few weeks later, i realized i’d just given it up. there hasn’t been a time along the way when i picked it up again.

let me make it clear that drinking wasn’t a problem for me. sure, i did it, some times more than others. it wasn’t a part of daily life, but it was a regular occurrence. it happened in all the scenarios i mentioned above and more. like most people i know, it was just something i did.

so, i got accidentally dry. the thing that has shocked me most about it isn’t that i’ve lost weight or that my head is more clear or anything like that. what has amazed me is how it has just disappeared off my radar. i don’t even think about it anymore. i never even glance at drink menus and i can’t really even remember what it was like to partake or why i did. it just…vanished. i’m not even interested and everyone has adapted to a qc without the stuff.

so, one might think that my thoughts have turned to mixing up virgin concoctions and specialty drinks. nope. the other day, i indulged in a glass of koala springs soda and realized it was the first drink outside of water and tea that i’d had all year! i do, however, have a huge passion for ginger ale. last summer i declared myself a ginger ale connoisseur while i tested the stuff all over town. though i’d wished for santa to bring me 100 different kinds for christmas, i guess there just wasn’t room in his sleigh. instead of waiting twelve months to ask again, i have mounted a collection of my own. so far, i’m up to seven or eight varieties and am ready to launch experiment number two in brewing some up at home.

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on a physical front, i probably do feel a lot better without any alcohol in my life or my body. given its rapid disappearance, i never really took the time to acknowledge and assess it. now that it’s just the way that it is, i’m thankful. i know all the ways it must be good for me and i’m happy to be serving my spirit and my heart.

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3 responses »

  1. Giving up alcohol, unless you have an abuse problem, is not something I’ve ever understood. Cutting down, yes, but giving up completely? Although in your case, it sounds like it never really had much of a hold on you or a place in your social interactions, so that’s different than conscientiously removing it from your life.

    For myself, alcohol has morphed into two aspects that I find beneficial to my life: Taste and Relaxation. As a culinary fan, I cannot help but to appreciate the wide and varied palate that is the finer world of wine, beer, and distilled liquor. Contrary to my college days, because I partake so much less than I did then, I’m willing to spend to get the really tasty stuff…great cabernets, rich microbrews, and refined single-malt scotches that have been sitting in a barrel for half my age or better. So much complexity and variety to explore!

    The second aspect is relaxation — because I have a liver the size of a thimble now (apparently, nothing like I had in my younger years) — partaking of The Drink means that I’m in for a night of relaxation and less physical and mental stress, whether or not I want it (which means I have to refrain on evenings when I really must get things done). But when I have the time — or I am full of apathy for any pressing issues — partaking in several drinks is a way to help my mind and body wind down, cool out, from the constant pressures of life and work and so forth. And getting together with friends is a sure recipe to take that time to have a few drinks and sip along with great conversation. It’s like…social lube. KY for the mind, if you will.

    So, that’s what I get out of it, I guess. I always find it interesting to see what others’ take on it is.

  2. Funny – same thing happened to me around the same time. I just stopped. I was working hard at working out and it just didn’t fit into my routine. Suddenly 6 months passed by before I even knew it.

    For reasons still unknown to me, I met a friend for a drink last month (on your b-day, as it were), which turned into a few. It was fun! I had a great time – while I was doing it.

    I wasn’t hung-over the next morning, but I certainly wasn’t feeling like myself. I realized I prefer my cleaned up healthier lifestyle. That’s not to say that I’ll never touch the stuff again, but for the time being, I don’t mind abstaining.

  3. I had been sick withthefluright before new years and also NYSE. I made it a point tobesocial, but stuck with water. Since I already started my clean way I decided to continue for 6 weeks. I have 3 more Togo, but I really have noticed the way I feel, so much better. I don’t wake up in a fog, but just like you it’s not like I had some sort of problem. Being ‘on the wagon’ for the short term does have its benefits on not only my body, but my mood! I’m finding a new appreciation for alcohol and when it returns to my life it wont hold the same place it once did.

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