Friday, July 2, 2010

Take This Bottle

Today, I had my first alcoholic drink in over six months.  In fact, I had two!  And the first came only five minutes past noon!  After the past several weeks/months, I felt like I needed a little something extra during lunch today, to ease the pain.  I don’t think it improved my work load any or will make me work any faster, but it sure felt nice and cold going down.  Today was one of those rare occasions when I actually got to leave the house and have lunch with adults.  I met a few of my fellow work-from-home coworkers at a local restaurant.  We try to meet at least once per month, but it always ends up being once every two or three months.  I arrived before everyone else and got to sit in a quiet room off the main dining room waiting for everyone to arrive.  There was no one else in the room, there were no TVs on, no computers, no email or instant messages, and no kids.  I felt it was only appropriate to celebrate this blessed moment of silence with a cold beer.

I decided to quit drinking when I was 19 years old.  I can assure you while I was still two years under the legal drinking age, I had many gallons under my belt at that point, and they was just what I could remember.  I did not quit entirely, but just stopped doing the “binge” drinking that was very prevalent with my peers.  At the time, I understood the effects of alcohol and when I drank, I drank with one purpose in mind, to get drunk.  I never saw a point in drinking to be sociable, or for the taste, or for any other reason than to get to that point where my mind stopped functioning coherently and go completely past it.  I had fun, I got in trouble, had more fun.  But by age 19, I decided that I didn’t like the “me” that I became when I drank too much.  I didn’t like not having control over what I did or said (I have a big mouth when I am sober, and it gets even bigger and louder when I have had a few).  I also noticed a big flaw in my head that would allow me to quickly become addicted to this type of thing.  So I quit.

Over the next 16 years, I have had times when I wanted to celebrate and allowed myself to cut loose.  But after those occasions, I went back to my “Coca-Cola drinking, sit on the sidelines and watch the other drunk fools” lifestyle.  About once or twice a year, I will have a beer or two, but I don’t allow myself anymore than that.  I don’t condemn anyone that drinks (only when it does harm or can potentially harm someone else), it doesn’t bother me when other people drink around me.  I am not trying to preach or get up on a soapbox.  It can be fine for other people, I just know it is not for me. 

In fact, I like being the only sober person at a party, you won’t believe the crazy shit I have talked people into doing, portraying the little devil on their shoulder.  I once talked a friend of mine into letting me draw a version of the da Vinci’s Last Supper on his back in permanent Sharpie marker.  When I was finished, it went from shoulder to shoulder, from the hairline on his neck to his waistline.  Don’t ask me why the Last Supper, I think it had something to do with the conversation at the time.  But I can tell you the next morning he was really pissed, but also impressed by my artistic rendering using only red, black and green markers.

So on this extended holiday weekend, drink responsibly and have a great weekend.  I doubt I will post anything tomorrow, since I will be in Philly for the Faith No More concert.  But I will try to have some pics and possibly some video for you when I return.  Sunday, we will head out to the annual Independence Day Parade and Fireworks. 

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