When I was in my 30's I drank 2 beers a day, more on weekends. When I was in my 40's I drank 3 beers a day, more on weekends. When I was in my 50's I drank 4 beers a day, more on weekends, and added hard liquor to the mix. It's alcohol or me.
A tattoo promise. I’ve broken a lot of promises to myself. Down here in Alabama, a lot of parents quote Bear Bryant, a pretty good coach. The “Bear” told his incoming freshman players, often: “The first time you quit, it’s hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don’t even have to think about it.” I’ve quit on a promise not to drink for X days, or X weeks, so many times there is no counting.
I didn’t really drink hard liquor until my 50’s. Then I moved near a Bar and I started having my usual round of beers and often I would finish it off with hard liquor. Or several glasses of wine. I knew I was a beer-aholic, but there is only so much of that stuff you can get in your belly. But hard liquor, that was mainlining. I started saying things I really should not say to people, not mean drunk comments, but ain’t-got-no-discretion shock value stuff. But the hard liquor and wine on top of beer–there were some mornings I did not remember walking home.
I broke a lot of promises to drink nothing but beer. A lot of broken promises made breaking promises easier each time.
My daughter wanted a tattoo her whole life. I begged her not to get one. But she turned 19, it is her life, and she had a small one put on her side under her rib cage. It was a faith of sorts to her.
So I decided to go get my 70th birthday date tattoo’d on my shoulder blade in small script. I decided I would not drink hard liquor or wine again until I turned 70. I’d rather die with a tattoo than from Cirrhosis . That was when I was 53. I am 55 now. I have not broken that promise. Hopefully I will keep that promise, and hopefully I will not want hard liquor or wine on the day I turn 70.
Kudzu is a weed that was imported from France to control erosion in the South. It grows so fast they accuse the vine of growing into people’s open windows in a single hot summer night and stealing through the open window. It is also said that cutting back kudzo…[Read more]
Good for you on making it through your third day, the first few weeks are hard. You’re obviously doing some hard thinking and your kudzu analogy is spot on, alcohol is like an invasive specie, sneaking roots into every nook and cranny of virtually every social situation these days. I’m glad you’re here with us too, there is strength in numbers.
That kudzu is no joke @max-Alabama. It will take over pretty quickly here and I live in the city, in your neighboring state. I love the analogy of it in reference to drinking. That shit is so very hard to get rid of, just like booze, which you can’t really get rid of it entirely anyway but you can keep it at bay and not consume it. No one eats kudzu though, although who knows. Great song and southern charm. I stumbled upon this site over a year ago and it has been incredibly helpful. Congrats on day 3! I am not much further ahead of you. I got to 128 days or around there before the bell fell this last time.
“y first ever sober camping trip! We just got back Saturday and went for 8 days.” Great job!
I’ve treated most vacations as an excuse to drink even more! And then I get back, more exhausted than ever, from the “vacation.”
Maybe we should think of ourselves as on “vacation” from alcohol. “I’m on vacation from alcohol.” It’s a good thing, not a bad one.
Most friends I have that drink, like me, drink way too much.
I stopped drinking for 6 months once and my friends all wanted me to drink again. I would say, “I’m becoming an alcoholic.” A friend would say, “No, you’re not. How do you know you’re an alcoholic?” My answer to that question: “Tell yourself right now you’re not going to drink for 30 days. Then do it.” You can see it immediately in the eyes of a functional alcoholic–they cannot bear the thought of not drinking for 30 days.
@max-alabama, I really don’t think you can say anything about boozing that would offend anyone here! We all have our own best horror stories. I think every one of us has tried moderating and failed ..numerous times, and would have looked horrified at the thought of 30 days without drinking at many points in time.
Twenty two years ago when my daughter was born I finally quit smoking. For ten years leading up to that, I tried to quit in a million ways. Cold turkey. Hypnosis. Patches. Gum. You could cover a dining room table with all the products and gimmicks I tried. And then I gave up. I decided I was going to smoke but that I was at least going to exercise. So I bought a heart rate monitor watch. It said if you are out of shape, put the low end heart rate on 90, and the high end on 110 beats per minute. So I did. The beeps controlled my pace. When it beeped on the high end (which took about 1/2 a block of jogging at first) I stopped jogging and walked until it beeped on the low end. I would finish exercising and walk in the house and smoke. But I discovered endorphins along the way, and after a while I would want a glass of water instead of a cigarette. Then I would not want a cigarette for two hours. At some point I had quit. I don’t know when it was, exactly. Alcohol became my cigarettes as years went by. For years I fostered the false philosophy of “earning” my alcohol. If I exercised, I got to drink. But I am 55 now and alcohol only gets more powerful as time goes on. It’s undefeated, it seems, it is just a matter of how badly it beats whoever it encounters. The coming years of 55-70 may be my last years. I want to be sober. I’ve never been a drunk, but I’ve lost a lot of life drinking. It stole a good bit of time from my two children. There were swim meets and games I missed because I had already knocked back two bottles of beer by 6 pm and I was embarrassed to go with alcohol on my breath. But now the issue is just the fatigue. Last night I did not drink. I drank a Coke instead (I haven’t had a Coke in the evening in years). I slept deeply for the first time in a long, long time.
Your story about giving up cigarettes is really interesting, because it shows that changes add up in unexpected ways to help something new happen. We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves, just do the best today with the resources and ideas we have now. Thanks for the message.
Touched by your post @max-alabama I can relate, I didn’t want to still be doing this same pattern in this part of my life (after 50). I didn’t want to be doing it before either, but that has been and gone now. In some ways the fatigue is a help; our bodies just aren’t tolerating it anymore. And deep sleep was a forgotten treasure, and what a treasure it is. Astonishingly good. Will you try another night tonight? Go well.