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  • Max-Alabama posted an update 1 week ago

    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 “only makes it mad.” When I quit drinking, it only made my inner alcoholic mad. It was right about that time that “high gravity” beer grew in through the window. So I started drinking “high gravity beer,” 8%, sometimes 9%, which is double the alcohol content of an ordinary can of beer. Four high gravity servings is over 1,000 calories. My weight shot up and I felt that my executive functioning was faltering.

    And that’s how I have come to where I am tonight. Night 3.

    And I’m thinking about the lyrics of Ripple by the Grateful Dead:

    Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
    If your cup is full may it be again
    Let it be known there is a fountain
    That was not made by the hands of men
    There is a road, no simple highway
    Between the dawn and the dark of night
    And if you go no one may follow
    That path is for your steps alone
    Ripple in still water
    When there is no pebble tossed
    Nor wind to blow
    You who choose to lead must follow
    But if you fall you fall alone
    If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
    If I knew the way I would take you home

    Again, I hope I hurt no one by my comments, and I am glad I am in this group.

    • 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.

    • Lee@ replied 1 week ago

      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.

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