My last drink was April 20, 2019. Here's what I wrote March 28, 2017 just over two years before, in a story I titled "Why Not?" It has been two weeks to the hour since I lost the tip of my right index finger. We were at Steampunk Saloon for a food trailer dinner, a couple of beers, and some Jenga. It was SXSW and a lively crowd for a Tuesday evening. A group of two women and one man played Jenga all wrong by stacking the removed blocks on the ground. DH and I decided to show them how it was done. Our tower kept rising and we kept challenging each other, one more, one more. In the end I won and a woman from the Jenga challenged group bought me a beer, which DH and I split. Leaving I wanted to make a quick trip to the bathroom. I slipped in to the stall with a quick jerk on the door to swing it closed. Who knows what exactly happened, but the end result was it took not quite a centimeter off my right index finger. So started a really rough few minutes where I needed to figure out how I wanted to get to some medical care, but it was hard to keep my cool. I didn’t want to walk back home to get into a car to ride to the hospital. A cab swung into view. We jumped in and were off to Medspring Urgent care. Once there they insisted that all they could do was wrap it up and we had to go to the hospital. DH found an Lyft to take us to the crowded ER at St. David’s. Eventually we made it in to be evaluated, get x-rays, tetanus, and numbing shots. It was painful, but the psychic horror was much worse than the physical aspect. I feel sick again just thinking of it. The drugs they gave me for the pain are not compatible with drinking. So, I’ve been abstaining. And I’m still abstaining even though I’m not taking the pain medication anymore. After about a week of not drinking, I started to lose weight. I like the idea of losing weight and not drinking is, apparently, a rather simple way to achieve that end. My heart rate is slower and I feel healthier. I sleep better and snore less.For some reason it is hard not to drink. I want a beer every night, partly because it tastes good and partly because it feels good. Maybe also, it helps time pass. I’m using the strength of the trauma to steel my resolve not to drink. The injury could be my rock bottom. Not because I was so drunk – I wasn’t -- but because it stands for all of the real health problems I was developing as a result of drinking. Less acute, but every bit as real.But I’m not committed to never drinking again. In fact, I had 2.5 oz of beer on Saturday. So, what am I committing to? I fear if I don’t determine the answer soon, I’ll drift back to the same dangerous path I was on and the finger incident won’t be something I can build from. I don’t want that to happen.Not drinking until my BMI is < 35? < 30?Not drinking more than two drinks, twice a week and often less? So began two years of attempted moderation. Moderation worked, except when it didn't. On April 20, 2019 I had 72 fl oz of beer, all of it more 5% abv. The next day was Easter and I didn't know that it would be Day 1, but on the following Saturday I wrote:I don’t understand why I didn’t stop drinking after visiting the emergency room, but I’ve stopped drinking now. I’ve stopped. If I drink again it’ll be more than a year from now. It isn’t an open question and so I’m not deciding not to drink. Perhaps I could drink – just one glass of beer once or twice a week – and be fine. But the evidence suggests that I’m not very likely to drink in moderation and it’s not worth the risk. It’s not worth the risk.Note that the "emergency room" visit I refer to is not the finger incident, but a more-recent adventure. The specifics aren't important, but it was a strong message that something needed to change.
Now recovering from orthopedic surgery. First couple of days I took pain pills to manage, but I’ve weaned myself. It’s funny how I hate the strange loopy out of it feeling on Percocet, but once loved the familiar loopy out of it from alcohol. It gives me some insight into the lie that alcohol brings pleasure. I had to train myself to feel that as pleasurable. Now I’m happy to have a clear head even if I’m stuck in bed. A bit of pain won’t kill me…. but boredom might. 😆
Hi @whynot! Hope the pain eases up soon. Yeah, I know what you mean about change of feelings about looniness. I opted for gas the last couple of times at the dentist’s for fillings and it brought back a lot of feelings and I had high anxiety about it. And even craved a cigarette, like I would if I were partying. Rest easy, xo