Sunday, February 10, 2019
WHY I QUIT DRINKING: PART II
Just over a year ago, I put my thoughts into words and cemented the story of going five
years without alcohol. In this social media-driven world we live in, where people only
seem to have time to read 140 characters or less, I knew there was a chance a lot may be
lost in translation, or in this case, a headline.
I wrangled with putting together a headline knowing full well that most people think they
know what's in the body of the story by just reading the headline. The one I decided on was
pretty simple and to the point: Five Years Dry: Why I Quit Drinking.
Just as I surmised, though, there were many people who just read the headline,
particularly the 'Why I Quit Drinking' part and felt like the knew what the reason was
without bothering to read the the body of the story.
I got a few, "Hey, congrats, I was in 'the program, too.' (I wasn't)
There was the, "Hey, I didn't know you had a problem. (I didn't)
And several people chimed in with the obligatory, "I hope everything's all right.' (It is).
As I sit here after going through another alcohol-free year, running my streak of days
without any kind of booze to 2,190 days, I had to drop the most common and over-used
response in social media today in response to those comments by my friends: LOL.
Man, people read a headline and the imaginations run wild. Sorry, my story about giving
up alcohol is quite boring. There wasn't a seminal moment or life-altering experience that
forced me to give up drinking. Six years ago of February 10th, I just didn't feel like I was
the best version of myself. I didn't feel all that great and didn't feel like I was in the
physical shape I wanted to be in heading into my 50th year on the planet.
So, I decided to give up alcohol and just about anything that wasn't good for the body human.
The Lenten season was coming up on the calendar so I challenged myself to give up alcohol,
bread, butter, cookies, candy, and ice cream for six weeks. I accomplished my goal with little
problem so I decided to see how long I could give up alcohol. Six years later, here I am.
I don't want alcohol. Don't need alcohol. And don't care if I don't have it again in my lifetime.
I don't care what people think and don't care about being 'social.' I just believe that drinking
is the single biggest waste of time, energy, and money in our society today. Yeah, it's even
more useless than spending time playing Fortnight.
I don't make judgements about other people and their drinking habits. To each their own. We
are free to live our lives any way we choose. However, I do offer advice when friends of mine
want me to talk to their kids about drinking. And it's easy. I tell them the sooner they figure
out that alcohol is poison to the mind, body, soul, and wallet, the better off they'll be.
Drinking even a couple of beers affects every single organ in your body. Liver, heart, brain -
name an organ and alcohol will eventually destroy it. In the last six years without alcohol, I have been sick just once - a bad case of bronchitis which wasn't enough to keep me from going to
work. A lot of luck is involved, I know, but alcohol weakens the immune system, too. I
want to make sure that as I grow older that I'm not polluting my body with toxic waste. That's
what alcohol is: toxic and a waste of everything.
Life is better without alcohol. Way better. As boring as it may be, that's my story and I'm
sticking to it.