Thursday, March 21, 2019

Time Out

I know it's been a while, believe me, but I needed to take a break. Doctors' orders. A medical issue required my abstinence from alcohol so, heeding their advice, I stopped drinking beer (all alcohol) on February 26.

Sobriety has its advantages. For some, it means weight loss but not so much for me - about 3 pounds. I haven't really noticed a difference in my sleep pattern either except I am tired and go to bed a little earlier. The biggest change for me has been my blood pressure which has been slowly creeping up in the last year but is now much closer to what doctors consider normal. That, and I'm more motivated to do things in the evening that I might otherwise do only during the day. Not drinking is also cheaper whether I'm dining out or at home and cuts down on my Uber bill.

My social life hasn't changed much. I have good friends that don't care whether I'm drinking or not; while generally featured, alcohol is not a condition of our getting together to enjoy each other's company. We still have fun.

This isn't to say I've lost all interest in beer. I still read about it, still follow beer happenings on Twitter. On the one hand, I'm looking forward to my first drink and wonder what it will be. I think it should be something special, memorable, celebratory. Like, hiking to a beautiful place with a beautiful view of the Columbia River with snow-covered mountains in the distance, sun shining on my face. Hearing the fizz as the seal is broken on a can of craft beer goodness, taking in the aroma of esters and hops, letting the bubbles dance on my tongue, letting that first sip linger allowing my whole mouth a taste before swallowing. Then waiting. Waiting for all the flavors to gently reveal themselves to me, subtly layered, one after the next.

That's a good as it gets. That moment. I don't even need the rest of the can. Just that first glorious taste. That will be something.

The other hand is to stop drinking altogether. I've considered it as I've never considered it before. Partly, for overall health reasons. But also, because I'm already here. It's not as though getting here was hard so much as every day is easier. Everyone's journey is different. If you're considering sobriety and it is hard for you, don't be afraid to get help. Alcoholism (any addiction) is a serious matter. Sobriety can be a terrifying idea, even as one desires it. Also, no judgement. If you need help, get it. No one will judge you the worse for admitting you need it. Rather, the opposite; getting help is a good thing. A very good thing.

For me, this journey is more about getting through this medical thing. The alcohol thing was an enlightening side trip. It's all good and it'll all be behind me soon. It's all been quite extraordinary.

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