In this Fun Monday post, I alluded to the fact that I do not drink anymore. Sometimes, I follow that comment with this old quip, " Nor, do I drink any less." However, what I really mean is that I no longer imbibe alcoholic beverages of any kind.
Our good friend, Captain Corky of Corky's Log, asked me in the comments why I stopped drinking. The reason that I stopped drinking is complex. Furthermore, my abstinence has been an off and on process for 30 some years. Before we explore my years of sobriety, let me tell you about my drinking.
My parents believed that if they served us small or moderate amounts of alcohol at home, my sisters and I would refrain from drinking outside the home. As we grew to adulthood, we were allowed a taste of rum in our Christmas egg nog, mulled wine on the cold brisk fall days, and a half glass of wine on festive occasions. They were partially right. I did not drink beer in parking lots as a teen, nor did I drink at parties. However, I do remember my friend, Connie, and I did consume some of my parents gin one rainy afternoon. Of course, we replaced the missing clear spirit with water.
As I grew to adulthood, I enjoyed drinking with our friends. I enjoyed any kind of wine, and my hard beverage of choice was Cutty Sark on the rocks. In my drinking days, I seemed to be able to "hold" my alcohol better than most. Luckily, I rarely suffered the next day after a night of drinking. Even as an adult, my drinking was mostly limited to festive occasions and Friday nights after the ball game.
Why did I stop? On November 8, 1974, my mother had a cerebral aneurysm. Now, I am rather sure that you are not supposed to make deals with God, but I did do just that. I bargained with God if he would allow my mom to live, I in turn would stop drinking. I did stop drinking for a few years, but after few years my commitment to teetotaling waned. I missed friendly drinks with friends and relatives. I missed the warm feeling that one gets after drinking just one glass of wine. So even though I promised the Almighty, I did partake of the wine when tis' red.
In the early eighties, my father was becoming confused with what seemed like Alzhiemer's Disease. Although this time I did not bargain, I did make a personal resolution not to drink. My thought this time was to save all the brain cells possible. Eventually, I did have an occasional drink.
Within a few years, I quit again. This time I have quit for good. If you have read this far, you might be thinking that I am an alcoholic. Luckily, that has not been a problem for me. But trying to stop is difficult. Our social lives can be so intertwined with drinking. People drink to celebrate, to mourn, to relax, to socialize, to forget... Although I am not an alcoholic, I understand a little how difficult it is to quit. I have little desire to drink, but I do like to join friends at bars. I usually have an O'Doul's or tonic sans gin. For toasts, we buy some sparkling grape juice. Do I miss the drinking days and nights? No, not much.