I’ve gone on and on in the past about my heart surgery at how much my health has improved. I figured it was time to address what some people have been afraid of as the elephant in the room.
Over the years, depending on circumstances and where I was and what my income levels looked like, I was averaging between 3 to 6 drinks a day if I were completely honest. It varied between whiskey and wine and beer, usually whiskey or beer. After my surgery I chose to cut down consciously because I needed to heal. Dr. El-Chami suggested a month off from everything while leaving me on a lower dose of my beta blocker and putting me on a fucking stomach pill. I already had two events I planned to have some beer at, but outside of that? Easy.
Waking up with a clear head every morning and finally getting free of what I thought were my own demons I wasn’t able to fight made me rethink things in such a way that this was the choice. I spent a healthy two years spiraling down for one stupid (to me) reason or another, and when I made the decision, when I COULD make the level headed decision and committed to it, it was easy.
No, this isn’t a “pat me on the back, I beat addiction/alcohol/whatever” post. I don’t need that. But my decision to cut back severely had made sense when I made the decision.
What shifted then?
My commitment to my career grew stronger. My desire to be more true to myself increased. My love of how I felt every day knowing I had a purpose and goals to accomplish increased. In short, my focus shifted. What did I do?
First, I won’t say I cut out hard liquor. I will say that for the time being, we are seeing other people. sometimes we see each other in a dark alleyway and kiss and grope and then go our separate ways.
Second I’ll say I’ve switched from East Coast IPA to either Pale ale or Hefeweizen style beers, with German Pilsners for good measure. I came to the realization that I simply cannot stand the fruitiness of an East Coast IPA. I cut my teeth on those bitter hoppy West Coast beers like Sierra Nevada torpedo and dank beers like Arrogant Bastard. Incidentally, this cut my alcohol consumption down by another third. The beer I tend to drink most now has an ABV of no more than 6.2%, the torpedo being an outlier. Otherwise, down from 9-11% to 5.4 as the average.
Next, I refocused my attention back on my first alcoholic love, Wine I’ve l spoken at great links on Instagram about the Davidoff and Burgundy wine event that occurred in September 2021. That event really reinvigorated my love of wine, and my passion for a portion of my heritage as a drinker. So I’ve focused more on wine and food pairings, I’m considering a YouTube channel and podcast for wine and cigar pairings.
Lastly, I cut down the hours and days of the week. I only drink on Thursday-Sunday now. So it’s a little unusual to say this, but I look forward to Mondays because I don’t drink. I look forward to Thursday for my first drink of the week. That throws me a little bit because the process of cutting down literally by 2/3rds and giving my body/liver a break means that when I do have that first drink, they all hit the same. Like BAM! Oh, and one more thing I must point out, because this is in the media and I think it’s retarded. I don’t binge drink to make up for the days I don’t. There was an article (and there are many articles…) about how you can be considered a moderate drinker if you have no more than fourteen drinks a week, but it’s terrible for you if you have all fourteen of those drinks in one day in a binge session.
No shit, Herlock! Who the fuck does that and thinks it’s okay? I have a lot of issues with alcohol in the media but that’s for when I rewrite my course geared to writers. Any excuse to demonize one product and push another irritates me because it seems like bullshit when you’re telling us we shouldn’t smoke and drink, but weed is fine because it’s safe. First, no. It’s not. Second, smoking it is still a carcinogen. Third, we’re adults, we all know what our choices look like and accept the consequences so stop telling me what substances I can and cannot put in my body if I want to relax/self-destruct/reach an altered state/fuck off.
This is on top of all of the other healthy things I’ve added back into my routine, such as bulletproof coffee, the mushroom coffee with L-theanine and cordyceps, A more bulletproof/carnivore oriented diet, and an attempt to spend more time grounding myself through the earth’s natural healing properties. This to me is another small witchy practice I enjoy.
I was headed down the Hemingway path and I didn’t like it. But shit, who can see clearly anything when all you see is damage due to lack of oxygen, a body that once moved as fast as business but now moves like molasses (pre-surgery) and a changing world? How do you process the world when you can’t be at your full potential? And how do you deal with those demons when they’re not even the real cause of your pain?
In the long run I’m hoping to alleviate the worry the writer friends of mine have had over me. And there may come a time, when I am gratefully appreciative of the opportunity to apologize to anyone I may have offended or upset during that darker period of my life.
I do make exceptions to my days off. Full disclosure, the 28th of this month, a bottle of champagne will be shared with friends or the younger lover, or both. I turn 44 as of this blog post and I believe in a celebration. I take exception on days if I were flying or very special occasions. But those are all rare. And I suspect when I finally make it to Spain, if I’m there any longer than a month, I may indulge for the first week or two, then return to this practice. I don’t know. What I won’t do is demonize myself or fall down Hemmingway’s path again.
Somehow I’m sure L’Don had a hand in this transformation too, whether it was before she passed, or after I have no clue. She won’t tell me. I know the women in my life who love me and are my world sure as hell did.
Anyway, I’m a lot happier with the way life is now. I may return to daily drinking in the future, but it’s up to me and what circumstances occur. For now I’m good with my choices.