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06 February, 2021

Reflections on Depression and Alcohol Abuse Part 4: Bibo Ergo Sum

 Reflections on Depression and Alcohol Abuse Part 4: 

Bibo Ergo Sum

The problem with giving up a crutch - be it smoking, drinking, drugs, sex, porn... whatever - is that you HAVE to want to give it up. And therein lies the biggest problem in getting sober/clean.

A year ago (10 months ago) I quit smoking at the start of lockdown. Cold turkey. Just threw them out and haven't smoked a cigarette since then.

And I fucking LOVE to smoke. I mean, seriously - smoking was awesome. I loved lighting up, getting that smell of the tobacco igniting for the first time, and feeling it fill my lungs with the sweet awesomeness of nicotine. But I knew that it was a bad idea. Especially when you see the news about a raspatory illness that is literally killing people all over the world. That made the decision easier for me. As did the lockdown... I no longer spent 2 hours in the car every day. I no longer worked every day with 11 other smokers. I removed those things from my life and BOOM - I quit smoking. 

But as I contemplate sobriety I struggle with the desire to quit as I am a high-functioning alcoholic. 

Drinking is literally a part of my persona. It has become synonymous with who I am as a human being. I chose the name Dr. Bourbon because, well, I fucking love Bourbon. And scotch. And vodka... gin... tequila... The list goes on. I love the taste of them. I love the slow burn. I love the slow, gradual wearing down of the sharp edges as I drink. I love the way I stop concentrating on the problems and just enjoy the moment when I drink.

And I think that is a big part of my problem. I can't enjoy the moment when I have anxiety about fucking EVERYTHING. And when I drink, that anxiety slips away. I stop thinking about work. I stop worrying about my house's problems. I stop thinking about the fucking government and white supremacists... I just simply enjoy being.

This lifestyle... this persona has been a cultivated thing since September of 1996. As a freshman at college I was given a 32 ounce cup of Jack Daniels and Coke by my neighbor... and I took to it like a fish to fucking water.

I, being the grandchild of 4 alcoholics, seemed to have a predisposition for alcohol consumption. We all joked about the Freshman with the tolerance of a Senior. And thus, I stepped into that life willingly.

It hasn't changed since then. I still drink. I still love to drink. I still love the flavor of the various liquors... A good bourbon and a nice scotch are better than most things in life. But now I am cognizant of the health issues I face as one who drinks so much... 

I am constantly dehydrated. I am overweight. I'm probably pre-diabetic... my last visit to the VA said I was actually pretty healthy and my numbers were good, but that I should possibly consider changing my diet before I pass the point of no return.

And so here I am... every morning I wake up, angry at the fact that I drank so much and resigned to going to bed sober! But then, after dinner, I pour a glass and relax. Then another. Then another... Day in, day out.

Lather, rinse, repeat...

I'm now about a month into taking antidepressants. And they help. They do not, however, seem to get along well with the drinking. The medication adds to the dehydration issues which compounds my bruxism (jaw clenching and teeth grinding) and adds to generally feeling like crap because it also makes me constipated.... I know, TMI. But this is my blog so fuck off.

Last night, I went to bed sober. I drank no alcohol. And I am attempting to drink water all day... 

This is day one.

I don't know if there will be multiple day ones, but I'm going to do it.

1 comment:

  1. The journey begins with one step. We are doing the same thing over here...and trying to work out every day. I have a light up water bottle that reminds me to hydrate. It feels ridiculous, but it works. And I hate working out, but I talk myself into it every day. It sucks. But I feel better after I do it, and I feel better every morning after not drinking the night before. I feel your pain, man.


It's my first day