Take this simple test to determine if you are at risk for alcohol addiction. If you can claim two or more of these warning signs of alcohol you may be at risk and need to speak to your primary doctor who can help to assess and provide treatment options for problem drinking.
Six months ago, I didn’t know how this was going to go. I didn’t know if I’d quit for a week, a month, two months, the classic one hundred days, or more. Here I am today, six months after I chose to take a break from drinking, which was how I thought about it at the time. Taking a break— something that is temporary. I didn’t know how long this would last, and I still don’t. I do, however, know that six months is longer than I originally predicted I’d be able to go. As someone that had spent the past five years or so drinking regularly, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stick with the sober lifestyle. What would Saturday nights be like if I wasn’t going to my favorite bar and relaxing with a few PBRs? What would I order to drink at nice dinners when the wine list was off limits? What would special occasions be like minus the White Russian or Long Island Iced Tea? And speaking of special occasions, over the past six months, I’ve had several come up that I’ve spent sober for the first time in years. I’ve attended two open bar weddings since going sober, including my own sister’s. On top of that, there’s been Thanksgiving, Christmas; New Years was especially hard. St. Patrick’s Day. In just a few weeks, my birthday. All of that being said, there are things that I’ve learned over the past six months—some of which I expected, some I didn’t. Here are a few.
You shouldn’t have to justify bringing boozy ice cream into your life, but if you do, think about life as an adult. You can spend your hard-earned money on cool stuff like new frying pans and toilet paper. You can choose to stay up late, but crawl into bed no later than 10 PM, anyway. You can make spreadsheets to budget your bills and schedule your own dentist appointments. And you can buy alcohol—all kinds of alcohol.
Just sitting on the back porch, sipping cheap whiskey mixed with canned blackberries. And I mean cheap whiskey, 1.75 liters cost like $17.50. And that's after tax. The two before were whiskey and Dr. Pepper. I ran out. But I ain't gonna sip just cheap whiskey. That's what alcoholics do. I'm not.
"To alcohol: the cause and solution to all of life's problems!" When Homer Simpson made that toast he couldn't have possibly known about all the scientific studies that prove drinking can be healthy. If he just maintains a moderate consumption of alcohol, Homer will be less likely to get diabetes, have germs in his mouth, and will have better bones. And you can reap the same protective effects while also warding off a health risk like cardiovascular disease. Bottoms up!
About half a year ago I was so certain who I was, who I thought I was going to be, and I don’t know when exactly it all changed. It’s possible that nothing really did change, maybe I just grew up and realized the picture was bigger than I previously thought. Maybe I hit one too many rough patches and still haven’t found the strength to get up this time. And hopefully that’s OK, hopefully this is all temporary and all the positive things that people in my life are telling me about myself are true. I hope they are. For now I’m still stuck.
I’m sure you have seen the memes and GIFs and cute wine glasses and paraphernalia. The ones with the witty comments about needing a glass of wine or a whole bottle. They are cute, they are funny, but to an alcoholic it’s encouraging.
To kick off my 2018 I decided to do a dry January. This seems to be increasingly popular as I quickly learned that two of my close and heavy drinking friends decided to partake as well. I have gone dry before so not drinking for one month was a breeze.
When I was busy drinking on half-baked meds and wasting my time in other ways, I didn’t think about how this would impact my desire to get advanced degrees. I knew in my twenties that I wanted to become a lawyer and get a psychology Ph.D. But in my thirties, my desire to study medicine came out with help from a friend of mine who pointed out I wanted to become a prescribing psychiatrist in addition. This desire got tacked on to my other desires. I have no idea how the psychiatrist thing popped into my head but it did. Then I discovered I just plain wanted to help people with my disability. I would like a joint MBA with my law degree and also, I want a Masters in psychology, an M.S. specifically.
I was flirting with functional alcoholism from the age of 18 when I graduated high school. My family imposes their problems with alcohol on each other, with nobody really recognizing their problem. I was drinking port in my twenties. Somehow I could make it home at night without anybody noticing. I’m 36 now, and I have maintained my sobriety from 2010 until now. This is 8 years of sobriety. I get antsy in bars. I recognized my alcoholism for years but I kept it going as my own best enabler. The ex and I were drinking buddies.
When it comes to cigar pairings, you can't just grab any glass of spirit to enjoy it with. Certain cigars have a distinct taste, as well as certain cognacs. And when you find the right pair, the two compliment each other in the best way.
Fetty Wap would love this list. He most likely goes for the higher end bottles, but he didn't base his entire brand around Rémy Martin's 1738 for nothing!