The time has come; I just have to quit.
Drinking has become a chore. Finding the alcohol in every situation…
There’s no drink service on this plane/in this comedy club/at this tapas joint? How can I possibly deal?
Will I be able to sneak a bottle into that festival/concert/cruise ship?
How will I function without alcohol at this holiday party/high school reunion/completely random social gathering?
Perhaps there is a comfort in knowing exactly where to go (the bar!) and what to do (get a drink!) when entering a potentially awkward situation, but hopefully this is something that a mature (kinda) adult can deal with.
I’m not a person who has some amazing blackout-rode-a-llama-home-from-the-bar-and-there-are-3-people-who-I-don’t-know-sleeping-on-my-kitchen-floor-and-how-did-I-end-up-with-MORE-money-in-my-wallet-than-I-started-out-with-? story, but I’ve definitely had periods in my life during which I imbibed a little more than I should: when I was dealing with my diagnosis, coming to terms with my separation, that time(s) that my kids just would NOT STOP (okay, so that’s daily).
And my interest has just not been where it used to be. I truly feel that sometimes I’ll have a cocktail out of habit, not enjoyment.
Of course it’s better for your body to stay away from alcohol. As per WebMD, drinking, even moderately, boosts one’s risk for several types of cancer (but, let’s be honest, that site is infamous for diagnosing everyone, even someone with the slightest swollen glands, with the big C).
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism discusses the horrific effects of drinking on most of one’s anatomy, including the brain (shocker: it’s harder to think clearly when you’ve been consuming alcohol), the heart (stroke, among other issues), the liver (I think we were all aware of this one), the pancreas (dangerous inflammation and swelling), and the immune system (maybe get 2 flu shots this year?).
Further research discusses how the chronic abuse of ethanol (alcohol) can have permanent effects of brain function.
And of course my health in particular, which has taken a turn for the worse as of late. I know drinking alcohol is disproved of among the medical community in regards to autoimmune diseases, so this is precisely directed toward my goal of taking MS down!
I’m not talking about the dude that has a couple of beers on Saturday night with his buddies then calls it a night, and I’m not implicating that woman who meets her co-worker for a drink after work.
I’m also not talking about that guy who needs a couple of shots of vodka in his orange juice in order to function for the rest of the day or the lady who carries around a flask of rum to work to pour into her coffee. The chemically-dependent individual is on a whole different level.
I’m talking about ME. I am not a binge drinker. I wouldn’t even consider myself an abuser, but I do drink.
I’m just a girl, standing in front of a bordeaux, saying “No thank you.”
I just don’t need another “thing.”
I remember quitting smoking. How it seemed completely impossible in the beginning. I couldn’t even wrap my brain around the concept of going to a bar and NOT smoking.
- Being in my car and NOT smoking.
- Eating a meal and afterward NOT smoking.
- Taking a smoke-break at work and NOT smoking.
Now, however, I feel so completely free of the burden of cigarettes: of buying them, of having them in supply at all times, of smelling like them (in retrospect, eww!), and of having to go outside in the middle of January to have one.
Will I feel more unburdened without having alcohol in my life?
Let’s find out.