Alright, all aboard the no drinking train in Questions

  • June 15, 2022, 11:37 a.m.
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  • Public

It’s been in the works for a while now. I went a few weeks without a drink not even that long ago, but last weekend, with all the friends and family in town for the baby shower, I definitely had some drinks.

I don’t really ever get drunk, but if I don’t check myself I can string together a week or two having a few beers every day. I space them out over several hours, just kind of getting a bit of a buzz.

But I’m really not supposed to be drinking as a bipolar person and DEFINITELY not supposed to be drinking as a bipolar medicated person…and that’s a whole thing, and truthfully I wish I cared more about that, but I really don’t. However…that topic is kind of a part of the catalyst for todays reinvigoration to commit to not drinking.

The real issue is that before the pandemic I was waiting tables. I also freelanced as a web designer, but I liked the freedom that came from restaurants and freelance work…and why this is important is because I was walking miles and miles every week. As a server in a restaurant I would easily walk 5-10 miles a shift, and on top of that I was hitting the gym 3-4 times a week. I was in pretty good shape.

I lost my job on Friday, March 13th 2020 because my restaurant closed…because every restaurant closed.

Also, the gyms closed…and it became INCREDIBLY taboo to be outside, so even going out jogging or taking a walk was pretty much out of the question for…a long time, actually. It was bizarre. I mean, you know…you were there.

So I ended up getting a full time software gig that I could work from home, which means I traded freedom and exercise (for a steady paycheck, though, so that’s nice…I’m not complaining)

Also, before the pandemic I was drinking very little…but then uh…well, you know…shit kind of got wild and just kept getting wilder for a long time. We were locked down for almost two years. And for a bunch of reasons that I don’t want to get into, because of the pandemic and then just a whole bunch of life changes, I kind of lost my shit and I was coping by self medicating with alcohol. Which is never really a great idea.

So, I gained a bunch of weight…and I don’t feel good about it…and I don’t feel good in general because gaining a bunch of weight typically has that effect on people. And you know what? A bunch of sugary liquid empty calories don’t really help people lose weight, it turns out. Who would have thought?

So my wife has been wanting me to get back into shape…hell, I want to get back into shape. But again, it’s not easy with the sugar empty liquid bread. So she’s been bugging me about not drinking, at least until I get back in shape. And I’ll string together a couple of weeks, maybe three weeks, and I’ll exercise a whole bunch and make some progress, and then I’ll have a work party or something…typically at a brewery or something…and social events make me super nervous and anxious these days, so I’ll have a few beers at the function.

Then suddenly it’s like two weeks later and I’ve had a few beers every day for two weeks…so then I go another few weeks without drinking…rinse and repeat.

It’s fucking infuriating.
Beer is just this…security blanket…for so many reasons. And I don’t want to get into all the reasons, but I love beer. I even drink non-alcoholic beer sometimes on the weeks where I’m not drinking, like if we go out to eat or something. I just love beer.

So anyway…ended up having a conversation with someone today that I ultimately just took as a nudge to really commit to this shit.

The thing is, I can’t sit here and commit to never drinking again.
I just…can’t do that.
Hell, even people in AA can’t do that.
And I think the “one day at a time” thing is stupid.
I’m fine going one day, two days, three days…three weeks, a month.
I just usually get to a point where I’m like, “Yeah, but…beer though. Things are much better with beer”
Like today, I’m not sitting here biting my nails. I’m not like, “I would literally kill someone for a drink right now.” I was actually already planning on not drinking today, and I don’t feel any desire to do so…but I know I’m going to want to at some point down the road.

So here’s the deal.
Definitely no more drinking for several days in a row. The pandemic is over, right? Everything is totally fine now, right? The world has healed, everyone is happier than they’ve ever been. It’s not like Russia and China are running propaganda right now telling their citizens to prepare for the US to attack them, fanning the flames of a full blown World War 3…and it’s not like everything is super expensive or anything, to the point where we’re paying $7 for a gallon of gas and go through a tank and a half of gas a week just for our van…

Okay okay, see these are all dumb excuses to be so scared I drink…we don’t need those.
Drinking for fun, now that’s the ticket!

But for right now, I’m going to focus on getting healthy.
I’d like to lose 40 lbs
So maybe I don’t even entertain the thought of drinking until I reach that goal?
Does that sound realistic? I don’t even know, to be totally honest, haha.
But seriously, I need to get in shape.
Ever since I had covid I haven’t ever felt 100%…and I want to stick around a long time for my kids, and one thing I know for sure is that diet and exercise…just being in shape in general, is pretty much the only way to improve your chances of sticking around.

But then the conversation that kind of pushed me is the whole…bipolar people, medicated bipolar people, aren’t supposed to be drinking at all.

So I dunno…I’m going to take this seriously but also go easy on myself if I make a mistake…as long as I can keep it as a mistake and not just be like, “Well…it wouldn’t hurt to drink again today, I’ll stop tomorrow” but then tomorrow is like five days later.

I don’t have a lot of confidence in the idea that I can stop drinking forever, haha. I just don’t want to…but I DO want to get healthy.

Shit…maybe I should go on a bender and do something I regret enough to want to stop drinking. HAHAHAHAHA....oh man, that just brings back memories of my 20s.

Nah. I got this. It’s time to get healthy.
That’s important enough to me.
Let’s do this.
I just wish Kombucha was cheaper, I could just drink two or three kombucha every day instead, but those things are almost $5 a pop. What the hell?

Alright, anyway.
Love you tons
Thanks for listening
You rock, rock.
Maybe if I ever lose 40 lbs I’ll post a picture of my great progress and then we can all celebrate with a drink.
- Dane


Deleted user June 15, 2022

"Rinse and repeat" -- literally the words I have used.

I'm going to send you some tea... links. I have come to love good tea.

Scott June 15, 2022

I have quit drinking a few times in life. WAS a struggle in my youth. I am on prozac and blood thinners so it is wise to not drink for me. I don't miss the shit feeling the next day but I used to have a hard time stopping at 2 ;-) Beers. I too can relate to the weight loss need despite the gallon of ice cream I bought today. You are probably 30 years or so younger than I am so losing 40 will be easy. Intermittent fasting worked for me. You got your head in a good place now. You are smart and work hard.

Superposition Scott ⋅ June 15, 2022

Alcohol is so weird. I feel like it's pretty common for people to struggle with moderation...in a lot of things, but especially alcohol. I used to have a hard time stopping. From about 20 - 27 I would party hard. Drink to blackout. I thought it was cool. Now days I don't like the drunk feeling. I don't like feeling out of control or sloppy. I pace myself pretty well...get a little buzz going and then ride that wave for a while. I typically get tired before I go overboard, which is one of the nice things about pacing myself. Sometimes, if I'm really getting social and looking to turn up, after 2 or 3 beers I'll just smoke a little cannabis and then I'm done drinking for the rest of the night. 2 -3 beers and a bong rip and I'm just trying not to be too damn high for about the first half hour, and then after that I'm just feeling alright for the rest of the night.

My wife's vice is the sweets. Her and the kids all have a sweet tooth. I've never really liked sugar that much (except I guess in alcohol, but even then I don't like sweet drinks) I'm more of a hot sauce and black coffee kind of guy. I like my vegetables, don't dabble in a whole lot of fruit, some meat here and there, and then a bunch of hot sauce....basically I just eat a lot of Mexican food, haha.

Barbara Bad June 15, 2022

Go you!

I'm in pretty much exactly the same boat. Not bipolar or medicated but literally everything else and I decided to stop drinking yesterday too. I've not even been several weeks the longest I've been without a drink since I lost the baby is 1 day which is bad. I'm going to lose 28lb.

Superposition Barbara Bad ⋅ June 16, 2022

You've got this! I'm already sitting here like, "I think I'm going to drink on Friday when I go get lunch with my friends" eff...I dunno, I'm also reading a book on intrusive thoughts, so maybe I'll squash that one.

And I'm sorry to hear about the baby...that really sucks. My sister lost a child and she has been drinking every day since. Things like that can destroy a person. My heart goes out to you.

gattaca June 16, 2022

one day at a time
That little (very overused) phrase helped get me through meth withdrawal. I went to NA for awhile but didn't like it. So I started going to AA closed meetings and just said I was an alcoholic (my sponsor knew better). I found AA to be a lot more mature - you generally saw folks there who had 20 years or more. I needed that committment.

Superposition gattaca ⋅ June 16, 2022

I went into AA for the first time when I was 20, and it was mostly for drugs...my DOC was whatever you got. But I hated NA so I went to AA...and then ultimately decided, "I'm a drug addict, not an alcoholic" so when I turned 21 I started binge drinking...like you do. Then I ended up having to go in and out of medically supervised detox centers for a while in my 20s while I was...in between homes for a year or so...then I was like, "Okay I get it, I'm an alcoholic!"

But I was also unmedicated and having these vicious psychotic episodes, and didn't realize it. I mean...I knew I was bipolar, I received the diagnosis at a fairly young age...but I didn't BELIEVE I was bipolar. It wasn't until my last hospitalization in 2016...the doctors had me staring down a stack of disability paperwork, and it finally hit me that maybe I don't actually have god powers, and maybe I'm not actually an alien from another planet that was reincarnated into a human body to save humanity (honestly, the jury is still out on that one, but for the first time I entertained it was possibly not true) and so I was like, "Fuck that, I'm not going on disability" and I had to do this state therapy for a year and I actually got on a great meds regiment and then I discovered..."Hey, I'm not even an addict. I'm a guy who's in a lot of pain...like all the time...psychic pain that people can't see...and I've been self medicating."

And that's where I'm at now. Some days I don't need to self medicate, some days I'm good. Other days are a lot worse for me.

I dunno man...Jimmie said it best: "Manic depression's a frustrating mess"

gattaca Superposition ⋅ June 16, 2022

Since Covid - EVERYONE'S mental health has suffered. I don't care how tightly you are bolted together. If you say "same as it ever was", you're lying to yourself.
I see evidence of this everywhere. Tucson stands out for mental health issues for some reason. I've seen shit here that'll turn your hair white.

I had all these plans made for retirement - Covid killed them all. I'm surprised that I didn't get back into a DOC. I was lucky. I'm one of those people who can't tolerate any antidepressants. So I meditate and listen a lot of music and dabble on the keyboard. And I exercise. And walk the dog.

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