Thursday, February 24, 2011

How's sobriety treating you?

Eleven days ago, I decided I was going to quit drinking, cold turkey. I have succeeded so far, and I wouldn't say it's been particularly difficult, although last night I had a dream I "accidentally" drank almost an entire bottle of white wine; in the dream, I drank the wine, then remembered I had said I wasn't going to drink anymore.

I'm doing this because over the past several months, my body is not processing or metabolizing alcohol properly. I have a doctor's appointment next week to talk about it, but in the meantime I think the safest move is to make 0 my limit, as opposed to 1 or 2, which I think is harder to maintain in practice.

Quitting has been easy and hard, in waves. On one hand, there are very salient benefits to not drinking. I spend less money, can drive to where I'm going, and feel better at the end of the night (and certainly the next day). I also think I'm a better conversationalist, better company, and less likely to do or say something regrettable. On the other hand, it's a little weird to sip Earl Grey tea while everyone else is passing around a bottle of red wine. Friends know me to be a drinker, so they want to know why I'm not imbibing, and then I feel the need to be honest and explain. And, really, part of me wants some of that damn wine.

Am I an alcoholic? I don't think so. I just think that lately it seems that I get drunker off fewer drinks, for longer, and to greater consequence (like memory loss). It could be age, or it could be something else. Hence the doctor's appointment!

Going out and drinking is a large, large piece of the social MBA experience. Even the school hosts a weekly happy hour with beer and wine every Thursday. And at my recent visit to Steinway & Sons, the reception had appetizers and wine -- no soft drinks, or even water. So I just ate and was thirsty. These are the kinds of things one doesn't really notice when one drinks alcohol.

So we'll see how it goes. I think until I talk to a doctor, this is the safest move.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo! I am not sure if you are aware, but I am doing the equivalent over here - but with my fast food. I figure if John is going to go cold turkey, I'll do the same. Not without its temptation as you know, but for the best! Good luck at your appointment and congrats on Spring Break!