I got a ton of responses to my last post from friends over the past 24 hours. Nearly all of them were positive and encouraging, which is exactly what I’d expect from my crew. A few expressed concern and offered suggestions, but most simply said “good call, you have my support” in one form or another.
Thanks to everyone who sent me notes on Facebook, texts, and emails. I truly appreciate it, and apologize if I haven’t gotten back to you directly.
I’ve been thinking about this for months – it was not a snap decision. I started thinking about it in earnest when I turned 40 for a number of reasons but kept putting it off because there was always another event on the horizon where I’d want to be able to have a beer or two. Well, I realized that there was never going to be a “good time” for this.
So here are the reasons why I’m doing this:
- I want my son to have the same good example my father provided me with respect to alcohol. I started drinking in college. Prior to college, I was not a drinker. My nuclear family was not a drinking family. I was the misfit, the black sheep in the family.
- It’s been nearly 20 years since I graduated from college. While I haven’t been a daily drinker for 20 years, I don’t think there’s been more than a week at a time when I didn’t have a drink.
- My weight has been an issue for me for years and despite diet and exercise I’m not making as much progress on my weight loss goals as I’d like.
- Over the years, I’ve watched the results of routine blood work come back progressively worse than before. My blood sugar is up as are my triglycerides and my cholesterol is up as well. There has been a marked change in these items over the last year and a half and it hasn’t been a good one.
They say things happen when you hit 40 and their right. You’re not old, but you’re not really young any longer. You begin to face your own mortality more directly.
The first day without booze was predictably not easy. As usual, right at the end of the day I got hit with a situation at work that will be difficult. When I hung up with phone with my manager, my first thought was to pour a drink. I opted to make myself some Tension Tamer tea instead.
I ended up with a migraine last night, and can’t say that it was triggered by not having alcohol but I wouldn’t rule it out. I took some medicine, put Mr. Grey to bed and went to bed (my own bed) myself at about 8:00 PM.
Not surprisingly, I feel better this morning than I have most mornings in recent memory. While I hardly ever really felt hungover, I sense that I probably wasn’t completely self-aware in that respect.