Thursday, February 19, 2015


There's a guy at work who is technically my boss, but he's an okay individual. I consider him a friend and at times he vents his frustration about being a department manager and the inane politics that go along with any chain store. Seeing that he was really at the end of his chain, I offered one or two of my beers that was going to come out this weekend.
"I"m sorry, I can't. I'm an alcoholic."
There is no correct response to those words. The very phrase, 'I'm an alcoholic', leaves a lot open to interpretation.
"That's cool," I said while nodding. I was going for acceptance there.
A few of my friends will describe themselves as alcoholics and I think that's a brave thing to admit to others. 
The left side of my brain says that it's all a case of willpower. Alcohol creates a psychological craving. Your body isn't actually dependent on it. A person has to find it within themselves to say no when someone offers them a beer.
The right side of my mind reminds me it's not that clear cut. For whatever is going on in an individual's life, people often seek solace in the numbing effects. Folks often say, 'it makes my problems go away.' That's a little lie we tell ourselves. The problem doesn't go away, the body disconnects, the mind retreats. We leave our cares and the mantle of responsibility, in some cases permanently.
My neighbor down the street couldn't face the fact that her husband passed away. Everywhere she looked, the house, the children, the furniture, reminded her of the man she was in love with.
She basically drank herself into the hospital. 
In what happened to be the greatest act of love and preservation of their sanity, the kids moved out. After the last DUI fueled car crash, the daughter was able to get her mother the help she needed.
Now hitting rock bottom and admitting you need help is often the best thing for you. It helps you  put a guard rail up so you know not to over step those bounds again.
Between a teetotaler and a perpetual wino there has to be a middle ground. By no means am I exempting myself from this examination. I've gone off on some historic drinking binges. Thankfully, I knew enough to not drink and drive. There were times where I blurred that line, but I consider myself lucky in that nothing bad happened. Hopefully I've smartened up some.
An acquaintance asked me if I was an alcoholic since I made my own brews. It's a fair question. The effort I have to put into making the beer doesn't equal what I'd get out of it. Let's do the math.
It takes 6 weeks to make the beer. 42 days. The batch that's coming out totals 46 brews. Spread out, that comes to one beer a day, two on a Saturday. Not enough to fuel a raging chugging contest. The mead is exponentially stronger, but the temptation to finish off my remaining nine bottles is next to nil. I gave most of them away. Remember I started with 24, lost two because of popped corks. I drank two. The other eleven I gave to friends and family.
If I had to put it on one reason that I don't drink heavily is because I consider it a waste of money. Why buy that bottle of wine when your kid needs shoes? I guess I've always prioritized like that. Family first, don't be a drunk.     

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