Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thoughts On My First "30"

The so-called "nightcap." When did this occasional indulgence become a nightly necessity? Nor was it, any longer, a Teutonic single glass accompanying a light supper. I was enjoying too much, too often. When the contemplation of thirty days without seemed too much to bear, it was clearly time to stop mulling it over and just do it.

"If you don't moderate you have to quit, and that's the sad story" - Jim Harrison

Some observations at the end of my sojourn:

Energy levels -- whipsawed crazily for the first week-and-a-bit, before levelling out to something more robust than what I'd experienced in quite a while (late 30s, early 40s, I'd say). My workout routine gradually surged back to what I was doing nine years ago.

Sleep -- the quality of it definitely improved -- when I was, in fact, sleeping. My insomniac tendencies, however, did not change in the slightest, except that now when I lay awake I was no longer beating myself up for having imbibed.

Weight -- something else that didn't change in the slightest. This was a surprise and a disappointment. Leading up to the 30 I would have, without hesitation, identified the bulk of my "empty calories" as alcohol. And, of course, alcohol also messes with the body's metabolism. During the 30, my eating habits were what they'd always been. What with my workout surge, you could argue that I've probably regained some muscle, which weighs more than fat. And sure, the shirts have indeed become a little tighter in the shoulders -- but alas, the pants are no looser.

My face looks a little leaner, though -- the encroaching jowls retreated somewhat.

Productivity levels -- shot up, almost immediately, especially in writing. This was the most pleasant surprise.

The "Witching Hour" -- will always be the Witching Hour, usually from 4:30 to 6:30 ("Cinq à Sept" the French call it). As you get closer to the Witching Hour's conclusion the fraught and freighted early minutes of its onset look increasingly absurd. But you will feel it all over again, just as acutely, next week Friday at the exact same time.

Related: social dos. The early moments of a nephew's wedding celebration were a little touch-and-go. But again, the absurdity of the anxiety did eventually sink in.

Final thoughts: I will certainly do this again. In fact, I can even envision a six-month break, something that would have seemed unimaginable two months ago. Mind you, I write this in the morning, and not at 5:30 on a Friday evening.

Regardless, I intend to do this again in March, 2016. Screw "Dryuary" -- I'm talkin' "Parch"!


Tom said...

let's all raise our glasses for a toast to sobriety!

Too soon? Yeah, it felt too soon.

Darrell Reimer said...

Quite the contrary. Last Friday would have been too soon, though.

Mary Strachan Scriver said...

One of the little discoveries of my genealogical spelunking has been alcoholics on both sides of my family -- both triggered by serving in the Philippine War. This was great-uncles. On one side the person was simply erased from the family. On the other it triggered devotion to WCTU. The next generation simply didn't drink.

Now my brother has become dependent on beer. My cousin's son began to drink aged 7 and is now on disability from bipolar, drugs and cutting. My mother's doctor told her to take a drink at bedtime.

I have pretty much not been a drinker because I resent the money loss. I'd rather buy a book, I joke. But also intimate members of the family have when angry predicted that I'd be a sodden old drunk. At 76 I sort of wonder whether it wouldn't be pleasant to drink a bit, but I'm very solitary and that's supposed to be bad.

I wonder what I'm substituting for drinking. Twitter?

Prairie Mary

Darrell Reimer said...

I have a Great Grandfather -- the son of a preacher man -- who was a legendary drunk. Owned the town pool hall, barbered (in the morning -- nobody would dare sit in his chair in the afternoon, because he'd be into his cups by then). His drunken behaviour alternated from pathetic to horribly cruel. He is the spectre that looms over the pleasure drink affords. Not a bad thing, really.