Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why I Don't Drink

No, I don't think alcohol in and of itself is bad. So relax. This isn't a a holier than thou blog post.

My dad has been sober for 30 years or so, and I am so proud of him for that.

I didn't purposefully decide, because of my dad's disease, to shun alcohol. Even though I knew that genetically I might be predisposed to a life of addiction.

Throughout my life, I have noticed that I do get addicted to things easily. The hardest one to overcome so far has been, don't laugh, Diet Coke. GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY, that stuff is LETHAL!! I must have tried to quit drinking it 40 times if not 400. But every time I would get this false sense of self-control, and think that I could have just one. I'd think of my friends who live by the motto, "Everything in moderation." If they could do it, why couldn't I? I'll tell you why: There's no such thing as moderation for those who are prone to addiction.

I honestly don't think I would have EVER been able to kick the D.C. habit, had it not been for the blessing of Aspartame poisoning. It caused temporary paralysis on one side of my face, which I didn't link to the Diet Coke, until it happened a second time after a weekend of drinking NOTHING BUT the low calorie beverage. Anyway, it scared me so badly, that I haven't had a drop ever since, and that was three years ago!

Now you'd think I would have automatically deducted that alcohol would be something I personally needed to stay away from, but this was not so.

I remember one time when my sister and I were living together in our early twenties, and she was out of town. I had the thought, It's Friday night, you're all alone with nothing to do and no one to do it with ... why not go to the store and buy a wine cooler? So I did. And I enjoyed it so much, that I did the same thing the next night. When the third night rolled around, and I found myself not only longing for it again, but planning on how I would buy a four-pack instead of just one, I stopped with purse in hand and considered what was happening to me. Did I want to be controlled by this substance? I'd seen what it had done to my dad and our family, so why would I even be willing to risk it? I decided I wouldn't.

Fast forward a few years, and I'm engaged and on vacation with my fiance and his family. One day his folks decide to take the two of us to the Palm Springs Ritz Carlton for lunch.  I KNOW!!  So we go, and I'm offered wine. I accept, because not only am I "safe" with my soon-to-be family, but HELLO??? It's the Ritz Freaking Carlton!!

As soon as I had the first sip, I knew it was a mistake. And yet, when I was offered a second glass, I couldn't seem to refuse. I honestly don't remember if a third glass was involved, but I do remember realizing a few things that day. 

First of all, I'm a light weight. Half a glass would have been PLENTY. 

Secondly, I am extremely chatty after consuming alcohol. My companions were very gracious, but heavens to Betsy I must have been obnoxious if even I knew I was talking and laughing too much!!

Lastly, all I want to do after drinking is SLEEP. Now to be fair, that's all I want to do when I DON'T drink, but that day I found that the desire is definitely more intense after two - three glasses of wine. After lunch, my future husband and his parents wanted to drive around Palm Desert and take in the sights, which sounded like a GREAT idea. Sadly, I ended up passed out in the back seat the whole time. Charming, no?


Sometimes I wish I could handle just a little, but for whatever reason, this is my cross to bear. We all have them, and we can either choose to deny ourselves or live a life that is less than God's best for us.

I've decided that I want His best, and for ME, that means no alcohol.

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