Life Without Alcohol

Three years ago I stopped drinking alcohol.  I never considered myself a heavy drinker.  I would have 1 maybe 2 drinks 1-2 times a week and mostly on the weekends.  And, although my summer drinking was a little more frequent, I never really felt it was out of control although the genetic predispositions were there.  See, my mother had struggled with alcohol abuse during my teenage years – but after attending her first AA meeting my senior year of high school, she remained sober (with 1 relapse) for the last 35 years of her life. Although alcohol played more of a leading role in my family dynamic growing up, I never really felt the addictive pull of it. 

The night before we were leaving for our winter vacation in December of 2019, my wife and I had attended a holiday party at a close friend’s house.  I remember seeing people that I hadn’t seen in a while and drinking good bourbon. I was having fun.  During the party, I received a call that my son had gotten hurt at his hockey game, and we soon left for the rink. I had never missed one of his games in 13 previous years of hockey.  Not one.  But, on the night that we decided to attend a holiday party rather than watch him play hockey, we were being called back to the rink because Jake got hurt. Maybe one of those signs the universe sends?  Don’t know. 

I left the party a little pissed because I was having fun and had to drive the rink.  Jake got hit on the ice hard and his helmet flew off. After consulting the trainer and Jake on the bench, I knew he didn’t have a concussion and was fine.  He only missed 2 shifts and was back on the ice.  I really was having fun at the party…one of the only times I ever missed a game and now I was not missing a game.  We got home and something stupid triggered me – seeing my wife’s two suitcases she packed for our trip, when everyone else had packed in one.  We got into a fight over the packing and I flipped her suitcase.  And, that was the catalytic event.  I stopped drinking the next day, but thought it was only a temporary decision.  Since then, I have tried maybe 3 times to drink alcohol and I cannot.  I feel like shit, even after 1 sip.  Crazy.

Looking back, I always considered myself a loud, happy drinker, but never really liked the way alcohol made me feel the day after.

Three years removed from my last drink, I realize that at times we are called upon to make changes, changes that are needed but because they come at a price, we do or do not make them. 

For me, the price has been very minor. And, as is usually the case with a positive life adjustment, the results speak for themselves. I can’t tell you how many times I drove home after having 1 or 2 drinks and was nervous about getting pulled over. Or, the pain of having to wake up at 6:30am and play with my kids hungover. I have also rediscovered the true tastiness of Fresca. I will also tell you, that you see things very differently and clear when you are the only sober one at a dinner party, a get together with friends, a trip with your golfing buddies or event where everyone is drinking. I guess that is the minor price I have had to pay, the fun of drinking away some of my inhibitions and blending in with the crowd during those events. 

We have all been called upon to make life adjustments. Whether we know the reason for those adjustments when we make them or the results of those adjustments appear much later, your IGS or Internal Guidance System operates free and clear of your ego, and that is what makes its usage so effective.  Next time you get the inclination to make a two-degree shift, take the direction.  You might be surprised to find out where you end up.

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