Good Morning Children of Jocularity,
I had a restful evening for a change. Sobriety has convinced me I’ve been living in a “cotton box;” nets poised to drop. Drunken perceptions aside, sobriety also reveals ones level of inner strength. To quit smoking was a ‘walk in the park’ compared to being a drunk voluntarily walking away from the bar. Not only is the drug (#1 best friend) legal, it serves us well by delivering a few hours of self-medicated bliss. Further, our government has provided places in which this legal separation from our senses is facilitated by bartenders and juke boxes! It’s not just the drug that makes it tough, it’s the social interchange! Think about it, there’s always a ready audience for our respective ‘B’ sides found nowhere else! This of course adds to the degree of difficulty. It would be far cheaper to buy a bottle as opposed to visiting a bar but in my search for ‘kindred spirits’ I rarely drink alone. My propensity for like minded curmudgeon-ism offers little room for questioning my outrageous behavior so most times it’s tolerated or worse; emulated. Self examination is oft times like my conversations with the bathroom mirror telling me I’m not fat. This daily affirmation makes it easy for the party to continue. Self-exams require objectivity, and suspect it’s in short supply at most establishments. So be careful with your sessions in the mirror; sobriety will viciously rip away the ‘beer goggles’ and gut you with the truth.
To put this in perspective, if not for my liver being highly distressed I’d still be pounding Vodka Tonics. You may think otherwise, but my reasoning for posting this epistle is actually pure. I’m not going to admonish or preach to the two or three of you reading this silent fart, rather I want to explain just how difficult it is to walk away from not only the drug but the environment as well. Whatever reasoning that descends causing you to turn your back on the demon alcohol, you must be prepared to deal with these two individual forces that will entice and weaken your resolve. Since most of my recreational time is divided between the bar, studio, and/or golf course; all self-indulgent behavior, makes me uniquely qualified to comment. While people differ widely in how alcohol affects their interaction with others, the common denominator is the need for social interplay. You can deny this all you want, but the need to be stomached (in my case) is equal to if not stronger than the need to self-medicate.
The pleasure we derive at being surrounded by others of like-mind particularly at a bar is largely founded on the consumption of adult beverages. We go there to drink. Over the last decade, I’ve enjoyed myself as either the source or recipient of anecdotal stories or jokes I thought amusing. The buzz derived from drinking seems to link everyone to a wavelength that enhances the experience. To get a good sense of what I’m saying, I challenge you to visit your favorite establishment stone-cold sober and join in on a conversation with your peers who’ve obviously had a head start and see how zany you think they are.
I enjoy laughing. Laughter is fundamental to most of us and proven to be integral to our mental and physical well being. Without consuming the magic elixir a good joke brings a dis-connect takes place and many of those things I perceived as humorous are now mildly amusing at best! It’s not that these things aren’t still considered farcical, it’s just that I’m no longer plugged into the shared wavelength that so easily induced a guffaw. I’ve had people comment at my adopted drinking establishment, that they liked me a whole lot better when I drank. I’m sure these independent observations are true, and sometimes I fear I may never laugh again but cling to the hope it’ll get better!
I believe there’s a transition period one must suffer through that eventually allows the B-side of our personalities to come through without the lubricant of elixir. A cherished friend of mine observed, “zuki you’ve not yet celebrated your sobriety because you’re still grieving the loss.” Can I have an AMEN?