For over two years now, I have been what you may describe as a “teetotaler.”
During that period, I have discovered that I have genuinely lost all desire to ever again become drunk.
That is, however, not to say that I wish never again to drink. In fact, I have recently found that I miss alcohol dearly, for some pretty good (I think) reasons.
First, the lack of alcohol in my life has had a negative impact on my social activities. Before you assess that statement as a symptom of an alcoholic, allow me a short digression:
During the past two years, I have encountered on many a day establishments, particularly local bars, taverns, hole-in-the-wall eateries, etc, that I have desired to visit. My choice to abstain from drinking never prevented me from entering these places, but it did shorten most of the visits. After all, I can only graze for so long before I’ll begin to balloon into some sort of caricature of Governor Christie; a consequence I wish to avoid more than any associated with alcohol.
I imagine that I have matured to the degree that I may now be able to prolong a drink sufficiently to fully appreciate my environment, and the social scene within it.
Second, I miss greatly the art of drinking. There is something intriguing about being able to distinguish and appreciate an India Pale Ale from, say, a Hefeweizen; a Pinot Noir from a Shiraz. Knowledge of alcohol appeals to my very core. I am a guy that once subscribed to Wine Spectator and, with a friend, during college, kept a long running review of beer varieties.
And, of course, none of this is to overlook the fundamental fact that I enjoy the taste of many alcoholic drinks – the above-mentioned I.P.A. being a personal favorite.
Finally, I long for the positive effects that alcohol has on my writing. I am unsure if alcohol produced better quality of writing, but I am certain that I enjoyed writing more while drinking. And the link between alcohol and authoring is long and distinguished (see Hemingway and Thompson…)
I began abstaining from drinking two years ago, about the same time as I relocated to Washington, D.C. That was certainly a transitional period in my life.
I am now about to transition again – from Washington, D.C. to historic Fredericksburg, Virginia. While doing so, I think I will allow alcohol, in moderation, to reenter my life.
I look forward to moving to Fredericksburg and socially embedding myself in the community in ways that I have not in D.C. I would like to have a regular watering hole, and friendly ties with those that frequent it. I look forward to making the most of Happy Hour networking.
All of this may be written as if from the mind of a true alcoholic. You are a better judge than I. As this outlook’s owner, I may be in the worst position to assess. (Needless to say, it seems reasonable to me.)
The bottom line is that I am financially stable in such a way that I should be really enjoying life. And perhaps I have not been doing so as much as I have let on. But I intend to change that ... in responsible, moderate ways.