Dry January



I’m not an alcoholic.  I don’t think.

We don’t much like labels anyways.  There used to only be two categories of alcohol problem: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.  Now, things are less black and white, with varying shades of gray:  alcohol use: classed as mild, moderate, or severe.

My alcohol use isn’t severe. I don’t think.

But, I asked myself the question, which made it worth looking into a little further.  What is ‘moderate usage’ anyways?  Per Canadian guidelines, moderate usage  for women is no more than 2 drinks per day, with a maximum of 10 drinks per week, and for men; no more than 3 per day with a maximum of 15 per week.  However, moderate doesn’t mean typical or normal in this case; nor is it a benchmark to determine addiction; it simply means a guideline under which you ‘should’ be able to avoid the major health risks associated with severe use. 

We won’t label anyone, but the propensity to over-indulge runs in my family. So, maybe I am more squirmy about the possibility of slipping out of control.  Maybe  I’ve personally experienced the tendency for frequent/severe use to spin a mental health condition into a cycle where a few hours of happy haze spins into more severe lows; depressed, anxious, and unproductive, – not to mention – fat.  Maybe my awareness of higher usage contributing to all the aging/illness stuff has increased – from cholesterol, blood pressure, liver issues, increased risk of dementia and heart disease, cancer…to wrinkles, liver spots, and bags under your eyes!  Grosse!

None of this truly concerns me, except that, if I’m honest, my ‘weekend use’ would technically consistently fall beyond the above noted guidelines.  That, and the fact that I’ve always been a bit of a cheap drunk, so after the suggested two drinks, my brain chatter trades off for giddy social chatter, and my impulse control goes for a major shit anyways.  Beyond those drinks, my original plans take a backseat.  Ahhh we just won’t log the next three in MyFitnessPal… That eight hours of GOOD sleep and getting up early wasn’t that important… I’ll trade tomorrow morning’s workout for my killer dance moves tonight – no problem!

It’s probably a combination of all of the above, along with a few less than ideal situations in the past year, and a curiosity… Is this a pleasure or simply a habit now? How might I feel, and what might I do ‘instead’ if I nixed the ol’ captain for awhile…

Dry January is a tradition for some people in different parts of the world, so I started looking into this -on a bit of a late start.- It’s suggested that a dry month has various benefits such as better sleep, improved digestion, weightloss, improved immune function, better looking skin, and reduced bloating. HMM You have my attention… It was also suggested that people who start the year off with a dry month may drink less throughout the rest of the year. (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-make-dry-january-a-year-long-commitment-2018-02-04)

I have been alcohol free for a week.  I have noticed a reduction in bloat, seemingly already improved sleep (though this could also be related to the caffeine in pop that I’m also not drinking), and more or less just that I’m getting a lot more done.

What are your resolutions? Any similar experiences? how is 2019 so far?!







Weekend Trip

I’ve often said about my travelling to the Sunny South that there is something about being away from home that changes your mood or outlook and how something just feels and flows differently.

Recently I went out of town overnight, and realized that this phenomenon can exist without a plane or a different country.  Maybe it’s because the daily grind doesn’t exist; no work, and a flexible (if any) schedule – I just tend to “let myself off the hook”- Social media posts, replying to calls or texts: if and when I feel like it… everyone knows I am away anyways.

While away, we attended a buck and doe and enjoyed a few beverages – to the point of my mom riding a mechanical bull!  We got back to our hotel, and mixed another round of drinks.  My mom headed for the room around 2:30am.  I sat there looking at my friend, feeling totally chilled out (Wisers deluxe may have played a role)- and announced:  “I’m not ready for bed yet.” And then… While glancing at the outdoor pool enclosure:   “…That’s a short fence…”

Within minutes, the plan was in place.  I moved a Muskoka chair up close to the other side of the fence… (Easier to climb into the chair!) I announced I was going to get my suit, because getting caught and possibly tossed out of the hotel was a risk I was willing to take; doing so naked; was not.  As I “snuck” into the hotel to change, my mom stirred and opened her eyes.  I held my breath. I was going to get stopped. Or…. At least… delayed.  “What are you doing?” she asked.  I hesitated. I considered lying… then I just laughed and whispered “we’re sneaking into the pool.”  Her hand came out from the blankets and slaps me a high five.  Yep. That’s my mom.  I also suggested if she was going to sleep she should take off her glasses.

Off we went.  We neatly stacked our towels on the table.  We then had a pre-game pep talk:  “Ok. So. Hop/climb there…Yep.  We have to move the solar blanket.. K… No splashing. And NO giggling.” (We’re hardened criminals not school children right?!) ok BREAK!

I ran and grabbed the top of the fence, then my foot, and landed easily in the chair.  We did giggle… We peeled back the solar blanket and slipped into the pool.  It was heavenly! I’ve heard that “the thrill of possibly getting caught makes it better” – I didn’t know they meant 3:00AM swimming.  We stayed in for a few minutes, swimming, in the rain, then snuck back out, replaced the cover and hopped back over the fence… And couldn’t wait to brag at breakfast.

Drunk Dial Victim

I struggled a little to figure out how to start this story as I feel a certain responsibility in this case to protect the identity of those (him?) involved.  It was suggested to me that I should just tell the story and allow the truth publicized to be consequence… But I just can’t do it… So where it seems I am being evasive- it’s only to protect a certain level of anonymity.

Recently I ran into a former acquaintance.  He worked at a business where I frequented and helped me out a number of times.  We did become friends, however, not the type that call each other or spend time visiting without purpose.  We had lost touch about a year ago and I had not seen or heard from him until last weekend.  He has been with “the Girlfriend” for a number of years, but even when I first met him (probably six years back) it always seemed that their relationship was rocky, they were fighting, she was jealous, he was unhappy… I never really questioned or voiced opinion, it just never seemed to be positive, and on the one occasion where we did need to square up some business outside of regular working hours, she made it quite obvious this was an unwelcome intrusion, and I might be a potential threat. It may be worth noting at this point I am not completely positive as I have never asked, but my educated guess would put both of these people minimally at being ten years my seniors, common-law, and at least content to be together for convenience- this “vibe” I immediately got from her seemed childish.  Thus, while I don’t know her well, or have a personal issue with her, upon realizing she was with him on this occasion, I didn’t wish to extend the visit any longer than basic pleasantries for fear of not only my own discomfort, but also his on the drive home.

Later that afternoon, curiosity got the best of me and I sent him a text message asking him if he won at the Casino. He called me.  He apologized for losing touch and told me he had lost my number, and had been dealing with a lot.  He said he had wanted to talk to me.  I brushed it off as no big deal, and told him I hoped I hadn’t come off short earlier but that I just didn’t want things to be uncomfortable as I know “Missy” (name changed.*) can be rather possessive.  “I know.. I know… I know.” He says. Then becomes what I can only describe as cryptic.  “So, yeah, there’s a lot I would like to sit down and discuss with you, and I’ll call you tomorrow from a different number. See ya.”

Tomorrow came and went and probably a few more tomorrows before I even considered that he had never called back.  Until Friday.  I had gone out to see a band and another friend.  It was probably 11:30 the first time my phone rang.  It was loud, and naturally he asked where I was. I told him.  He said he might be coming into town.  I’m wondering if he is bored, or newly single and lonely, or all of the above and I basically tell him to let me know as I might be up for meeting for a drink or a tea. I hang up.  A couple of texts, a couple more calls which I miss because I’m still in a bar and trying to socialize… It’s loud, I’m not paying a lot of attention: I can say a number of things here to excuse my ignorance but at any rate, it’s not until the third time, I run outside, and answer, and it occurs to me:  He’s totally loaded.

I’ve dated, I’ve related, but honestly I don’t have a lot of experience with the drunk dial. I don’t think I’ve ever done it to anyone, and the only recollection I have of it being done to me was hearing the idiotic voicemails the next morning because I didn’t get the call!  Dealing with this is… a new challenge.  I tell him I’m going home, and not to come looking for me, and not to drive.  He tells me three times how much he wants to talk to me, and how much he wants to see me.  I tell him I have to hang up because I’m about to drive.  He asks me what’s going on with me and if I’m “still single.” I try logic (ha which you’re already laughing as you know that doesn’t work.): “You’re hammered and you should hang up, you’re going to regret this conversation in the morning.” “Oh. Uhm. What?! You don’t want to talk to me?”  At this point I decide short, clear, non confrontational words are best: “Call me sober.”  It works! “Ok. Bye.” Click.

… Elapsed time: 4 seconds.  Phone ringing. Should have known that was too easy.  I ignore. I ignore again. I ignore again. I get a text “hey?” I ignore. “Hey! I wanna talk to you.”  I reply: “text me sober. Go to bed.”  “Ok thanks.. Your a very pretty girl 🙂 …” (The funny part here is so far out of everything that has happened the most annoying part for me is the mis-spelling of YOU’RE, but that’s a whole other post.) Next message:  “xoxoxo”  I ignore.  Next message: “Hey…..!” and two more phone calls. Sigh. I write: “Thanks, I’m going to bed. Goodnight.” “Ok sorry…” “You do the same.” …….. “I will…Love you…:o”   OH MY GOD.   I must respond, or be forced to deal with an infinite number of “Sorry” and “hey” messages until I’m lucky enough that he passes out… or turn off my phone and know my voice-mail will be full in the morning. I reply:  “Dude. Go to bed. You’re hammered.”

About five minutes goes by. The phone rings again. FFS. I let it go to voice-mail, where he leaves the most nonchalant message telling me “I’ll be at my buddies place around 9, call me.” Please let that be the end…..   Thankfully it is.

The next morning….

I see his name on my phone, and I make a point of laughing as I answer the phone and say in an intentionally way too cheerful voice “Heeeeeeeyyyyyy, how ya feeling champ?!” I mean, I don’t have to be himey, he’s already handling the consequences with a wicked hang over, feeling totally mortified… and is calling to  apologize profusely for making a royal A$$ of himself. Right? A few groans, and “not so great.” And…  The words I’m expecting don’t come.  In their place, the following:  “I left my phone on the counter, and Missy saw it.”

… That’s it?  REALLY!?!?!?  Really.  At least I don’t have to be concerned about her reading into anything in my responses… #maybethealcoholwasnottheproblem#