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Drunk Broke

December 14, 2010

A few weeks ago I posted about quitting drinking for a while. That was on my 30th day sober.

The lonely sad tanqueray bottle

I didn’t mention it then, but my intent was to stop for 40 days, a good Lenten period. At my new-agey church, they say the number 40 is “a symbol of completion.” Good enough for me.

About day 34, the desire to drink at all left me completely. It just didn’t seem that attractive a proposition. On day 39, I went to my boss’s Christmas party with the open bar, and I was not tempted.

I drank two lovely glasses of club soda with lime. I ended up in the kitchen, comparing cooking notes with the caterer. Never let it be said that I don’t know how to work a room.

On day 40, I had a drink. I almost felt like I had to. The experiment was complete. I fished the gin out from the freezer and poured myself a Tanqueray and tonic with lime. Sipped. It still tasted as wonderful as ever, crisp, refreshing, bubbly, with that juniper snap that seems like Christmas and summertime all rolled into one.

Twenty minutes later I was sitting in my chair in misery. Not emotional misery. I had no problem with myself for taking that drink. I was in physical misery.

People, I think I broke my drunk.

I felt awful, kind of poisoned and heavy. I sat there, almost in disbelief. I did not expect this outsome at all. I may have left the world of alcohol forever without meaning to.

It was like tearing up your library card in a fit of rage and finding out you can never get another library card.

I was really, really ill for quite a few hours. It inspired me to drink again the way a bad burrito will inspire you to go back to that same food truck – which is to say not at all.

So. Here we are. Day 49 if you don’t count the day I drank. Day 9 in AA terms. Whatever. Living in the land of the sober, maybe for good.

  1. December 14, 2010 16:44

    A few years ago I kind of lost my desire to drink, without ever meaning to. I still have a drink once in a very great while, but when I do mostly I regret it and feel better without it. (Please do not tell me this is a sign of old age.)

    • December 14, 2010 16:50

      It keeps getting more and more glamorous, the aging. Yeesh.

  2. December 14, 2010 19:56

    I think that’s awesome. I am really amazed by you

  3. December 15, 2010 07:14

    Isn’t that terrible? When I went about losing some weight a few years ago I nearly cut out drinking all together. That combined with aging makes me a very cheap date.

    In my experience though, I think your drunk is just weak not broke. You cleansed the system then fed it a Mickey D’s Happy Meal which is pretty hard for a clean system to take. Hard liquor at all is rough and gin, at least for me, can make it feel like badgers have eaten my stomach. Try a small glass of wine sometime if you’re in the mood. You’ll probably enjoy it and not feel like you’ve been poisoned.

    Good for you for taking the whole 40 days and really clarifying your relationship to this indulgence!

    • December 15, 2010 07:35

      Love the Happy Meal analogy. I will consider a SMALL glass of wine.

  4. Elaine permalink
    December 15, 2010 10:36

    Dang, I’m so jealous. I wish my drunk would break.

    • December 15, 2010 13:06

      I suggest the 40-day fast as a tool for discovering whether it will or not.

  5. December 15, 2010 12:28

    Does this have anything to do with your acquisition of Ryan Reynolds? ‘Cause I heard a strange rumor.

    • December 15, 2010 13:05

      Can’t hear you. Busy snuggling.

  6. December 19, 2010 10:18

    hmm, Gin (and other hard liquor) almost always does this to me, that’s why I stick to red wine.

    Every once in awhile in the heat of the summer, fully knowing how miserable I’ll be later, I decide to enjoy a cold gin and tonic anyway. French fries have the same result yet I still eat them, though not very often.
    I’m not sure why I continue (even intermittently) doing something that makes me miserable, lol.

    It’s been interesting to read about your experience with this process – thanks for writing about it.

  7. Bruce S. permalink
    December 22, 2010 22:46

    Your writings on each subject are insightful,(hopefully right word), delightful, almost mesmerizing to read. Like a beautiful flower, each one has its own charm. I keep coming back for another peek at the next bloom from your creativity and wit. Thank you.

    • December 24, 2010 14:02

      Aw, Bruce, you are too sweet. Thank you. Coming from you, it means a lot.

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