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Five years without alcohol

Sunday 6/20/21 12:01 AM

Today marks 1820 days, or 260 weeks, or five years, without a single drop of alcohol.


For years, I abused alcohol. Upwards of twenty units--or more--per day. I did not become inebriated, because I could put away prodigious amounts. I never made a decision that was alcohol-informed, but I did things to my body, and with my stress, and what I deal with, I could not continue to drink anywhere near as much as I did and not have a heart attack, or simply not live as long as I need to in order to overcome all that is against me, or, put more rosily, enjoy--which is not strong enough a word--a long life after having overcome all that was against me.


I've noticed that giving up alcohol has made some people hate me more. It ties in to the whole package. The idea of, "this guy creates seventeen works of art a week, and he knows everything about everything, and he just walked twenty miles and ran thousands of stairs before I got my ass out of bed, and he doesn't drink, and he is a good person of great character, and he faces it all, on his own, with a courage and strength I can never imagine having."


It can be freeing when you finally let yourself accept that the people who ought to care about you the most, do not at all, and are very bad people. It's easier to start moving forward from a place of searing pain, than it is a place of trying to make allowance and excuse. And that, too, I've done sans the drink.


I don't have any friends, any companionship, I don't have family, I don't have anywhere to go, anything to look forward to. So drinking was something I did. Like an activity. Already I had all kinds of health problems with my heart. Even though I was walking thousands of miles per year. The alcohol was still having a huge effect. That's the nature of alcohol. Nothing you do can really overcome its effects. Catches up to you and it takes you down. In excess, that is. And I drank well past excess. I had even given myself an irregular heartbeat.


I had always planned to give it up, and I knew I could and would, but there I was drinking so much. Every single day. And some days it would start earlier and earlier, especially with everything that was happening to me. I might drink for ten, twelve straight hours.


Then one Saturday I said to myself, "Okay, drink whatever you want, however much of it you want, until 11:59. Because a minute later marks the start of a new week. And you put this behind you. Because if you don't, you won't beat these people. You will not get to where we must get to. And you will not enjoy your life after you get there, because it won't last as long as you deserve it to last after all of this hate, abuse, torture, hell. You're here to change this world, not die before that happens."


The clock struck midnight, and I gave up alcohol. Completely. Cold turkey. There was no meeting. There was no sponsor. There was no attention-whoring Facebook post. No whingy, cringy piece that I see so many charlatan hack writers cough up because they haven't guzzled white wine for two weeks for brown-nosing Woke points among the Weak. There was balls, spirit, will, determination, character.


Within mere days, I noticed changes. It happened that quickly. My face started to thin out. I've always looked a lot younger than I am, but I began to look younger still. I got into having this streak of mine, curating it, and adding to my streak. I kept fastidious track of it, though I think I may have miscounted by two or three weeks somewhere along the line, because I could have sworn I stopped drinking in May 2016, not June 2016. But even if that was true, I made myself earn it, didn't give myself credit for five years until now, so what if it's actually more than five years.


I've had nobody, no kindness, plenty of abuse, discrimination, hate from all corners--so-called friends, family, and, of course, this evil, twisted, rancid, sick industry of publishing, which I will take down, and help to replace with something better. That's part of what I'm here for. And I'd never be able to even give myself a chance to do that if I kept drinking. So really it was for my art, for what I create, what I believe it can do in this world, for this world, and because it and I are what the world needs more than it has ever needed anything else. And I believe that as well.


One will note that I've never used the word "sober" in these pages, as in, "today marks such and such amount of weeks being sober." Because I was not drunk. I could drink staggering amounts and not become inebriated. But that is still doing what it does to your heart and liver.


Further, I wanted everyone to know that you will never, in hockey terms, catch me with my head down. I will never have a faltering moment. There will never be a moment when my mind is off at all, or anyone can make any charge that it was, or I said something because of stimulant. No one can say that I laid them out on this page, that I "attacked" them, because I was drinking. No. It will always be because I had the evidence of their corruption, their discrimination, their bigotry, their incompetence, their envy, and with limpid eye and mind, I laid it out. Me. This person who is all about cognition. I am always ready. For everyone. For anything. To do what I need to do. I will be stronger, I will be smarter, I will be better with the words, and I will always be ready to go. What I have to do with some people might drive them to drink. Might drive them to drink to excess. Ironically. But not I.


I went to bars alone on a Sunday and read. I drank cranberry juice and water. There is a bottle of Laphroaig whisky not ten feet from my head. I could be someone who takes the nightly dram of whisky or has the cold beer on the roof in July, but that would encroach upon my peace of mind that I have with this one thing. Not drinking at all helps me think about my health a certain way, and that's important for this journey of mine. Not drinking is one thing I can control right now, in a life when it so often feels like I am pinned to a table, gang-raped, tortured, dissected alive by the worst people there has ever been. This is another way I'm stronger than they are. And it's another factor--even if it's a small one--in how I'm ultimately going to beat them, and hold every last one of them accountable. It's just one small part of me being more of a force of nature than a force of nature.


So there we are. Five years. Good job.