Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spin Awhile

It has been a long time since I have written, but I have been busy.  Very cliché, I know, but check it out.  I will give you the gist of it. 
First of all, I am still sober.  Although, I feel weird saying that because the drinking is still a non issue for me.  I haven’t had a single urge.  On the contrary, the further I move into my sobriety the more I am reminded of why I don’t drink anymore. I see alcohol in action. 

I am working in the food and beverage industry, again.  If you had suggested to me a couple of years ago that I would be waiting tables again, I would have scoffed at you and completely denied the possibility.  I was done working in the industry that almost killed me.

A couple of (sober) years later, and my viewpoint is very different than the one I had only a few months into my recovery.  It is very possible to work in the restaurant business without drinking.  Actually, it is more common than I realized when I was fucked up and thought everyone drank as much as me.  All of my friends did, I thought.

Granted I completely changed my surroundings, and I did so without even having to move to a different city.  There is no point of trying to run from alcohol.  America is booze.  America is a drinking culture.  Watch Ken Burns’ Prohibition to get the whole picture.  I didn’t go back to working in a dirty college bar, but to one of the top ranked restaurants in the country.  On top of that, I took and passed the Intro level of Guild of Master Sommeliers Course without taking a sip of wine.

My health has vastly improved, as well.  Early on, the doctors believed that even if I lived through the end of 2011, I would never walk again.  This summer I went on my first run in years –only 1.5 miles – and hiked the Arthur Ravenel Bridge for the first time since before it opened.  I took a lot of great pictures and thought about how drinking kept me from doing things like that.

Unfortunately, I am at a loss when it comes to those around me that still drink the way I did.  They visited me in the hospital.  They saw someone who didn’t even resemble me.  Every doctor I have spoken to about my case is sure to tell me that it is quite rare that someone in my condition makes it out alive.  Someone very close to me passed away last fall.  I know that he drank as much as I did. 

It’s just that no one wants to believe that they are any worse off than the next person.  The only problem with that idea is that the only people worse off are dead.  That is the only barometer.  There are no pain receptors in your liver.  It is shredded and scarred and mangled before there are any symptoms. 

When your body finally collapses due to liver failure there is no going back.  The scarring never goes away.  And when and if you wake in the hospital the doctors will tell you that you don’t have much time left, unless you are very, very lucky.  Like me. 
And you never drink, again.
Like me.

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