Now, amidst a great drum roll of melodramatic anticipation, I will provide the Blogosphere with the status update "everyone" is waiting eagerly to hear. How did my alcohol moderation process go last weekend?:)
In actuality I am sure you all have something better to do that to read about this. You are likely, too, tired of my/our going on and on about this process over the last couple of months. I am going to post this here though by way of documenting this step in our process. I know it is helpful for me, as I progress, to be able to look back at how I felt, thought, and behaved at earlier steps in the process. I am sure, going forward, I will benefit from looking back on this phase as well. Please feel free to disregard this and move on to read of far more sensual/erotic power exchange dynamics elsewhere.
The great "moderation experiment" was mostly a non-event and unremarkable. As 5:00 PM chimed Friday evening, the beginning of "the bar is open" period found me, for the most part, unimpressed and rather disinterested in drinking. In fact I found my internal monologue involved questioning if I wanted to drink at all. After all, I felt great and had come to enjoy the herbal tea I am drinking most evenings. Why did I want to risk "messing that up?" That lasted until about 7:15. We were eating some very Mexican cuisine-like jalapeno black bean burgers and salsa..........yum. It occurred to me how good tequila would be with these, and further that, if I chose to, I could drink some. I love 1800 Reposado tequila. I poured myself a shot on the rocks. I was pleased with how good it was, but amazed at how alcoholically strong it tasted as well. I sipped it very slowly making that one drink last an hour and a quarter, exceptionally much slower consumption than would previously have been my norm. If there was any effect, other than enjoying the flavor, it was mild. I might have, by the end, had a slightly pleasant sort of warm feeling. The rest of the evening I tried out several different after dinner types of drinks. First Courvoisier, which I usually find very pleasant. I didn't enjoy it and after a couple of sips I poured it out. I then tried some of our Don Pedro brandy which I enjoyed. Eventually I tried some of the bourbon I'd purchased just prior to my beginning my abstinence period. I really didn't like it. I resolved that I needed to buy some whisky I actually enjoyed. As I went to bed Friday night I was perhaps nicely relaxed and warm. I didn't feel or act "buzzed," let alone drunk. I was quite frankly amazed at how anti-climactic my return to drinking was. I'd expected that at 5:00 that evening I would have made an "Oklahoma Land Rush-Like" sprint to have a drink after almost 32 days of abstinence, and that I might have struggled to not drink too much too quickly. My experience was exactly opposite to that. This wasn't a result of some sort of great exertion of control to "limit" myself or to resist some urge to binge. It was simply how I felt like drinking and quite frankly it was essentially not a "big deal."
Saturday dawned and swan and I slept in. I had slept the night before without the aid of the usual hand full of over the counter sleep medications, in conjunction with my one prescription sleep med, which I have been using to try to overcome the insomnia I've struggled with since my abstinence began. I really slept well. On the other hand, I awakened not feeling as fresh and refreshed as I had become accustomed to feeling the last week or so. I wasn't like horribly hung over or anything that extreme, but I could tell a distinct difference in how I felt. I didn't feel better.
I didn't drink until about 9:30 that night. swan and I had a busy day with sports, and walking, and things we needed to get done. We went down to our favorite liquor mega-store in Kentucky at about 8:15 and I bought a bottle of Tullamore Dew, a favorite Irish whisky of mine. I had some Pinot Noir with dinner (pizza). I found this wine disappointing. After dinner there was peppermint schnapps to help my stomach settle as well as for enjoyment. We sat up listening to music and I drank whisky and water. swan fell asleep. By the time she'd awakened I'd had enough whisky that I had apparently (I don't really recall) "tipped over." She called attention to this fact which made me angry and the rest of our night was not pleasant. Nor was it lengthy. I hadn't I don't think, had a lot to drink, but obviously it was too much way too quickly. The research about the rapidity of roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients rapid elevation of blood alcohol levels was certainly born out. I had not in anyway decided to become inebriated, but I was. I had not intended to be unpleasant or angry, but I was.
I awakened Sunday not feeling the best, but better than I had Saturday morning. It was a day that was spent in part watching disastrous Cincinnati sports. The Bengals (football team) made serious strategy errors in the final minutes of a game to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory losing to a team they should have beaten easily. That evening the Reds completed the humiliating collapse they had throughout their play-off competition. Mercifully they were eliminated after this their third loss. We won't have to watch them being destroyed in a level of competition they are in no way ready to accommodate. They have much to build on next year.
Late morning early afternoon Sunday swan had to go to school for a speaking engagement to potential donors to her school. While she was away watching pre-game sports coverage, I had a couple of bloody Mary's which I really enjoyed. I wasn't particularly buzzed. Technically that violates our plan as we originally conceived it, but I also don't see that on an early Sunday afternoon as being an 'out of control" behavior
That night, at my request, we bar-b-qued pork tenderloin. It was good and it seems to be the meat my post surgical g. i. system finds most tolerable. I had a couple glasses of Merlot before dinner, while grilling, which I found delicious. I had one more glass with dinner. I really enjoyed the wine. This Merlot was much better than the Pinot Noir I had Saturday night. I was impressed how enjoyable the wine was and how relatively non-intoxicating it felt to me. I had some peppermint schnapps and a glass of spiced rum on the rocks the rest of the evening. I enjoyed how I felt, and we both commented on how "in control" I was as the evening ended.
All in all, with the exception of late Saturday evening, my/our experience was "remarkably unremarkable." Saturday night did illustrate I am still subject to reaching a point of loss of control emotionally. Once again I failed to be able to appreciate when the "tipping point" approaches, and once I am over the cliff I have no real emotional control until I am sober again. I was pretty unpleasant that night and I am fortunate swan didn't decide to punish me for my behavior.
The rest of the weekend my consumption was surprisingly moderate, generally enjoyable, and uneventful. It was much less dramatic than I'd imagined it might be. In general my life, last weekend while drinking, was not very much different than when I was abstaining from drinking, other than I felt I had the freedom to do as I pleased.
Feeling restricted from doing something I very much desire and enjoy (even if that is a self-restriction) still makes me unhappy and prone to resentment.
Yesterday (Monday) I abstained from drinking. I had to do some talking to myself last night. I really wanted some bloody Mary's and pretzels early on. I did eventually have three mock bloody Mary's and pretzels before dinner. We had chicken and rice casserole. I would have really loved a glass of chardonnay with it. I went without. After dinner I really wanted a glass of the spiced rum like I'd had the night before. I was having to talk to myself some more. I was hearing in my head that I'd not had any huge issue from drinking over the weekend, and that likely had I had a glass of wine and some rum afterwards now, I'd have no issues either. I had to run through the intellectual exercise of the physiological benefits for my stomach and liver of ABS-ing 4 days out of 7. I had to remind myself this was "my plan" and I am committed to it as an act of integrity. I had to tell myself that I was subject to discipline should I violate the plan and that I didn't want to place swan or me in that position. I had a thought that I could justify having a glass of Peppermint Schnapps after dinner to help settle my stomach. The fact was my stomach was really not that bad. I often have 10 or 12 minutes of uneasiness, or out right queasiness, or even mild nausea after dinner. I can usually just live through it or take some sugar free mints to get past it. There are times that are more serious when peppermint schnapps can really help keep my meal down. This was not last night. Had I justified drinking schnapps I know swan would have accepted that I did. I though would have known it was unnecessary and that I was manipulating "the plan." I did not.
So it is day two of my new ABS. I am fine and getting this down to have it out where I can see it and feel it.
I've learned I can drink moderately, but I need to be even more careful of my drinking pace, or be prepared for the fact that I may have sudden onset of a chemical "check out," which is something I don't want or enjoy and which may also result in my behaving badly to my family.
If you have waded through this.....thank you for caring enough to do so.
All the best,
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.