mind expanding nonsense

Substance Abuse

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There’s one thing I know a lot about, and that’s drug use.  You may be thinking, “Well, No shit Hansi, that’s quite apparent in all your twisted ‘art-work’ “.  No really.  I do!  See when I was a probation officer, I had to attend forty hours of training annually.  Invariably, that would include some drug classes. Times twenty-eight years, that equals a shit-load of drug classes.  Which covered: their use, identification, symptomology, treatment and all that other happy horseshit.  I also had a little “hands-on”  experience during the sixties.

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Needless to say, there’s some really bad-news  ‘substances’ out there to abuse.  Methamphetamine being among the worst.  Less obvious, yet just as destructive is alcohol.  Alcohol?  Hell yes! I consider it a drug (basically a depressant), which when abused can have a profound effect on people (instant ass-hole, just add booze), become addictive, and destroy lives, not to mention one’s health, when used in excess.  Thing about alcohol is: it’s socially acceptable.  Be it slurped down as a beer on a hot day, or enjoyed as a fine wine with a meal.  Everybody enjoys a good buzz now and then.  It’s tolerated.  Everyone’s cool with it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner just as much as the next guy.  But I’m finding that more and more, when I drink alcohol, I don’t sleep so well at night.  I don’t wake up re-charged, and only have a half-assed workout at the gym in the morning (if I go at all).  Plus, it takes me til the early afternoon to feel back to normal, when coincidentally I start to think, “Hmmm, a glass of wine would sure hit the spot right about now.”  What’s wrong with that scenario?  Is there a lesson here I’m not learning?

That’s why I’m choosing to forgo alcohol for a while.  Not that I have a “problem”. [Sure, that’s what all people with a “problem” say].  No really.  I’m not an alcoholic.  It’s just that as I’m getting older, alcohol is becoming seemingly more toxic to my system.  And I wanna feel good.  And feel good all the time.  But booze is a great pain-reliever, and swiftly takes the edge off all the aches and pains that come along with old age.

Is anyone out there experiencing the same thing with alcohol that I am?

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Comments on: "Substance Abuse" (22)

  1. Hell yes. I gave up drinking 3 years ago. Just a few glasses of wine over the weekend now, and that’s only because my wife refuses to drink alone… and does enjoy a glass here and there. The recovery time was getting longer and longer, and feeling shitty for most of the next day just wasn’t fun.

    • The recovery time is killing me too; it really puts a dent into my day after, even in small amounts.

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      • I hear you. I loved to drink but it was becoming seriously counterproductive. I was actually surprised at just how easy it was to (for all intentional purposes) stop. I figured my boatload of behavioural quirks would put up one hell of a protest, possibly even mount a revolution, but they instead turned over like a happy puppy.

      • I can totally relate to that.

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  2. 35 years alcoholism and some drugs. 11 years clean and sober Mar 3. All that pain, misfortune, unhappiness, suppression of talent, so much wasted. Looking back I lament my stupidity for thinking putting poison in my body with all the accompanying consequences was part of “having a good time.” I am not ashamed of revealing my past if it lets anyone know that recovery is possible as well as is a restoration to sanity. One must make a decision. One cannot be available to others if locked in addiction. That is very selfish in the sense that we cannot give our love to others and cannot receive the love they may have cared to bring to us.

    • Thank for sharing that Carl. Alcoholism is a nasty disease, but can be overcome. I always admired my probation clients who were seriously working an AA program. They had great insight into themselves and their behavior.

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  3. I agree. In conjunction with the allergies I suffer this time a year, a few beers amplifies the the headache pain.

    I seldom if ever drink during the winter. It’s the hot of summer when a cold beer tastes the best. But I have disciplined myself to stop at 3 with only an occasional lapse for a fourth when the spirit is really in high gear.

    The better advice however is not to imbibe at all. As you mentioned, you don’t sleep as well and if done too often drinking can have a debilitating affect on an aging physiology.

    Cheers! 😉

    • I’m coming to the conclusion that alcohol ain’t for us old guys too. That nice little buzz eventually turns south on us 😦

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  4. yeah, drinking isn’t worth the feeling lousy that you have to endure the next day. a smoke is so much better…not that I do that mind you. I’m totally law-abiding. totally. Utterly. I am serene in my delusions. And all without mind-altering drugs. I use wine for cooking and sometimes beer. We have a glass of wine now and then with a holiday meal, but actually don’t really want it that much. Must be age.

    • An occasional smoke can indeed be very soothing…depending on what ya smoke 🙂

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  5. You’re not alone. If I get past half a glass of wine at dinner I know I’m heading for stomach trouble. Usually can’t get an entire bottle of beer down the hatch either. Which I guess is why it would be a pretty big stretch to say I have one or two drinks a month. Most of the time it’s zero. It wasn’t always this way, so I’m chalking it up to aging just like you suspected.

    • I’m thinking it’s aging too. For me, I’m at my best without alcohol at all.

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  6. All part of the Five Virtues! Metta, bro.

  7. Hi Hansi, I notice the not sleeping well thing too. Last year I had 8 months free of alcohol and felt great. Lost weight — ain’t no looking sleek when drinking alcohol — slept well and got back a lot more time and attention in the evenings.

  8. Paul J. Stam said:

    First of all, I want to thank you for following Paper, Mud and Me and that you liked my post “A Donkey And A King.”
    Just read your latest about drug abuse and I have found the same thing to be true about alcohol.
    Thanks again.

    • Thanks. It’s amazing that most people making comments are finding the same thing to be true.

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  9. I teach art on a Psychiatric floor of a hospital, and I’ve seen what you’re saying. Sometimes so tragic, sometimes gutsie recoveries.

    • Wow…what a job. My wife taught art to mentally ill teenagers in our local school system. Very challenging, but rewarding.

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  10. Same here. Drank loads when I was a wild young thing but think I ended up partied out. Can’t have a glass of beer or wine now without a terrible hangover and several days of depression, so I just don’t bother anymore.

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