Man, do I love to drink. Various IPA’s, good cocktails, the occasional shot. It allows me to relax. It allows me to be a little more of my real self around people. My friend Tim jokes that Lagunitas Lil Sumpin is my “Extrovert Juice”. I go from the quiet and nervous guy to “fun time Bill” who is friendly and can joke with anyone about anything. But this comes at quite a cost. Due to my body chemistry and age, my hangovers are gargantuan. And moderation- well- it’s quite tough for me.
I usually drink three nights a week. It’s easy to do living in the city. There’s always something going on, and a million places to go. I start out thinking I’ll have one or two, which invariably turns to three. Alcohol dulls the prefrontal cortex where willpower lives. Now 5 or 6 drinks doesn’t seem like a big deal.
Apart from this being horrible for my body, It’s doing a number on my mind as well. I’ve started to rely on drinks to be that comfortable guy. This is a bad thing. On top of this, my productivity suffers badly.
For all this, I’ve decided to take the month off from drinking. I have Kaleidoscope and Boolean Knife to focus on and I can’t give these projects my all if I’m hungover half of the time. Don’t get me wrong: I get all my work done (professionally and artistically) but I would argue that I could take on a lot more if I would imbibe less.
I have a few friends who have quit booze altogether. I have great respect for these peeps, and they’re an inspiration to me. On the opposite end, I have some friends who ‘drink to win’. I have to be careful when I’m out with them. Then I have other friends- the ones I really idolize- who have 2 drinks and then stop for the night.
I have an all-or-nothing personality it seems. I always think this rides sidecar to the fact that I have bipolar disorder. Totally happy or totally depressed. Totally drunk or totally sober. Totally flush or totally broke. I live my life in extremes and the rhythm of my days chokes along in starts and fits. Would love to find that elusive middle ground…
Until that time, I’m just going to take a break on the beach of sobriety for the month of May. Wish me luck!