To be honest this blog has been hard to write. I had thoughts on whether I should blog about this – is this something to make content out of? There are a lot of worse things to have after all.
On Friday, August 2nd of the year of our Lord 2019 I got my second opinion and a confirmed diagnosis that I have Cardiomyopathy. Please go ahead and google it if you want to but long story short I have a weak heart. To make matters worse, I was told that drinking alcohol will only do further damage to my heart because of some fancy word called hypertension. Go ahead and google that as well because 1. I’m not a doctor and 2. This is a blog not a medical journal
Back to August 2nd. I’m sitting in the UM Cardiology Center and my doctor tells me I have to quit drinking and we will see how the medicine is working in a few months without the effects of alcohol.
Well, I had a friend’s wedding the next day with an open bar – I decided to go on one last bender (if you will) before starting the prescribed medicine the following Monday. That was my gut reaction, one last weekend to drink and then I’ll stop for good (or if they ever say I can have the OCCASIONAL drink).
Here we are 31 days later, 4 weeks, without alcohol besides some Kombuchas and a couple of NAs – after asking my doctor if that’s okay of course. I will tell you what, I haven’t felt better. I obviously wish I could drink and that all was normal but to be honest I feel better overall mentally and physically. Who in the hell would have thought that not drinking can actually have health benefits?
Side Note: I’ve actually never had a Kombucha before August 2019 it is a really great drink with a lot of Probiotics (I hear that means good bacteria) anyways – I’m drinking my first one and I’m reading the label and see it has 0.5 percent alcohol because it is fermented tea! Then I asked my doc if it’s okay to drink kombucha and got the okay (“just don’t over do it” – gotta be one of the first people on earth who has been told not to “overdue” Kombucha).
It’s been hard don’t get me wrong, I miss it a lot more than I probably should. Alcohol has been something I may have abused in my time. It’s also been something I thought made me, well me. I’d have drinks at parties and tailgates but I’d also use it to hide emotions like an old country song. It has hurt relationships both with the opposite sex and with close friends. Alcohol and I have had a love/hate relationship since the get go. Close friends have seen me at my worst on it while some people could argue – I probably would not – that at times I could be my best while under the influence. Scratch that last part – there is no way anyone would argue that. I’ve made A LOT of mistakes in my short life with this drug called alcohol. Waking up in a bed not knowing how I got there (or sometimes not knowing whose house it was), this is something people brag about; i find it scary and quite frankly kinda sad.
I began reading a book my PA recommended when my doctor gave me the news, it’s called This Naked Mind – Control Alcohol – by Annie Grace. I highly recommend everyone read it whether you THINK you have a problem or don’t. In the book I read that, “the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that twenty two (22) is now the mean (average) age for the onset of alcohol dependence”. You guessed it, I’m writing this at the age of 22. I also read in the book that alcohol is the ONLY drug that you have to justify NOT using. Whether that’s an actual fact or not, I’m not sure, but I can say it’s pretty accurate.
The first day of sobriety I went to a buddy’s lake house, we went to a liquor store and a bar that day and I didn’t drink, but I wanted to test myself. Since then, I’ve gone places that everyone was drinking and sat out happily (sometimes I feel like I’m missing out not gonna lie) like fantasy drafts, parties, concerts and restaurants. I’ve also avoided places like the German American Festival because I didn’t want to be around a bunch of people drinking beers. Overtime I’m sure it wont bother me as much to go to things like that and I may actually want to go.
Well, my first month of sobriety is a wrap. I never thought a year ago that I’d be in this situation or that i could go a month, hell, a weekend, without drinking. If anyone wants to talk about the book, or how to quit I’m certainly not a authority on the subject but I’m here. Also, if you ever need a DD I’m pretty available these days.