Halley, funny that you mention it... I actually experimented a bit with drinking the last few weeks. I tried drinking a few glasses of wine with meals, tried drinking at a party and tried drinking by myself before bed.
Drinking with a meal didn't seem so bad, like you, I didn't feel very good afterwards, although I did indeed enjoy it. The end of the meal made it easy to stop the drinking then and I didn't have an urge to drink after the meal.
I had a few beers at a party and that was OK too, but I realized that I didn't really need it and drinking enough to make the drinking fun (if that makes any sense), would be more than enough and therefore too much.
The worst was drinking by myself before bed. I drank too much, felt like crap afterwards and didn't really enjoy it at all.
The worst thing that has happened since I started "experimenting" is that my sleep cycle has gone out of whack and I am having insomnia and feel tired all day. With all of my travel this sucks.
So on that note, I'm going to "quit again" with you Halley and apologize for not having disclosed this here earlier. I wanted to try to do a bit more "analysis" on these experiments before I blogged this...
Sat, 17 Jan 2004, 08:02
I'm at Frankfurt airport after a 12 hours flight from Tokyo. (On my way to Helsinki.) It's amazing how much thinking you can get done in a plane if you're not drinking. Long flights have become an essential part of my "catch up on thinking" time.
Sun, 04 Jan 2004, 00:01
I quit drinking, then saw Joi's comment that he had also quit, then Halley's - perhaps this is an emergent phenomenon?
I quit drinking once before, in the 80s, for about six years. Those six years were among my most productive. Around that time I became involved with net.activism, started writing for publication, cofounded FringeWare, Inc., edited the 'consciousness' section of the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog, learned a lot about publishing and technology, managed some large projects, met a lot of people from all over the world who were converging on technoculture, and set a path for myself that I lost through distraction during the Internet boom years. When I started drinking again, I was moderate, but when the boom ended and I was considering what to do next, I started drinking more. I felt that my drinking was under control - it was always in the evening, "to unwind," and didn't seem to be affecting my work. However as I got insanely busy over the last few months, it was apparent that drinking was having an effect on my energy level. I wondered if it was affecting other things - my judgement, my weight, my health overall?
Since I quit drinking I have more energy, more focus, and I'm confident that I can get stuff done. Am I an alcoholic? I think my drinking was out of control, though I pretended otherwise - like waiting until the end of the work day to start drinking. Obviously that's a good idea, but it's relatively meaningless if you don't control the amount you drink after 6pm, and I didn't.
I like the idea that we're not anonymous here, that we're confronting our issues with alcohol in the open. That might not be the best for everybody, but I think it helps expose the problem and will perhaps help others question the role of alcohol in their lives... so that sobriety can be an emergent thing among more and more of us who hang out online and are hoping to use whatever skills we have to make a better world. I'm finding enough to do that I could work 24/7 and never get it done, so the idea of committing valuable hours to an unreliable state of consciousness is pretty unappealing right now.
I haven't had a sip of alcohol since I was 12 years old. My 29th birthday is next month and to this day it's one of the decisions I'm still most proud of. My father is an alcoholic and a majority of my childhood memories are of him drunk. I started drinking myself in 5th grade, because, well, that's who people do right? They drink. It never occured to me that there was an option, it was just a matter of when to start. A dubbed cassette (vintage P2P) of an album by a band called Minor Threat that a friend gave me was the first time I realized there were other paths I could take besides the most obvious one right in front of me. I started drinking because I thought I was rebelling. But what kind of rebellion is it if you are doing the same thing as your parents, as your peers, and as every ad in eyeshot is telling you to do? Not doing it, now that was something different. Finding a group of people pointing this out was a major turning point in my life. Just knowing other people were making that decision, knowing I wasn't alone made all the difference. This site has that potential. If it helps one person it's worth it.
(Sorry of that was too nostalgic or emo, it's late and I'm jet lagged. I'm psyched to be involved with this and just wanted to introduce myself and how I fit in to this puzzle. Next post won't be so sappy. Cross my heart.)