Going Cool Turkey

by Arlyn on January 11, 2009

A week ago I gave up drinking alcohol. I went an entire week without a beer after a ride or glass of wine for dinner. It was very strange at first. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. So, I read more, wrote more, worked more and played the guitar more. I bled the brakes on my mountain bike. I spent more time reading with my son. Oh, and I lost two pounds too.

One of the things I’ve learned in this experiment is that it’s very difficult to talk about drinking or not drinking without some really scary labels being thrown out there. If you say, “I usually have a drink every day”, the A-word gets thrown out there. If you say, “I quit drinking so I can focus on getting the things I want in life”, the A-word gets attached to you. The A-word is a very scary word and it means some very bad things for you. It means fear and ostracism among other nasty things.

I’m not a doctor or a clinical anything and can’t claim to know anything about alcoholism as a disease. But I do know that you have a problem with alcohol when it gets in the way of what you want for your life. I think it’s that simple. One drink a month or 10 a day, if it’s not a problem, it’s not. And if it is a problem, it is.

Isn’t the same possible with cheeseburgers, TV, the Internet, gambling, sex, talking too loud, mowing your lawn, riding your bike, money, training for a race, etc, etc, etc? I think so.

For me, alcohol was starting to get in the way, so I moved it out of the way. It’s was that simple.

Yesterday, after 7 days of being firmly on the wagon, I had a beer with Mark after riding 67 miles over Palomar Mountain, gaining 9,065 feet of elevation. It was one of the tastiest beers I ever drank. It was definitely not in the way.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Barry January 11, 2009 at 8:22 pm

What was that red stuff you were dringking last night, Koolaid?

Arlyn January 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm

No, it was the wine you brought over to my house. Did you miss the caveat?

Scott January 11, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I think it was Julia Child who said something to the effect of “Everything in moderation, even moderation.”

cyclingred January 12, 2009 at 6:16 am

Having one beer only now and then probably makes it that much better when you do.

Arlyn January 12, 2009 at 8:12 am

@Scott: That’s a good one.

Arlyn January 12, 2009 at 8:13 am

@cyclingred: it certainly does.

will January 12, 2009 at 10:05 am


Well done and great post.

With some work one can make “not doing” something a habit as much as “doing” something often becomes a habit.

Arlyn January 12, 2009 at 10:23 am

Good point will, thanks.

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