Why I Quit Drinking

Today is Saturday, December 7, 2013. It is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It is also my Uncle Dano’s birthday. Happy birthday, Uncle Dano! Today is also the day that I quit drinking alcohol. And, this post is more for me than you. This post is a reminder, this post is a marker. Most of all, this post will help keep me to my word.

Enough today crap… Let’s talk about why I quit drinking. I’ve actually thought about this long-and-hard for quite some time. I rarely leap into such a serious life changing event without careful calculation and planning. This is no different. It’s just time for me to make another identity shift (I’ve done dozens of them in my adventure that I affectionately call “life”). Most of you know that I’m extremely fond of the Japanese philosophy, kaizen. And, I work hard to improve myself on a daily basis. This is one of those steps.

Instead of chatting about my reasons, I thought I would simply hit some bullet points. Suffice it to say that I did pros and cons and the cons FAR outweighed the pros… Some of these reasons for quitting drinking might ring true for you. Then again, some may not. You might also have additional ones that I didn’t even list… However, these are the main concerns that I’ve thought of for me (in no particular order):

  • Creativity I dunno about you, but drinking really puts a dent in my creativity. Because I consider myself a creative thinker I feel like alcohol kind of dummies me down and takes away one of my talents.
  • Waste of Usable Time While I’m under the influence of alcohol I feel I’m wasting my time. I’m constantly looking for ways to add time to my days… Well, stopping drinking is a perfectly suitable way to add time to my day (IMHO).
  • Sleeping In One of my pet peeves is sleeping too long and letting the day waste away. When I drink I often have turbulent nights where I do not get the proper sleep. My drunken sleep is interrupted and rough at best. Also, I tend to sleep in after a night of drinking, and this KILLS me! Time (as you know) is tough to come by. By eliminating drinking, I will add time by getting better (healthier) sleep and by waking earlier ready to leap out of bed!
  • Workouts Suffer Some of my lifting is extremely intense. I am unable to do my HIT (high intensity training) workout after a night of drinking. Not only am I weaker, but I get sick (even if I’m not hungover).
  • Hangovers SUCK Speaking of hangovers… They suck!
  • Depressant Alcohol is a depressant. I’m an overly positive person and I work hard at knocking depressing things out of my life. Removing alcohol from my intake is an easy improvement!
  • Saving Money As a social drinker who doesn’t drink every night, I figure a low-end guess is that I drink around $60 worth of alcoholic drinks each week. This number may well be conservative, and I’ve been known to spend more than that in one night (especially on a nice bottle of wine). That is (at a minimum) $3,120 per year. Considering that I could easily get over this figure, you can see just how much it could potentially cost on an annual basis!
  • My Behavior Quite often I imagine my behavior is fine while drinking… However, there is that once in a while where I’m a complete asshole or asshat. If I had my druthers, I’d avoid being an asshat whenever possible. ‘Nuff said.
  • Weight There are 154 calories in an average can of beer. If I drink four beers that is 600 or more calories. Think about that one for a moment. No nutritional value at all, yet I could easily fatten myself up with it. Why would I?
  • Driving Drunk I’m not a fan of this, but I am guilty. Well, I have children, family, and friends. I do not like to think about the horrible emotions I would put folks through if I died driving (or riding) drunk. Even worse: What if I killed someone else? I can’t think of anything worse!
  • Injuries This one might not affect everyone, but I can tell you as a hemophiliac that I am much more prone to injuries when inebriated. And, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably agree on this one.
  • Bleeding Episodes Another one that doesn’t create a problem for most clotters (non-hemophiliacs), but it does affect us easy bleeders. Alcohol is actually an anticoagulant… In other words, it has been proven to thin the blood. YIKES!
  • Immune System This probably doesn’t need to be said, but alcohol can hurt your immune system. In my case (dealing with HIV) that can be very bad for me. However, it really is bad for everyone if you’d prefer to stay healthy and fit!
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    I will not knock people for drinking or not drinking (and I never have). I’m still the same old wild and crazy guy. And, I’m still the inspirational life fighter. This will not change. I’m simply entering a new stage of my life, and I have put plenty of thought into it.

    Feel free to pick on me if you see me drinking a soda water with a lime in it, but don’t bother with peer pressure, because I don’t fold.

    I have a question for all of you: Assuming I can handle it (which I can), is it acceptable for me to keep alcohol in my house for guests? What’s your opinion about this?

    If you drink (or did drink), have you ever considered stopping? Please feel free to share your story here!

    My final question: Do/will you all support me with this latest life choice?

    Love you all,
    Vaughn

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    Toast To Your Health

    I absolutely love being able to pull a fun toast out of my repertoire when gathered with friends. Up until recently, my most famous and most impressive memorized toast was:

    Lines on Ale
    by Edgar Allan Poe (circa 1848)

    Fill with mingled cream and amber
    I will drain that glass again.
    Such hilarious visions clamber
    Through the chamber of my brain —
    Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies
    Come to life and fade away;
    What care I how time advances?
    For I am drinking ale today!

    After many years of chanting this fantastic poem/toast I finally decided to take the plunge and create a toast of my own. Commandeering my cousin, Chuck Colby, I drafted the toast and then asked for his input. Together we honed the rough draft and created a masterpiece… Well, maybe not a masterpiece, but I sure do enjoy giving this toast.

    Before you watch my toast (on YouTube), understand that I wanted it to be over zealous and funny… So, I always put on my best (sarcastic) southern drawl and odious overacting before giving this one. Also, the deep breaths are there on purpose, and meant to add to the dramatic effect. Without further ado, I present, my ebullient and/or exuberant toast; which I affectionately named: To Your Health – Southern Style.

    Just in case you’d like to practice this fun toast, here it is written out:

    To Your Health
    Southern Style

    by Vaughn Ripley

    *clears throat*

    Presently… At this time… I do believe. It’s high-time to propose a toast. As we gather here, in this luxurious bar, drinking our ales and cocktails, peering into each other’s eyes and hence deep into our very souls.

    *draws a deep breath*

    Building upon our friendships, and creating everlasting relationships… In your name and in your honor, Indubitably I salute thee, Mr. high-and-mighty grandpooba of upper buttcrack. Those whom the Flying Spaghetti Monster hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

    *draws a deep breath*

    I shall drain my glass hitherto and forthwith. Hear here! And so on and so forth.

    To your health!

    *pause for effect*

    Ibid.

    Let me know in the comment section what you thought of my toast! And, do you have a toast of your own?? Share it, please!

    I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I loved writing it. And, hopefully I inspired you to come up with a toast of your own!!!

    Cheers,
    Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.