SOBER CITY – Day 142


Sober City – May 22, 2011
I’m getting bored with sobriety. That’s the spaghetti god’s honest truth and according to the number of readers I’ve lost, a lot of you are too. Well not you specifically, you’re still here and that’s really cool, but my readership is sinking at an incredibly fast rate and I think it has a lot to do with the mundane reality that sobriety isn’t that interesting. I mean it’s all about the journey and my personal experience with the whole thing that’s suppose to make for good blogging but I feel like I’m definitely stalling in the self analytical department and just repeating all the same ideas in slightly different ways. Some good; I lost a little weight. I feel a little healthier. My mind is in better shape. Some bad; I miss drinking with my friends. I feel uninspired. I’m drinking way too much coffee. Obviously the good things outweigh the bad and we can all agree that excessive drinking is a dangerous and deadly problem, but how much is there to really talk about? Quitting something you’ve done and loved on a regular to semi-regular basis is a hard thing to do and some days you’ll feel great and some days you’ll feel like shit. That’s really the extent of my revelations in a nutshell. Sobriety is hard. Drinking is easy. Genius.
But here’s a question I haven’t posed to myself yet. Here’s something a lot of you are probably wondering or assuming or acknowledging as truth on my behalf. Here’s a little piece of honest self reflection that can open up some healthy debate within my mind and soul. Do I have a legitimate drinking problem? A lot of you say yes and a lot of you say no. I’m sure you’re deducing the validity of my potential drinking problem using your own habits as a mirror to the seriousness of the charge. I mean shit, if you drink more than I do then I can’t have a problem because that would mean you definitely do. It’s all relative. I’m pretty adamant that I don’t have a drinking problem but so are most alcoholics so I guess I have to at least entertain the thought that I could be wrong. Let’s look at the facts: I wasn’t drinking everyday but I’d have drinks about 4 or 5 days out of the week. I didn’t get drunk every time I drank but I did drink to excess on average 2 to 3 times a week. I never drank first thing in the morning or before any days on set (or auditions) but I did drink before and during most music performances on stage and while writing songs. I never drank to the point of being incoherent or completely out of control but I do have a high tolerance for all types of booze and therefor drank a LOT when circumstances permitted and had frequent memory lapses from the night before and more than a few epic hangovers. Problem? Maybe.
Here’s the thing, it’s entirely possible to have an honest and real drinking problem and still live out your days normally and even successfully. The term “functioning alcoholic” comes to mind and countless seasons of Intervention has shown us how most early stages of full blown alcoholism do indeed begin that way. Maybe I’m nipping an actual life threatening problem in the bud before it gets to the point where I end up on A&E screaming at my friends and family before inevitably getting on a plane to Florida underscored by that fruity guitar song. Or maybe I’m making a big deal out of absolutely nothing and turning a simple pleasure into an over analyzed frivolous experiment that is actually insulting to people out there struggling with real alcoholism.
The point is, I don’t know whether I have a legit drinking problem or not. I know I have a somewhat abusive relationship with booze but I also know I’m not ready to ditch it forever. I needed to take a hard look at how it was affecting my life and make adjustments accordingly but I’m really getting tired of feeling like a full blown alcoholic avoiding all forms of booze like it’ll send me into a downward spiral of crack dens and 24 hour booze sweats. It’s not all or nothing for me yet. I’m testing my will and personal strength and that’s all fine and dandy but there’s a good argument to be made for enjoying life and practicing moderation as opposed to extreme behavior. It’s not a problem with drinking so much as a problem with normalcy. The impulsive artist in me is constantly at war with the responsible adult in me and there is no clear winner in sight. It’s looking more and more like 6 months might make more sense then a whole year. Sometimes less is more. Does that apply here? Probably not. Who really know anymore. I sure don’t. Abandon all ships and swim until you can’t see land! Cheers!


4 thoughts on “SOBER CITY – Day 142”

  1. Hi Joe:I’m still here, lol……I really enjoy your posts….I think you have mad writing skills……you make me think about my own habits and opinions….on many different subjects, not just my boozin’……..and not that u asked, but I think that unless there’s a cash prize waiting for you on January 1, 2012……..the learning and self discovery side of this feat is over……Hats off to you, MacLeod….you’re a stubborn bunch…lol…..not an easy task to take on………I hope we all get to read another good yarn on June 2nd or 3rd (after the hangover subsides – ha!)……..let’s hear all about the "welcome back" shaker…you’re likely a cheap buzz now too, there’s a bonus!……Cheers!Kim

  2. Joe, I think you’re right–the issue isn’t about drinking but about your relationship with alcohol *and* struggling with normalcy. It’s a battle all artists face that doesn’t get any easier, but you’re a step ahead by articulating your frustrations. Oh hell I’m just babbling. πŸ˜€ Keep it up!! I want to see you go the WHOLE YEAR!!!

  3. Joe, I’m sure there are plenty of time where you’re just like "Man, I want to drink a beer damn it. What difference is one or even 5 going to make?" But hey, think of how many calories you’re not ingesting by avoiding beer alone. Beer has the potential to make people so fat…so fat. But NOT you Joe. Not in 2011 at least. You’re a strong and daring man.Mark

  4. hey Joe don’t give up yet you have come so far to stop now, wow I can’t believe you have been sober for that long I am very proud of you, you have strong will power which is hard for people to accomplish congrats. keep it up Joe I believe in you.. πŸ™‚

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