Like everyone else in my family I enjoy a drink now and then. I come from a very Catholic family and Catholics like to drink. At least in my mind they do. Maybe this is just my family and not the reality. Regardless, I grew up around adults who drank (this included the Priest at weddings and funerals) so it seemed like the normal thing to do.
I didn’t start until I was in High-school. I don’t remember how it started. I’m sure it was with my friend Kelly, or maybe Udawna. And we probably snuck it from somewhere. And I’m sure it was pretty crappy, whatever it was we snuck.
I do have specific, sad, memory though (now that I’m writing about this it bubbled up to the surface). I must have been 18 or 19. A group of my friends gathered together at this place called Rimrock. It was a place in the town I grew up, Spokane, where kids would go party. Which is exactly what we did that night. I was in love with a guy that was with us. He was my boyfriend the Summer before and we broke up a few months earlier and I still had feelings for him. He didn’t feel anything for me, though. He moved on and it broke my heart.
Somebody brought a bottle of Mad Dog. Mad Dog is a terrible, horrible, drink that might as well be called “Turpentine With Cherry Flavoring Added” because that is what it was. We passed the bottle around and I quickly got wasted. I vaguely remember myself that evening. The more I drank the sadder I got about the situation with this boy. And, apparently, I threatened to fling myself over the cliff because of him.
This boy died in a head-on collision a year after this, breaking my heart even further.
It has been a long time since that happened. I don’t drink to get wasted like I did in my youth. When I do drink I like to enjoy a really good tasting beer and I usually only have one. Two at the most.
I can think of many reasons to quit. First and foremost is that alcoholism runs through my family. I know that I’m not an alcoholic but it is a disease that I need to watch out for.
Another reason to quit relates to my interest in Zen Buddhism. In Buddhism drinking is something that is not encouraged. I find myself drawn to the teachings of the Buddha so one of these days, if I really want to be serious about being Buddhist, I can see myself adopting the precepts (one of which is to not consume alcohol).
But until then I will enjoy my one beer on Saturday evening after a hard days work.