Tag Archives: alcohol

Medication and Self-Medication

24 May

I know a little something about medicating yourself. Life can be difficult to handle, and with the variety of legal and illegal substances to play with, why would you want to stay unaltered? Well, as I like to say, there are no solutions, only trade-offs.

I happened to be scanning my blogs and ran across an interesting set of links on Struggle Street‘s page, including one of about the use of psychedelics in therapy in Texas. Now this is using medications that are “unusual” (and usually illegal) to effective use against patients with PTSD. These are what I consider “real problems” and I’m in favor of anyone using anything that works. My father-in-law had Parkinson’s and there was serious evidence for using medical marijuana to help with the shaking. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to try it out because of… well, things got too bad before they had to admit him.

I think it’s interesting trying to use MDMA (molly or ecstasy) to treat folks with serious psychological conditions. I can believe that different drugs can have different effects on different people; Ecstasy for most people usually ends up with bad results–but when your normal life has bad results, you might as well try some serious uppers.

Now in my life, I have “minor problems.” Dealing with ADHD is part of that, but that doesn’t make me different than 5-10% of Americans. You have to try different concoctions to see what works best. I went to a psychiatrist to get a prescription to help with that–he ended up giving me an anti-depressant that made me angrier and more twitchy. So much for that. Then I discovered supplements which are much cheaper. A combination of GABA (for concentration), 5-HTP (for calming), and Omega-3 pills (for emotional stability) works for me… but probably wouldn’t work on a different person with ADHD.

However, I don’t take those on a regular basis–not anymore–because a) my job has stopped being so stressful and detail intensive that I need it, and b) because it makes you feel emotionally numb and sexually deficient. So I only take it when I need to be at my top game at work… or when I know I’m walking into a stressful situation at home.

Plus I discovered bar culture. I’ve talked about how bar lives matter, but thanks to my ADHD, I’ve generally avoided most bars because they’re too noisy. Then I discovered several dive bars and day drinking where the crowds are small and I can actually hold a conversation with someone. Alcohol reduces the effect of my supplements and gives me a temporary high. But just like meds, different liquors have different effects. Whiskey and gin make me angrier, rum makes me happier, beer makes me gassy… but it’s different with different people.

At the moment, I’d rather have the temporary high then the emotional numbness, but because my wife is on the “high health” kick, she had made her displeasure with my drinking at the house clear. So I vowed only to drink at the bar… which means I find more reasons to sneak to the bar. That was strangely more difficult when I worked from home, but substantially easier now that I’m working in an office.

Of course, now that my life’s improved, I’m going a lot less, because there’s less need for self-medication. There’s no guarantee that will be good in the end. But what do you do to get through life’s hard places? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books. However, if $1.99 is cutting into your beer money, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. Then have a drink on me.

Who Drinks This Stuff?

17 May

I must go to the wrong bars–or the right ones–because I never see anyone order a complicated drink. Usually it’s beer or a simple cocktail (like myself), but a Long Island Iced Tea, which takes several shots… nah. I think your drink says a lot about what your priorities are.

As an unreformed drinker, I will tell you that everyone has a main drink. They might drink wine, or beer, or hard liquor from time to time, but you have a primary drink that go to when you’re not trying to impress anyone or when you’re by yourself. Now that might not be consistent. Currently, mine is the scotch and soda, but that changes. Occasionally I mix it up with a bourbon and Coke or a gin and tonic (as we approach the summer months), but it generally it’s a simple cocktail.

Now… would I mind a Manhattan or a Gin Martini? Absolutely! But I don’t order those at a bar for one simple reason; the bartender gets it wrong. Even a gin and tonic, which is just three items (gin, tonic, lime wedge), frequently doesn’t come with a lime which makes it… less appealing. If I have to explain the drink, I feel like a douchebag, and if I don’t get what I wanted, I’ve just wasted my money. So I keep the drink simple so someone can’t screw it up.

Often I see many primary drinks like that. If it gets more complicated than a beer, than it’s a screwdriver (orange juice and vodka), or just ordering a shot of fireball with your beer. It also takes longer, so your drink priority gets moved down considerably on a busy night. But I try to avoid those as well.

But that’s my priority; getting the drink to my lips faster. Since so many cocktails are sweet, adding in cordials and fruit juices, the point of them is to mellow the bitterness of the alcohol being served. I guess if you’re younger and you’re trying to get used to the flavor of the booze (but like the effect it has on you), then that’s where a lot of those fruity drinks come into play. “Doing shots” seems to be a much more direct option; how drunk can I get in the shortest amount of time. Again, never quite understood that, since you’re spending a lot of money for a short amount of enjoyment. But maybe that’s why so many shots can be just as complicated as a cocktail. “Irish Car Bomb” comes instantly to mind; Irish Cream, cinnamon liquor, and… something. But if you just down them, what’s the point? Again, they’re just trying to get as drunk as possible so they can party. I’m there to sit a while and have a good time.

So since I go to “old guy bars,” I never see this stuff. I didn’t even get into alcohol until I was 25, so I missed the entire college bar scene. I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it even if I had–old guy bars are quiet, you can have conversations with interesting people, and you can relax. Most people come to bars for “an event,” so maybe those places have a greater concentration of fruity concoctions. But maybe you guys would know better–let me know your impressions in the comments below! Then make your favorite drink and read one of my books. However, if $1.99 is cutting into your beer money, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. 

…And You Wonder Why I Drink.

21 Apr

Drew Carey once joked: “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.” Is booze the solution? No, but when you’re caught in a situation you can’t get out of, it helps ease the transition.

As I’ve talked about many times on this blog, I’m a big fan of the local bar. Once you find one that you like–which is not easy–it’s a great comfort. An extended living room. A place to have friends you’d never want to invite to your house. But more importantly, it gets you away from your life for a little while.

Why I bring this up is because on Sunday morning, my wife says, “Hey, why don’t you come with me to the Home Depot.” Okay, this wasn’t part of my initial plan for the day, so my initial thought is one of annoyance, but I accept it and try to turn it into a chance to hang out with my wife, flirt. Initially, that works. Then God forbid I buy multiple copies of some tools that we invariably lose all the freaking time, and all my goodwill I’ve built in those few minutes evaporates. Great.

My wife and I are going to start counseling again because frankly, this is a bad situation. She’s pissed at me, I’m pissed at her; but frankly, that’s any marriage. You hit points where you’re better together and points you are not. I’ve picked up more chores, she says, “Why weren’t you doing that before?!” I just feel like she’s been in a high stress situation for a couple years and half of it IS HER OWN DAMN FAULT. Gee, you take an extra class AND a teaching assistantship on top of that and you complain you don’t have enough time in the day. How could that have possibly happened?! (rolling eyes)

So both of us have thought during our 15-year marriage, “Gee, why don’t we just divorce if we don’t like being together anymore?” The last time was last summer. The answer–we can’t afford to. My wife doesn’t have a regular job; she’s a grad student. Even if we both did, there’s still the kids. Both of us wants them to have a stable, happy home. My wife also doesn’t trust me to raise the kids under a joint custody agreement, and from all modern accounts, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Mind you, things got better since then, but I still think she would be a lot happier if she chose to get out of the house more often. She has the choice; she has an office she can go to, I don’t (at present), but there’s few other people there. And without other people present, it’s just a pain-in-the-butt to get to in order to the do the same thing…

…but it gets you out of the house. I’ve been attending my local bar on a regular basis throughout this pandemic and it’s made things a lot easier to get through. I’ve also been attending there because the wife doesn’t want me to drink in the house. After all, if she can’t drink without messing up her system, then it must be the same for everyone, right?! (sigh)

But if I can’t leave my marriage, and my attempts to fix things aren’t working, then what else can you do but drink? Before I get into a diatribe you don’t have the context for, I’ll just ask what you think? What did you do in this situation? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books; they aren’t as depressing However, if $1.99 is too steep for your wallet, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. You’ll be glad you did.

Whiskey Makes You Louder

21 Aug

Like all unrepentant alcoholics, I have a drink of choice; bourbon and coke. It doesn’t matter how bad the brand, it always tastes good, and it gets your buzz on. But it has one big side effect – it makes you louder. This can be a problem.

I am a stationary drunk. As long as no one expects me to go anywhere, I’m the happiest, more joyful person you could meet at the bar. I’ll listen to your stories, I’ll tell you about the pipe tobacco I’m smoking (I’ve got a great bar), and have a lot of fun. It’s when you tell me to move that I start getting angry.

Alcohol blurs things, and most importantly, it makes you less tolerant of little social conventions. Someone cuts in front of you, someone decides to belt out a song… you could ignore it in most situations. But get a little liquor in you, and man, those social conventions are out the window.

Now being Scotch-Irish (and several others), I either hold in that temper until it builds up and explodes later, or go the slow burn and I get vocal and snarky. When drunk, it’s usually the second – when sober, the first (you’d think it’d be the opposite). However, because of the liquor, I find my volume for all those comments (that would normally be under my breath) would be increased. Thankfully, the subject of my ire is usually on the other side of the bar, so I haven’t ended up in a fight.

When I switch up my drink, I find it interesting how different liquors affect me. Shifting to a scotch and soda, it’s the same booze, but I drink it a lot slower… which can come in handy. Gin and tonic is great on a hot day (and I live in Arizona), but that can make you far more angry, and is usually mixed wrong. Rum and coke is a good alternative to bourbon and coke but rum does something else to me… usually get more goofy. Wine gives me a much different drunk than beer… there’s a lot more bathroom runs with beer at least.

What kind of drunk are you? What’s your drink of choice? Have you noticed it changed based on the alcohol? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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