Max Fish might be the only time tested skater bar in NYC or the world, and tonight is their last night of business. Friends of mine plan to make a night out of it, and I’m sure it’ll be epic and a good time. I think that the skate scene in NYC may have gravitated to the Lower East Side because of Max Fish, so this is a big deal for skaters here. Even my good friend Simon Heath got married to his wonderful wife, Edina, at Max Fish. However I decided to stay home and not participate in the closing of Max Fish. I recently decided to limit drinking and it’s too soon to test the waters of hanging out while others drink. If I am to succeed at this lifestyle change, I’ll need to say no more frequently to nights out. In a truly self-absorbed fashion I’ll list the reasons to be sober and what I’ve been thinking about the last three weeks.
First off, I’ve been on a maintenance dose of medication since I was 17. I won’t go into details of why, but it’s serious enough that I’ll probably be on this or similar medication for life. All the doctors I’ve had for this health issue always recommend not drinking. Some doctors have varied from nursing one or two occasionally is okay, to recommending flat out abstinence from drinking. As far as I know alcohol has never made my situation worse, but I’ve always had the warning in the back of my head. So I was never an alcoholic or the bender type. I rarely drank multiple nights in a row. However I do fall under the binge variety of drinker, and that can’t be healthy for anybody. Since I am on medication I think that it’s time I realize I am different from the average drinker.
Now I’ll go into for me more substantial reasons not to drink. Basically I have ambitions, physical and mental, that I think drinking is hindering. I want to skate more, and get good. I also want to get in decent shape to feel better, and so I can post better pictures on Okcupid. (slightly joking) This last week I skated four times, which is much better than my average of once or twice a week. The difference is I didn’t get drunk at all last week. I think a night out does more damage than just losing time that night. The next day is scratched from being tired. Then you might have a productive day and then decide to have another night out. Drinking can be fun but for any aspirations that are routine based it makes it harder. I already feel I have more energy, and I’m spending my time better from not drinking. I even think that soon, I’ll try to start running in the morning.
I write in this blog, have other writing ambitions, and I feel inspired to read more. Lets say I want to write in my blog every Monday nights. That is not much of commitment, but if I want to start some fiction writing, I need to set time aside for that. All the sudden with drinking two nights out a week equal four nights of doing nothing with writing. Reading is better when done with some regularity. I can finish a short book in a few days, and take on a serious book in a few weeks. If I have a few nights out a week, chances are I’d stop a serious book or a silly book in a few chapters, or worse half way through.
I work full time, and I’m serious about the work I do, I feel like I have the career I want in librarianship. Less drinking means no blurry-eyed mornings, and I’m getting too old for dealing with hangovers at work. My productivity would go up at work because I’d have more energy. Instead of watching the clock I’d be more engaged and take on more initiative. Some people have told me that since I work full time I can only do so much on my spare time, and having these lofty goals outside of work may not be realistic. Maybe they are unrealistic, but it’s worth a try to get better at these things if I can cut out the habit of drinking. With healthier living I’m bound to get more organized with my time, and a lot should be possible.
A little over two weeks ago I made this decision. I had a last night out on that Sunday with my skate crew. I thought it was my last night but I only lasted until that Thursday. But then that Friday I decided to try sobriety again. I lasted until the next Thursday. On that Thursday I went free music event through work and I only had two glasses of wine. Those two glasses of wine made a great night for me. That’s the last drinking I did and it’s now Monday night. I think I will always be tempted to drink, and it seems to be in my nature. I think instead of saying I’ll never drink again, I’m going to soften it a little bit and say I’m going to limit drinking as much as possible. Basically I need to make drinking and nights out not part of my routine. I need to make my routine work, skating, exercise, writing, and reading. By routine I mean any measure of time with an activity, once a week can be a routine, so even that is too frequent for drinking. I think drinking for me truly needs to be once in awhile, and so infrequent I couldn’t even put the frequency or timeframe to it. And on these infrequent nights out, I have to do it moderately, no more binge drinking.
Several people say that writers need to have experience. That is true, but I’ve been around the block, and I don’t think I need to repeat negative behaviors in a vain hope to write better. Also I’m 36, far from being a teenager, and I’m sure all the people around me will respect my decision, and like me for who I am, even if I’m less goofy sober.