Monday, May 1, 2017

Confessions of a Teetotaler and his past

It's almost Cinco de Mayo again. How do I know? Well every first day of May, my mouth gets extra thirsty and its not for water. I used to salivate at the prospect of downing as many bottles and shots of alcohol as possible to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

What is Cinco de Mayo anyway? Mexican independence? Nope, that's September 16. So I knew what I had to do. Research. I looked it up and then understood why I used to celebrate the day with such gusto. It was a day celebrating Mexico's win over the French at the battle of Puebla in 1862.
I'm not Mexican and I'm not French. The day meant absolutely nothing to me.

But back then, it meant something to me. I had lost a close relative and was not dealing with it well. I had spurned God and counselling for nights of drinking to soothe the beast within.

It all came to a head on one particular day.
All I can remember is a young bartender being black and beautiful and her name could have been Guinness for all I cared. She was going to make me feel good with her magic elixir. She took my order of Long Island Ice Tea, my go to drink at the time and so it began. I lost count of how many I ordered. I used to do two drinks and that was it, but someone dared me or so I thought and from that moment decided, no one could out drink me.  Back to the bartender, guess what? She didn't stop sending me drinks. It went on for hours before I realized I had lost all semblance of self. I was floating in a collage of colors, sounds and time.

It didn't take long for my body to reason with me. I threw up all over the bar, stool and floor. It was a disaster.  People looked at me with disdain and pity.

I couldn't stop, I had lost control. I was carried out by security and sat outside like a bum. I cried my eyes out that night, sad , alone and broken into pieces. I stumbled
my way home on foot and crashed on my bed.

When I got up the next morning, I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror wearing a puke covered shirt. It was an image that became imbedded in my brain. It stuck with me. I looked like a sad, drunk clown that the joke was on. Enough was enough.

Today I'm proud of the fact that Cinco de Mayo comes around and I don't have the thirst. I am now a full fledged Teetotaler, joining my brethren from 19th century Preston, England to fully abstain from liquor and alcohol. God and family have replaced that hole and reminded me of a better way...

So happy Cinco de Mayo everyone.....