I'm Back, Bitches!

Let's take another run at this, shall we?

Dollars and Calories

Captains Log - Mission Elapsed Time 9 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 6 seconds

A full grown bottle of bourbon used to be called "a fifth" because it contained roughly a fifth of a gallon of bourbon.

In metric terms, that comes to about 750 ml, which is how it is sold and bottled today.

A 750 ml bottle contains 25.36 fl oz. of bourbon.

Each oz. of 86 proof bourbon contains approximately 65 calories.

This works out to roughly 1650 calories in every bottle of bourbon.

That's about the same as a double whopper with cheese and an order of salty fries.

This used to be one of my favorite meals

I nice, big juicy steak, baked potato with butta, sour cream and shredded cheese and a stack of buttery crescent rolls. That bourbon I washed it down with? That's the same as eating everything you see on those plates and having a double whopper with cheese and fries on the side, just to go with.

Insane! By not drinking I've just cut anywhere from 1650 to 2000 calories from my daily consumption.

Oh, and let's not forget the expense.

That 750 ml bottle of bourbon would run anywhere from $10 to $25, depending on the brand. I drank one every fucking night.

That's somewhere between $300 to $750 a month back in my pocket.

I'm going to lose weight and make money doing it.

It just doesn't get any better than that.

Until next time this is Rocky Jones, Sobernaut, signing off.


Twisted Logic

Captains Log - Mission Elapsed Time 9 days, 6 hours, 58 minutes and 42 seconds

You know all of those movies and TV shows depicting alcoholics? The ones where the guy is all sweaty, has the shakes, and just HAS TO HAVE A DRINK! Anything!! "Just gimme a drink, will ya? C'mon, I gotta have a drink!"

Well, I didn't go through anything even remotely like that. The worst "withdrawal symptom" I had was a little trouble sleeping. Other than that, I've been positively giddy over how good I feel (with the exception of a pretty severe hemorrhoid flare up...anybody else have anything like that when they quit drinking?".

But the total lack of any withdrawal symptoms and the total ease of quitting brings it's own danger. It's a twisted bit of logic that goes like this:

"Quitting was EASY!"

"If quitting was that easy, maybe you didn't have a problem after all."

"If you didn't have a drinking problem, then it should be OK to have a drink if you want one."

"Quitting was so easy, you can always do it again if you want to."

That little bit of internal dialogue sound familiar to anyone else?

Until next time this is Rocky Jones, Sobernaut, signing off.


"You can have a drink, if you want."

Captains Log - Mission Elapsed Time 8 days, 20 hours, 33 minutes and 30 seconds

I had been thinking about quitting drinking just about everyday for the last 6 months. Listing the reasons I needed to quit (there were a lot) and weighing them against the reasons to not quit (there weren't any). I was talking myself into it. Just like I did before I quit smoking.

But this was all just internal dialogue with myself.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone with my girlfriend. I had been drinking (of course...I was home, wasn't I?). The conversation drifted towards a subject that we've been nibbling around the edges of for a while now. Moving in together. Neither one of us are really ready for that and we both know it, but we think about it occasionally.

Well, this particular night, she had some things to get off her shoulders. Things about how I raise my daughter (I'm too permissive), how I handle money (like a sailor on leave), and how much I drink. She actually said, out loud, "I think you might be an alcoholic."

There it was. No longer just an internal dialogue. Not just me talking to myself. This was objective evidence from the woman I love. Wow.

Now, I want to make something clear. I didn't quit drinking for her or for anyone else. I did it for myself because I wanted to and needed to. Drinking was preventing me from becoming the person I wanted to be.

When I quit, I didn't tell anybody. I don't believe in making any big, dramatic pronouncements. "Honey, I'm gonna quit drinkin'! I'm serious! I'm really gonna do it!" Go around making a big production of gathering up all the booze and pouring it down the drain. Fuck all that. Anybody can talk and make promises. I just did it without all the drama.

So Tuesday night, I'm staying over at the girlfriends and she wants to go out to dinner, her treat. We go to Red Lobster and as we are looking over the menu, the waiter comes by. "Can I start you out with some drinks?"

"I'll just have ice tea with lemon."

The girlfriend says "I think I'd like a drink. I'll have a strawberry margarita."

Looking at me, she says "Do you want a drink? You can have a drink, if you want."

There it is. My out. She doesn't know I've quit drinking. No one knows but me and the readers of this blog. I don't know any of you folks. I can delete the blog. I can have a drink and just forget about all of this. She's giving me permission and she's buying.

"No thanks, honey. I'll just stick with the tea."

After the waiter left she said "You know, when I said all of those mean things the other night, I didn't mean that you couldn't ever have a drink."

I said "I know I can have a drink if I want, baby. I just choose not to. But thanks!"

Later on I let her know that I've given up alcohol. She lets me know she's proud of me.

I'm pretty fucking proud of me too.

Until next time this is Rocky Jones, Sobernaut, signing off.


Remembering How To Sleep

Captains Log - Mission Elapsed Time 5 Days, 18 Hours, 47 Minutes and 15 Seconds

WARNING - This YouTube clip is NSFW! In fact, you can pretty much assume that everything on this blog will be NSFW.

I know how he feels.

The first night of going to sleep sober was the toughest. My brain wasn't used to that. It was used to being pickled in about a fifth of bourbon and just going unconscious as soon as my head hit the pillow and staying that way until the alarm went off.

Guess what? That ain't sleeping! That's just being passed out. You don't dream, you don't recupurate and you don't really get any rest. It looks like sleep and it kinda seems like sleep, but it's not.

How do I know? Because for the last few nights I've been getting REAL SLEEP and it's fucking awesome!

Now, I haven't been doing it entirely on my own. But I'm not taking any sleeping pills either. Not going down that road, thank you very much.

I discovered early on that the first attempts to go to sleep sober I couldn't get past Stage 1.

"Stage 1 is light sleep where you drift in and out of sleep and can be awakened easily. In this stage, the eyes move slowly and muscle activity slows. During this stage, many people experience sudden muscle contractions preceded by a sensation of falling."

I have found that taking a single dose of melatonin just before going to bed helps to ease me past stage 1 into deeper sleep. I am sleeping deeper for longer periods each night as my brain slowly remembers what natural sleep is like.

And the dreams!! OMG the dreams are wonderful! It's like going to the most entertaining freak show in the world everynight! I look forward to going to bed sober each night. I swear to god there are times when I will wake up after an incredibly vivid and bizarre dream and I'll be smiling, saying "what the fuck was THAT?" and then I'll drift off back to sleep and have a completely different but equally bizarre dream. I think my brain is remembering how to dream, too.

I wake up rested and refreshed. It's awesome. I'm going to stop taking the melatonin in the next few days and see if I can get to sleep on just plain being tired.

Well, it's time to fix some supper and watch "Big Love". Those wacky Mormons and their crazy antics!

Until next time this is Rocky Jones, Sobernaut, signing off.



I'm well on my way. I took my last drink on Wednesday, August 1, 2007.

It is something I've been meaning to do for a very long time. I've started out as a social drinker in my teens. I've been drinking ever since. Daily.

Most recently, I had achieved the dubious milestone of being able to polish off one of these

every single night. Some nights it would even be a bit more.

That, my friends, is not a sustainable lifestyle for a 51 year old man. So I quit.

No AA, no 12 step programs, no support groups, none of that crap. I just fucking quit. I'm done.

Obviously I had a drinking problem, or I wouldn't have felt it necessary to quit. But I really don't buy into the whole "alcoholism as an incurable disease" crap.

It's not a disease.

Drinking is a conscious decision that every drinker makes. A "disease" can't make you get up, get dressed, find your car keys, go to the garage, get in your car, drive to the liquor store, walk in the store, pick up the bottle, take it to the counter, pay for it, take it home, open it up and take drink after drink after drink.

That's not a disease taking all of those actions. It's you. You're not a meat puppet having your strings pulled by some external force. It's you.

Those are all conscious decisions and at every one of those decision points you have the ability to say "NO...I'm not going to do it."

It doesn't take any will power not to due something that you don't want to do.

Do I get cravings? Yeah, sort of. But I recognize them for what they are.

Look, if you ate a Snickers bar everyday at 4:00, and you did that for years, and you suddenly quit, you would find yourself craving a Snickers bar everyday around 4:00.

That's not a "disease". You're not a snickerholic. That's just a classic Pavlovian conditioned response. If you wait it out, it goes away.

The human body doesn't need alcohol. No matter how much you drink, how often or for how long, your body never ever needs alcohol. In fact, it's a poison. It's just that little part of your brain that is conditioned to get it and wants it when it would usually have it. For me, that's right around the end of the work day. I would get home and pour my first drink of the evening and that is when I tend to want one the most.

But guess what? That part of my brain isn't the boss of me! I'm in charge!

If, at some point, I were to give into that craving and make a conscious decision to have a drink, I'll fess up to it on this blog.

But that isn't going to happen.

I gave up smoking pot and all other recreational drugs, oh, lets see, it was 4 years ago. Haven't touched them since. Never crave them or want them. Will never touch them again. I'm not a "recovering pot smoker". I just not a pot smoker anymore.

I quit smoking cigarettes just over a year ago. That was after 30+ years of smoking a pack and a half a day. Haven't had one since. I'm completely tobacco free. I never crave them or want them. Will never touch them again. I'm not a "recovering smoker". I'm a non-smoker.

Alcohol was my last self-destructive vice and now I've given it up too. I'm not a "recovering alcoholic". I just don't drink anymore.

I'll post more later, but I think this is enough to kick things off. Maybe I'll leave this post up until I get my first commentor.

Thanks for stopping by.

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