Archive for the ‘SOBRIETY’ Tag

THE DAY I SAID “NO MORE!”   2 comments

(The picture has nothing to do with the post though I did gain a few pounds when I stopped. It was taken at the Oaski Steakhouse where Allen and I had lunch this past Thursday. :O)

It is hard for me to believe that I haven’t had any alcohol touch me lips for 34 years now. I won’t take cough medicine or eat coq au vine because it is made with wine. While some people check labels for salt or sugar contents I check for alcohol.

I started ‘drinking’ when my dad took me to Sun Luck Gourmet West in New York city and ordered a ‘frozen’ non-alcoholic daiquiri for me. I was 12 or 13. When I was 14-15 I started going to gay bars–at that time the drinking age was 18 and I looked 18.

An aside–I walked into a long dark bar on 45th street filled with guys leaning, sitting, all over the place. I didn’t notice what anyone was drinking as I was scared out of my mind and didn’t look at anyone. I went up to the bar and ordered a frozen daiquiri and the bartender, aloud with 2-3 guys at the bar, started laughing. He did nicely, quietly, tell me to look around and notice what everyone was drinking, which I did. To a man they all had either a bottle or a glass of bear in their hand! I remember turning a beet red but I remember my first glass of beer and hating it. Never did have a beer after that!

In the 1950s up to the 1990s gay bars were ‘home’ for gay people. It is where they went to meet people, socialize and/or cruise. At 16 I started going to the bars frequently and by 1981 I had been to all kinds of bars all over the world. It was also in 1981 when I had become thin, rich and on top of the world that I crossed the line from being a drinker to being a drunk. Oh I didn’t drink in the morning and I didn’t miss a day of work because I was drunk nor did I embarrass myself though I did get in the habit when going out to dinner in fine restaurants of leaving my dining companion behind to pay the check. Yes, I made good for it the next day.

I won’t get into all the messy details of over-drinking but in was the third week in January of 1981 when I was 45 years old that I woke up one morning not knowing how I got home and/or where my car was. I had a black-out. It turns out I drove home and my first thought was that I could have hit someone with my car and not have known it. I looked at the front of my car, I looked in the newspapers, I called a few hospitals and, yes, the police. There were no accidents reported.

I do know that losing such control over myself, not knowing what had happened, was too much for me to deal with. I, also, knew that I would stop drinking. No, I couldn’t have one and stop. I was/am smart enough to know that with me whether it be booze, food, sex, money, whatever, it is all or nothing at all. Moderation is NOT in my vocabulary and that day I said, “No more!”

On Sunday, January 25, 1981, 34 years ago today, I stopped drinking.

Posted January 25, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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