ALCOHOL IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU.
That being said, I am a sailor and I like to have a drinkie-poo.
I love pairing wine with food, cold artisan beers (and cheap tasteless beer if that is all that is available as long as it’s cold) and spirits. Oh how I love spicy cocktails.
I invent cocktails a lot. You will see a lot of cocktail recipes and wonder if I’m an alcoholic. Thankfully, I am not. – Me, 2011
Now this is a touchy subject. But, I sincerely think telling the raw details of my story will help at least someone. I know there are other people out there going through what I went through. These are brief versions of dozens of bullet points I could give, all of which can contribute to a riveting memoir someday, but I discovered:
- After my first TBI my alcohol tolerance went way down. But, I didn’t accept that fact because there was no reason for it; I must have been imagining. From late 2003 – 2007, a time period I hardly remember, I drank a lot of alcohol. And I passed out a lot. And I hit my head a lot. On top of all this I was constantly getting sick and throwing up – even without alcohol – because my vestibular system was severely impaired. It was like the equivalent of being dizzy and nauseated all the time.
- I hated being out where there was a lot of “movement.” I couldn’t describe it beyond that; I’d always been a social butterfly. Going out to meet friends meant drinking to excess because that would actually take my mind OFF being dizzy.
- After my impromptu divorce (actually, it was an amicable “summary dissolution” which I continued to cry about for years, because I never figured out why the heck I’d wanted it) the next man I dated was way too similar to me; enthusiastic, overachieving, charismatic, athletic, but a major screw loose and a tendency to to throw back too many. Nevertheless he taught me to take food from the ocean and SCUBA, we shot guns, we’d close down the bar and most importantly; argue. A lot. We were both emotional rollercoasters working in fast-paced Special Operations. Eight years after we finally broke it off, he took his own life. I know in my heart that untreated/unseen/misdiagnosed mental problems led to his death. I loosely combed old emails after his passing and and to my horror found many accounts of him explaining where/when I’d passed out standing up. I know that none of this was good for my existing head problem.
Surprisingly this alcohol abuse and brain fog didn’t particularly effect my performance at work. I had strong chiefs I could delegate paperwork to while I tended to take on more physically active tasks and, most likely my saving grace, I remained on point under pressure. Had I not been a stellar Battle Watch Officer, I may have ended up losing my job.
Alcohol was a poor choice of escape and I am glad I came out of that phase of my life alive. And that is real talk. But at the same time, my sense of smell and taste have become so acute over time, that tasting and talking about wine is now one of my favorite things to do.