The Drinking Game

Hi my name is Erin, and I don’t drink.

There was a time that saying that would make people look at me like I had said I had never seen a tree! Those wide eyed stares used to drive me crazy, now I just shrug them off and remember why I don’t consume alcohol.

Growing up I never had that intense desire to start drinking (as SO many other people I knew did). I got my fair share of teasing for it, but I also had my reasons. You see, my family had a history of alcoholism and as a child I saw how it affected those around me. I also had a friend in high school that died in a drinking and driving accident (she was the one driving). Add to these the fact that I could not stand the smell of it! Whenever I went to my Grandparents house, it hit my nose and turned my stomach. As I got older I knew the last thing I wanted was to drink (this really is going somewhere).

If you’ve already read my story (on the blog post The Spot – My Story), you know all about my physical conditions, but I’ll give you just a very quick reminder. As a child I had unexplainable pain, but it was “blown off” by doctors as growing pains and hypochondria. The older I got the pain got worse, and so did my frustration. I was always sick and no doctor could give me an explanation. It took to my late 20’s for a family physician to finally give me a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia (which I had known for a while, but no one believed me). This started me on the road to years of continued struggles to finding out what else was going on, because I knew that wasn’t the only thing. Turned out I had multiple food allergies, scoliosis, IBS, migraines, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypermobility (Ehlers-Danlos), and just now I’m starting treatment for possible Lupus. There are a few more things, but you get the point. The reason I bring all this up (you see, I told you I was going somewhere with all this) is because now I CAN’T drink!

With all the medication I am on for the multitude of conditions I am being treated for, there’s no way I can have any alcohol. There’s a reason those pill bottles say “Do Not Take with Alcohol”. So, after years of feeling no desire to drink, at all. I suddenly want nothing more! I find so many parallels between this and other parts of my life, so I’m sure others will as well. So, this is my question…

Are there any parts of your life, that when you realize can’t fully control it, your perception shifts?

It took me a long time to come to with the fact that I was a control freak. I wanted total control over what was going on with my body, and what I could (and could not) do. The fact that could no longer drink at all, just made me want to drink for the first time in my life. What sense did that make? It made me really step back and look at what was motivating me, also what other parts of my life I had to examine. Unfortunately, there were a lot. I had to let go of my addiction to caffeine, as it is a pain stimulant. I had to let go of my stubborn grasp on certain toxic friendships. I had to stop fooling myself into believing I could participate in the same activities I used to, like performing (this was the hardest of them all). But by letting go of the “control” I held on to for so long, I found a freedom that made things much clearer.

Are things perfect now? No, not by a long shot. But, day by day I am learning to recognize my limits. Even though I still wish I could drink. 😉

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