Sometime last week I realized I was my own worst enemy.
I’ve been suffering from insomnia and migraines but I haven’t stopped drinking. Any idiot knows that those three don’t play well together.
The problem was that until recently I couldn’t see the affect the alcohol was having on the migraines because it was so slight. It bumps an existing migraine about 0.5 on the pain scale. You know that scale. The one the doctor always asks you. “On a scale of 0 to 10 how much pain are you in?” When you are having daily migraines in the 7-9 category the increase in magnitude of a 0.5 just isn’t enough to register.
My daily migraines are closer to a 1 so now I’m noticing.
It is the insomnia that is the real kicker. Some days a single drink will cause me to wake up every hour or so. But wine and scotch are part of my lifestyle. They are part of how I view myself.
Funny – I’m sure that is similar to how smokers feel.
We have so many hang-ups around drinking in our culture I have a feeling many of you are out there labeling me. Label away. I’ve been referring to myself as the “family alcoholic” for some time now. I’m one of the only ones who drinks.
At least I’ve discovered that I’m not addicted, but I don’t have an addictive personality so that wasn’t a surprise. I can stop and I can limit. I just like to drink. I love the adventure of tasting new wines and visiting old scotches. Only now I need to make the decision about when and when.
It’s all about health.
Health is one of those things that I like to manage myself. Now I know that for me to sleep well and limit that minor bump on the migraine, I have to limit my consumption. Sometimes one drink is too much but often I don’t know until the next day if I’ve caused a negative impact.
Logic says that I should be saying good bye…
The thing is I’ve changed my diet, my exercise program, where I go and who I go out with, all to limit my need for drugs to manage my health. Alcohol is my last food related vice. I never had many but they are all gone. The fried egg sandwiches, nachos, soft drinks, aged cheese, fresh baked bread, and goldfish crackers are all things of the past. There is nothing left to comfort myself with or use as a reward system.
That was what the scotch was for.
Scotch is the ritual that allows me to relax. It was what helped me handle the stress when everything in my life was falling apart. Just the smell of a good island scotch makes me smile. There is enormous power in the wafting scent of peat and seaweed, a strange sort of something that my brain responds to with pleasure.
My scotch brought me happiness when few things in my life did. Often it was less than a glass. Sometimes when I had a migraine I would simply pour enough in so that I could smell it.
I need sleep, but I love my scotch. I wonder if there is any way I can keep my vice and still provide my brain with its much needed downtime?
Moderation in all things I suppose.
We shall see.