Ending a Lifelong Addiction
My readers here know me from my writing on politics and climate issues, but there is a human behind that cynical and concerned opinion writer. While I have continued to write about these important topics during a critical time here in America, a personal drama has been unfolding at the center of my life.
I have been a heavy drinker for too many years. In some ways it had come to define me and then to limit my life as a human and a writer, which I view as my core skill.
I’ll get to the point. One month ago I got drunk on martinis at my local posh hotel bar next to my building, got home, had a few more, got up to go to bed and fell, crashing my face into a glass-fronted print on my living room wall.
The glass broke and cut my face open with a near miss to my left eye. I woke up to a nightmare of blood and total confusion but managed to call 911 and get to the ER. A plastic surgeon sewed my cheek up with seventy stitches and I had surgery a few days later on my lower eyelid for a cut tear duct.
All in all, a fun experience. But a life changing one. In the ambulance I made a choice which has informed and changed my life since and will continue to do so for a long time. Maybe for the rest of my life.
I decided I was done with that life, the drinking and everything that went with it, and just as important, I decided to be completely open about what had happened, no whitewashing of the reality.
That choice, which has proven liberating, may be why I am writing this now and sharing it. Remarkably the transition is going very well. I have had nothing to drink for thirty days (stopped counting after that), no cravings, and my wounds are healing exceptionally well, the physical ones anyhow.
This, naturally, has me evaluating everything I am and do and that has been enlightening. Of course, as a writer I am documenting these changes, though I’m not sure when they will see the light of day. It’s way too early to be celebrating with a book or other event.
I have mixed feelings about sharing this here. I have a Substack newsletter, The Grasshopper, where I write about being a writer and it is a little more personal. But my opinion writing…