The Days of Wine and Contusions…

Brenda responded to one of my blog posts by saying, “I always drink club soda, because I like staying in control at all times.” That’s not something you hear every day on a sobriety blog. I think most heavy drinkers love the feeling of being out of control. The photo above is how I saw the world for several years. And how the world saw me. Out of focus. Out of control. Uncomfortably numb…

I have to admit, looking back on the days of wine and contusions, I liked the feeling of getting drunk. Emphasis on the word “getting”. There was that fuzzy half hour when all my troubles slipped away and I felt release. But, I drank so fast, and so much, the “tipsy phase” didn’t last long. I was in the “drunk phase” within an hour.

Bruises, Contusions and Chipped Teeth

After that, it was a calamity of overturned chairs and pratfalls. The long tumble from a barstool (three strong men to hoist me up)… I hear from readers all the time, about their prior, drunken falls down flights of stairs. It’s a wonder we lived to tell the tales: collapsing in gravel driveways, cutting off important body parts while cooking, operating heavy machinery badly… all that broken glass.

What in the world were we thinking? A friend of mine says, “The reason we were able to withstand the catastrophic accidents, was because we were loose and anesthetized.” That is probably true, but I walked around with black and blue shins for a number of years. The “frequent flyer” discounts at my cosmetic dentist were a direct result of passing out face first onto granite countertops. I felt too pooped to participate most of the time. The only thing I cultivated was thirst, lies and excuses.

No Laughing Matter

I can laugh now at some of the fine messes I got myself into while drunk. It’s sort of like watching that silent movie, where the guy hangs from the face of a clock. My life was death defying and slapstick. But it’s no laughing matter. Drinking plays a big role in reduced work productivity, emergency room visits and avoidable death.

  • 13% – 60% of accidental falls are alcohol related
  • Drowning accidents involve alcohol one-third of the time
  • 8% of all ER visits each year for illness or injuries are associated with alcohol.
  • Evidence links a high proportion of deaths from fires and burns to drinking.
  • 1 in 3 cases of violet crime involve alcohol
  • half of traffic fatalities are alcohol related
  • trauma deaths involve alcohol 50% of the time

Taking Better Care of Yourself…

I still have no feeling in the middle finger of my right hand. I basically cut the tip off while chopping veggies for a salad at a dinner party. My guests didn’t know I was bleeding, because I took another swig of wine, wrapped my finger with a towel and ignored it. I didn’t feel the pain until the next morning. I cannot imagine that scenario now, but it was typical of the ill regard I showed myself when I was in my active addiction. That is no way to entertain. That is no way to live.

These days I am bruise free. I can’t remember the last time I missed a dining room chair, or toppled onto a marble sink in the ladies toilet. My teeth are in my mouth. My life is in focus… and in technicolor.


I tout the reasons for quitting drinking all the time. Stop it for your good looks. Quit for your blood pressure. Get sober so you don’t have to wear long pants, long sleeves and dark glasses. Do it so you can look back on all those crazy, dangerous times and laugh, like it happened to someone else…


Today I’m not drinking because I like my life in focus.

How come you’re not drinking?