Sunday, January 21, 2007


Maybe you know this. Probably you don't.

Since the new year, I've been pretty much on a wine-only liquor diet. There's a couple of reasons for this, and the primary one is a desire to modify my lifestyle so I'm drinking just a little bit less than I have in the past. This has grown out of a realization that there may be some connection between "depression" and the intake of "depressants."

The wine only -- and, in this case, specifically red wine -- grew out of a couple of other things. First, I realized some time ago that red wine gave me a sort-of creative buzz, one that left with a desire to sit down and write something, so it seemed as if it would go nicely hand-in-hand with my resolution to write more in 2007. Also, recent readings on the health benefits of red wine indicated that up to three glasses a day helped to lower blood pressure, and three glasses a day seemed like a nice, round, not-terribly drunk sort of number.

This is not to say that I've removed beer or other liquors from my life. That is not the case at all. They're just not part of a regular lifestyle. Some of them were -- particularly beer -- but that's the very habit I'm trying to overcome.

So far, the change in lifestyle has actually brought about a noticeable improvement. My mood is better. I'm sleeping better. I'm waking up feeling better in the morning. And, barring the occasional day where I've dropped the ball, I'm being more productive with my writing.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with why I'm writing tonight.

After a "Seen Change" rehearsal tonight, I went out with a handful of the cast and crew for dinner and a few drinks. Thinking this was one of those "not part of the regular lifestyle" nights that I had allowed myself to have, I figured I'd have a few beer, just for a change of pace. And I did. And they were tasty, and I enjoyed them very much, and there was much chit-chat and laughing and merry-making at the table, and was fine with the world. Until it was time to go.

When it was time to go, I paid my bill, headed out of the bar into the parking lot, and as I walked towards my car I felt something...odd.

I felt this massive, soul-sucking sort of void in my heart.

I felt this terrible sense of despair and loneliness crashing down on me. And I thought, "What the fuck is this all about?"

Because I recognized it. It was something I had felt for a good portion of 2006. It was, in fact, one of the things from 2006 that I was eager to be free of. And here it was again, from out of the blue.

And I wondered for the first time if maybe it was the beer. Because I hadn't felt that way while drinking red wine for the last few weeks. Quite the opposite, as I've already mentioned.

I find this possibility somewhat troubling. I mean, I wasn't looking eradicate beer from my diet because it made me depressed. I was looking to reduce its presence in my diet because I was drinking too much of it. I'm still quite fond of beer, and the thought of having to remove it completely from my life is...well, a thought I'm not willing to entertain at the moment.

So here's hoping it was a one time thing, and the next time I feel like treating myself to an icy cold, refreshing brewski, it's a pleasant experience from the moment it begins until long after its over.

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