Dorion Mode

October 7, 2021

Sober October

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 20:28

In mid-September I decided I'll abstain from alcohol for the month of October. I wouldn't say I have a problem with alcohol ; over the past decade I've gone weeks without it and though more recently I've been a handful of drinks a week drinker, I pretty much always keep it limited to a couple and stay sober enough to drive. Since about my last quarter of being 20 years old, I recall being drunk no more than a couple special occasions a year. This stint is driven more by curiosity about how much better I might feel alcohol free1. I've read recently that even if you don't feel hungover, it can take days for your body to recover from even a couple boozy beverages. Then, in my case, if I'm drinking a couple of drinks every couple of days in social settings, I'm not recovering. So I've not had a drink since mid-September, though I've continued to go out a few times a week. A prime advantage of Panama being situated in the tropics is pretty much every place you go will serve juice2 hecho en casa3.

Thinking back, I don't think I've been a month without booze since June 20084, when I had my first beer following my final high school sporting event sitting on the back porch with my Father. I'm quite thankful for both sports and my Father for helping my stay sober in my high school years. You see, when I was in grade school and various high schoolers had to miss games for getting caught using one party drug or another, my Father would always point it out to me and ask me how I'd like it if I had to miss a game and let down the team because of it. From the time I was a Freshman, various upper class men took me under their wing and brought me to parties. My Sophomore year, I was on the varsity team for each of my sports, American football, basketball and baseball and pretty much exclusively hanging out with the Senior class which was in full blown party mode by winter and spring5. I went to pretty much every party from Sophomore year on and after the first couple peer pressure encounters, everyone accepted I'd be there sober6. While there was always the threat and sometimes reality that cops would bust a party, give everyone blowing non-zero numbers drinking tickets, which'd force athletes to miss games, they never actually showed up to any of the parties I was at. So, in theory, I could've skated by ticketless. Nevertheless, I think this sobriety helped me substantially both in terms of protecting my developing brain from intoxicating binges and, perhaps more importantly, showing me the value of saying no to peer pressure7, which allowed me to see how weak it actually is and how I could be fine following my conscience.

Once I made the decision on alcohol for October, I decided to go all the way and stay away from the other drugs I consume from daily to occasionally, i.e. coffee, tobacco and marijuana. I've been drinking a cup or two --and sometimes more-- of coffee pretty much daily since 20 year old me tried it for the first time while studying in Spain. That'll be the harder one to kick, but let's see how it goes. Jacob seems to have kicked it just fine. So instead of Panamanian coffee to start the day, I'm substituting in herbal tea. Kombucha has some caffeine, I make it with half green tea and half black tea. That being said, the caffeine diminishes the longer the brew.

The smokeables are much easier as while I've puffed a couple times when offered in social settings in recent weeks, they are by no means habits by now. I have gone through phases, which looking back, may have been somewhat beneficial. For example, once the high school sports governor was lifted8, I would only drink and with my low tolerance combined with drinking games, that meant to drunkenness pretty much every time. However, once I realized one couldn't practically overdose on the wacky weed and started to look into the history of it being banned and the propaganda around it, I decided to try it. What I found was, I could take a couple puffs have a couple drinks, get a nice buzz, stay social and thus it really helped me take the emphasis off alcohol and I pretty much quit the binge drinking to drunkenness as underage parties in Gringolandia so often devolve to. I also happened to have some of life changing for the better ideas after a puff. For example, I was sitting on the front porch at my college house on Charlotte Street, listening to Schiff Radio following a gravity bong rip when it occurred to me that I could call into Peter's show the next time he was on and I'd have that conversation to support my case to my parents for dropping out of communist university. Maybe I'd have had that idea sober and I'm sure I've had some bad ideas and wasted time spinning9 after inhaling combusted plant matter, as Jacob refers to smoking. That being said, today I don't see it as harmless as I once did. In particular, I've learned that it suppresses Random Eye Movement (REM) sleep which is where dreams happen and emotions are regulated. Given your feelings are out to get out to begin with, the herb hurts more than helps.

As far as tobacco, I've lightly smoked for a couple stretches. A few cigs a day during hunting season for strategic wind checks, reaping the benefits of nicotine's powerful nootropic effects and usually a few more if there has been a kill. If there has been a kill, there's greater chance more booze will be consumed and tobacco's good for balancing booze for which purpose I've employed it from time to time outside hunting season. At times I've used tobacco to balance the bud in a Ken Spliffey Jr. if it's rolled or in a mole if it's bonged, the latter obviously being much more intense. I've only seen it Raiders in Rutland rip moles, probably both a function of that place and my limited travels.

I'm not sure why I've gone into so much detail here, not sure how much it's to my advantage, but I suppose purges are messy in nature and sweeping puke under the rug doesn't make the mess less messy. So, the idea for this month is to limit the exogenous inputs to only the necessary and sharpen my straight edge while focusing more on the endogenous drivers of culture in coping with the great tension. Perhaps I'll have a sip in November, perhaps I'll carry the sobriety into the new year and beyond. I'm pretty sure I'll have a drink again at some point ; no one lives forever and I'll be game to embrace a little liquid chaos again when the time is right. For now, I'll leave the liquor to chill in my freezer and wine to hang on my rack and take this sobriety process one day at a time and see how I can use it to my advantage. Sanatate ! Salud ! A ta sante ! Cheers !

  1. I suppose I'll not be completely alcohol free because I'll continue consuming my home brewed kombucha daily, which by now is on a two week fermentation period. I've not measured or estimated the alcohol content of this tea. Store bought kombucha is typically less than 0.5% alcohol by volume because greater than 1.2% in certain jurisdictions requires registration with the nanny state. I'll pay closer attention to temperature, experiment with less sugar and longer fermentation time to limit the alcohol content and increase the lactic and acetic acid I'm consuming the kombucha for. []
  2. Not drink, nigga. Juice. []
  3. So far they've offered 2-5 fruits, e.g. pinya, fresa, papaya, maracuya, naranja, etc. I tend to go for half of one, half of another and add some hierba buena if they have it. []
  4. Thinking a bit more, I stayed alcohol free for about 4 months while caddying in Long Island during summer and autumn of 2011, though I was going through a Dr. Dre Next Episode phase with the bud. []
  5. Football season pretty much everyone stayed clean apart from dipping tobacco, which was quite prevalent. The football program had earned more prestige as we were going for a three-peat, on top of 5 titles in 6 years and 7 out of 10. We were upset at home in the semi-finals, but we did win the next year making it 7 out of 11. Keep in mind, Vermont is a small pond with just over half a million people. There were only 7 teams in our top division in 2006. On top of that, for some brain damaged reason, only one high school in the most populous county had a team in the top division, Essex. In 2005, MSJ won the top division with less than 200 boys in their school, though we did beat them on their home field in the regular season. ;p Anyways, independent of being a small state, no one wanted to risk being the class that didn't win because of booze.

    The only time I broke training rules was to puff black and milds with Bijan Rizzaghi and Jason Foster on the back steps of the party to celebrate the football title in 2006. It was a Saturday night and basketball season started on Monday. []

  6. Though at times I might get high fructose corn syrup high on Price Chopper Orange Soda. Not exactly sure when USia became too poor for real sugar and started sweetening everything with corn poison, but when I realized the issues there in 2010 or so, the corn sweetener was seemingly everywhere. []
  7. Peer pressure can be good if you're in a sane environment and your peers help you overcome irrational retardation. From my view, USian drinking laws are criminal and I was opting out of the game where they could take something important from me based on their stupid rules. When they no longer had the thing to take away from me, I broke their laws and started drinking with my family and then publicly, as the gods intended. []
  8. I played a couple years D3 college baseball, but by then the threat of missing games or getting kicked off the team had dulled and I wasn't going to let it keep me from "fun". []
  9. Trilema is down as I write this, so I'll replace with the canonical log when it comes back online, as I'm sure it will be in due time. []

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