Friends,

beer is over for me. for a while. because. that’s why.

there are people around me that seem to think that beer is part of my problem. never mind that my spine is causing my chest to compress my heart which imbalances blood pressure which causes areas of my body to retain water which has proven impossible to get rid of. never mind that the fucker called ankylosing spondylitis won’t stop, has no cure and is hell bent on making me more miserable with each passing day for the last decade. so I relent. I will cave to their wishes and stop drinking. and with beer gone I will stand alone with no drugs to defend me. I gave up on most of them years ago because drugs stopped working unless I took ridiculous amounts.

I’m not sure that there is a simple replacement for that social thing called “the bar.” and I’m bitter about this. beer isn’t just the way that I’ve managed my fucked situation of pain it’s been the thing that kept me from sitting every waking second in front of my computers. sadly, drinking “something else” isn’t the next answer. soda, even craft soda is full of sugar. it’s the empty calories they say. so no rootbeer, ginger beer, grape, or mexican colas as a substitute to enjoy while you enjoy what ever is in your glass.

I’ve done “beer time off” before. March used to be the month of none. I did March for a decade. but I skipped this last year. and the year before I didn’t make it to the Ides. the thing with March is that there is an end. baseball’s Opening Day happens and I was THERE having my first beer in a month. and did I like it? not really. beer is a horrible thing after you’ve been away. it’s too sweet. it’s too bitter. it’s not plesent. and damn the farts will kill you. and by you I mean me. and what used to take all night takes about a pint and a half. one year I kept going just because I wanted to see how far I could go before peer relenting to peer pressure.

peer pressure is part of it. there’s is ALWAYS something new to try or festivals to attend or openings happening. reverse benders always have this problem. the good news is that starting isn’t the problem. the first few days is nothing. it’s like being sick. when beer has no appeal because you can’t smell or taste anything. and everything feels green or spins. eventually it becomes days later and it’s BEER 30 time. the reward of the end of the day. the reason makes it time to go. time for people. time for stories. and laughs. so what you say, do that anyway, except don’t drink. beer? no thanks I’m having tea. or coffee. or water. the next week is when it gets tough. there’s something about week two. you either cave or preserver. if you get through you can go the distance. it’s the one time when you want want WANT a beer. it’s also when sleep becomes a problem. because beer helped make that happen for me. and actually, I don’t like sleeping much if only because waking up is a chore. every morning I’m stiff, my joints don’t work, and it just takes a while to get it all going again. eventually I will fall or fail into exhaustion and sleep will happen, you stop fighting it. give in.

and then a month happens. the beginning will be far enough away that there won’t be memory of why beer was so important. all of my friends from the bar will become annoying. and like every other time I’ve done this I will have to learn to like beer all over again. sigh. so I have THAT to look forward to.

tonight I drink my last pints. and tomorrow I wake up like every other day. I’ll find eggs. make my way to the office. and work on the toil of the day. and then Monday will appear. Monday is going to suck.

John