I was reading an article in the Globe this morning about President Obama, homebrewer. And it made me a little wistful.
Because I won’t lie. I miss beer. Sometimes – I really, really miss beer.
I miss microbrews. I miss a nice Hefeweizen with a slice of orange in the summer. I miss a pint (or three) of Guinness in the winter. I miss the ritual of the two-part pour.
Most of all – I miss believing that because I knew so much about beer, because I wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a Budweiser, that I wasn’t – couldn’t POSSIBLY be – an alcoholic. Alcoholics, after all, aren’t as “discerning” as I was. Right?
I’ll tell you – it’s hard sometimes. Even after ten+ years of sobriety, being in a place like The Burren fills me with a longing that a hundred plates of curry & chips will never assuage. I think, “GOD, I miss Guinness.”
It’s then that I have to remember what I DON’T miss.
I don’t miss waking up with a hangover that I could feel in my back molars.
I don’t miss the prolonged crying/screaming jags I’d have outside of The Burren, TT’s, The Middle East, The Field, or The Phoenix Landing.
I don’t miss the tiny fragment of clarity I’d experience when I’d stop crying/screaming long enough to look into the eyes of whatever guy I’d been involved with and see the moment of realization that he was with a truly crazy, sick young woman, and then the disconnect.
I don’t miss waking up and either having something missing (wallets, keys, sweaters, dudes), or being in possession of something that I’d have no recollection of acquiring (candleholders, table centerpieces, sweaters, dudes).
I don’t miss wondering how much longer I could get away with being a drunk before Kevin would leave me, before I’d lose my job, before I’d have one too many and wind up in the hospital…provided I’d be discovered in time.
I don’t miss some of the really BAD decisions I’d make in order to keep drinking, decisions that endangered me, compromised my morals, sold myself short.
I don’t miss keeping track of what liquor store I’d gone to the day before, so that I wouldn’t go there two days in a row, because I didn’t want the person at the counter to think I was an alcoholic.
I don’t miss the spectacle of far too many ATM receipts in my pocket, all of them accrued in a single evening.
I don’t miss having drinking define me — being afraid to stop drinking because I would lose some crucial aspect of my personality.
So, yeah. I miss beer. But I don’t miss it that much.