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I Miss Booze

Glasses of whiskey with ice on wooden tableI was never a big drinker; certainly, drinking was never a problem for me.

I started drinking beer with my older brothers and hating it. It was not until I’d consumed it for a couple of years that I began to love it. We’d drink beer down by the river, standing around a huge bonfire, our fronts toasty and our backs cool in the fall air.

I then moved into a tequila stage. I loved the mechanics, the drama of tequila — licking the salt, biting the lime and throwing back the shot. I drank shots with my first boyfriend, my childhood sweetheart.

At Oberlin, I drank 3.2 beer because that’s all there was.

I continued to drink throughout grad school, but at this point, I was drinking wine, primarily Merlot. My best friend, Jessica, and I tossed back a lot of red wine while we consumed a great deal of pasta and red sauce.

Soon, it was 1991, the year I was diagnosed with bipolar illness, and all drinking stopped.

I was put on some heavy meds that didn’t mix with alcohol. Since 1991, I’ve only been able to consume an occasional drink — a beer here, and glass of Chardonnay there.

There was only one time that I really “tied one on” while on a hefty bipolar med cocktail. It was at the wedding of my husband’s best friend, Paul. I was in my early 30s.  

The wedding was in the backyard of Paul’s childhood home. Everything was beautiful. Pink rosebuds floated on their small swimming pool. They’d set up a tent and in it put stark white, wooden, folding chairs. At the front of the tent were gorgeous bouquets of more pink roses and baby’s breath.

I drank highballs; I drank watery beer from kegs; I had a shot of whiskey and two glasses of wine, and I nearly killed myself. The alcohol did not mix well with the meds. The next morning, I woke up feeling terrible, in a zombie-like state. It took me three days to recover.

Obviously, I can’t tie one on any more, and I miss this.

I miss the sociability of drinking, sitting around eating chips and dip and guzzling alcohol.

The other night, Christmas Eve, I had a glass of wine because my current psychiatrist said I could have one drink on my current medication cocktail. (Funny how we call groups of meds “cocktails.”)

I chose to imbibe in a glass of cold, white wine. I wanted to drink it in a beautiful wine glass, but all the host had were clear, plastic cups. So I drank the wine, enjoying every drop. And I felt good — warm, comfy and relaxed. In a word, I was “chilled.”

Everything was fine until I went to bed that night. Then, after I fell asleep, I began to have strange, psychedelic dreams. Most of the night, I dreamed that I was trapped in the trunk of our 1968 childhood station wagon. The dreams weren’t pleasant. At one point in my sleep, I thought to myself, this is what happens when you drink and take psych meds. You just can’t do it. Can’t you accept that?

So on New Year’s Eve, I didn’t have a drop. I drank Diet Coke all night. And I felt half as festive. I was not relaxed enough to kiss a stranger, to dance provocatively on the dance floor, to talk too much telling boring stories. I was completely sober and completely proper.

I just can’t drink any more.

But boy, do I miss booze. With all my heart, I miss that sweet stuff called alcohol. I probably always will until I’m able to live without psych meds.  

If such a day ever comes.

I Miss Booze


Laura Yeager

Laura Yeager has been writing for over 35 years. Some of her favorite topics include mental health, writing, religion, parenthood, dogs, and her day-to-day life. She is a mental health writer for PsychCentral.com. Her articles about writing have appeared in The Writer Magazine, The Toastmaster Magazine, writersweekly.com and authormagazine.org. Her spiritual writing has been featured in several venues including Aleteia USA, Busted Halo, The Liguorian Magazine, Canticle Magazine and Guideposts Magazine. A graduate of The Writers' Workshop at The University of Iowa, Laura teaches writing at Kent State University and online Creative Writing at Gotham Writers' Workshop in New York.


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APA Reference
Yeager, L. (2018). I Miss Booze. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/i-miss-booze/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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