Sobering to the Collapse Experiment




 When I first started this a few months ago there were some immediate effects in my life and my physical self.  I lost fifteen pounds… at first.  My writing increased.  My garden became more productive.  My house is cleaner and I purged it of many items I don’t use and never would.  My diet expanded to the point I started writing for my Kalamabrew blog again.

 Some of the downsides of the experiment was an increase in beer consumption.  Less activity as time went on.  I stopped exercising as I did when it first started.  I gained a few pounds back.  Overall my health declined.  

 I know that I was going to the bar more because of the loneliness I was feeling.  For four bucks I could sip a beer and see some friends that I had made over the last year.  I noticed the changes right away.  My stomach became more distended in the morning.  I was having a harder time recovering in the morning and that was after a night of one or two beers.  To make a long story short the beer needs to go, not the friends I made, but the beer.  I have started to see my new friends outside of the bar.  Meeting for lunches and trying out new food at local restaurants.  The choices I made at these places have been a positive effect on me in the last few weeks.  I started asking myself if I was going to write a review on ‘this,’ the beer or menu item that I was getting.  If the answer was ‘no’ than I didn’t get it.  

 The turning point on my way of thinking was the day after my birthday.  I had plans for that day already wanting to turn things around.  I’m out of shape, sluggish, and getting lazy.  The night of my birthday I had a book signing. During the signing I paced myself with the free beer I received that day but after 9pm when the signing was over I spend things up.  I had a good time making new friends and learning new things.  

 My night ended around midnight and then next morning was one of the worst hangovers I have experienced since I tried vodka in college.  Keep in mind I have not touched vodka since college.  That was what I was thinking yesterday as I was trying to pull myself from my bed and get myself moving.  After several multivitamins and Motrin I was finally moving.  It would take all day for me to recover from one night.  

 Needless to say this did not help my productivity.  A book I recently read, Trip to Echo Springs, talks about the relationship between writers and alcohol abuse.  Am I at that point?  I can’t ignore that it’s effecting my life.  

 With my new job that I’m starting tomorrow I will be working during the hours that my favorite bar is open, or any bar downtown for that matter.  There is a balance that I have been seeking in my life for a while now and I know that taking alcohol out of the equation will help.  I know that once I get used to the new schedule I will start seeing some changes again.  I tend to write better in the morning and workout more often in the afternoon.  For physical work I’m more productive in the evening.  I have hopes that the schedule of the new job will reverse a lot of what has been happening.  This summer will be interesting and a nice experiment for what is better for me as I continue to improve my life.  

 The support I have been getting from friends and family has been amazing.  I have the support, I have the tools, now I just need to put myself into motion.  Kalamabrew will still go on without the beer.  

Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.