Sunday, March 18, 2012

Doctor Doctor

One of the hardest things for me to deal with over the years of marriage to my Aspie husband is his tendency to self-medicate. His drug of choice is alcohol. The use of alcohol is a tricky and delicate subject. To drink or not to drink? A little or a lot? What constitutes too much?

January 16, 1919 the U.S. ratified the 18th Amendment to our national Constitution. That amendment banned the sale, manufacture and transport of all alcohol.  It stayed in effect until December 5, 1933 when the 21st Amendment repealed it.

Debates over alcohol useage have gone on for centuries. It’s a topic that can split families wide apart. Personal choices due to personal experiences and reasons dictate that I rarely drink. Drinking in and of itself is okay with me, but I really don’t enjoy drinking on any sort of regular basis. I definitely don’t enjoy drunks. I personally don’t care for being ‘out of control’. I would never purposely drink if it could harm another person or their resolve.

I did have a drink of scotch last evening to celebrate St. Patties Day. To be fair, I polled my fb friends to make sure that scotch on an Irish holiday wasn’t a conflict of any sort. I had no Irish whiskey available. I did put the scotch in an Irish coffee mug. I was asleep in twenty minutes. Felt like a shot of Nyquil.

My husband’s current medication cannot be combined with alcohol. This has been very difficult for him. He likes to drink. He loves the taste of beer. The ‘buzz’ he gets from drinking helps ‘quiet’ his mind. It helps him relax. He becomes (at least to his mind) more social.

It also makes his snoring worse. In college, his snoring was legendary.

Over the years when we went to social events and I was offered a drink, I’d refuse saying that Steve was ‘DD’. Our host would look very puzzled until I explained that in our vocabulary, ‘DD’ meant Designated Drunk. They would laugh. I don’t think they realized how serious I was. I like Steve much better when he doesn’t drink.

On the forum there are several discussions by Aspies regarding drinking and drunkenness. The range of viewpoints is wide. I believe that the decision to drink, not drink, or get drunk has to be a personal decision. I don’t necessarily like, respect, or agree with every person’s decisions in life, but I respect their right to make it.

And I have the right to decide whether or not to be involved in that person’s life.

I lift my coffee cup to personal decisions. This morning, my cup is full of caffeinated coffee, my ‘drug’ of choice. Spring starts in two days and snow is coming down thick and hard outside my office window. The irony is enough to make one laugh.

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