I’ve Pretty Much Stopped Drinking. Asterisk. » VSB

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I’ve Pretty Much Stopped Drinking. Asterisk.

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In 2009, I became a parent to a beautiful daughter. She is the light of my life. From 2010 to 2015, I lived two very separate lives: Daddy PJ and Partyin’ PJ. When I’m with my daughter, I’m on my Ps and Qs; I don’t even drink when she’s with me unless her mother is around OR my parents are present and even then it’s minimal – we’re talking a beer at most. But when I was Mr. Solo Dolo, well, we’ll get to that.

In 2015 (and 2016) I welcomed two beautiful baby boys into my life who have added to the light of my life and shine in their own ways. My family is and has light. Et facta est lux. Family life has become my ministry. I’m home with my family every day, b. And do you know what this means?

Drinking, and getting drunk in particular, is that bullshit. Let’s shenaniganalize a little bit, shall we?

There was a point in time where two of my sisters thought I might need an intervention. My Instagram feed was full of more drinks than a staged Love & Hip-Hop restaurant scene. Back then, I wasn’t a raging alcoholic or anything, quite to the contrary actually (put a pin in this), I just rolled with a crew – a crew that is still very much the homies – who pretty much bonded, almost daily, over a libation and all shenanigans were documented with intentionality. Sundays were a particularly libatious day. Sunday Funday is a thing after all and we romanced the shit out of it. It really didn’t matter what day of the week it was, either. If I was available and the Bat signal appeared, I was on somebody’s rooftop or outdoor patio with a glass of Bulleit and ginger-ale regaling the good life I was living.

It wasn’t unusual for me to leave work at 6pm, be out until 2am, and up again at 6am to be out the door to take my daughter to school the next morning. My tolerance was on a hundred, thousand, trillion. Taking upwards of seven or eight shots of Jameson per outing wasn’t really an issue so much as an expectation. And I wasn’t even the person who could drink the most. I’ve got friends who I’ve seen drink nearly twice as much as I’d ever drink who I can honestly say I’ve never seen drunk. Liver gang.

Full disclosure: This isn’t to say that I was never washed. There are epic stories of some nights where that last drink was a bridge too far. I have a hat that made its way around DC while I was once asleep at a bar. And behind a bar. Also, there’s the night I tried – unsuccessfully, of course – for several minutes to unlock my neighbors door and became frustrated that I couldn’t get into my home. Any given Sunday, fam.

Interestingly though (back to the pin), I almost never drink at home or by myself. My liquor shelf isn’t impressive. When I do “drink” at home, it’s usually in the form of beers others have left behind after an event and even then I find it difficult to finish them. I take a few sips and pour out the rest because I never really wanted that beer to begin with. I don’t drink wine and kind of hate champagne. I’m a professional social drinker. Or was.

I’ve learned over time that while I’ve always had fun drinking, the parenting and family ministry part doesn’t really mix well with it, for me anyway. And by parenting, I mean the part of parenting that involves being awake at ungodly hours like 2, 3, 4, or 5am after you’ve just downed two shots of Johnny Walker Black on top of the four or five other drinks you’ve had. Nothing says “FIX MY LIFE, IYANLA” like getting home at 4am wasted and your children are up at 6am as you prepare to take your son to a soccer class at 9am and pray that some super-strong 3-year-old accidentally kicks you in the head with a ball so you can pretend to be knocked out so you can get some sleep. They don’t, don’t show, and don’t care what time you come home, they just know your ass better be ready to play “roll around” when they’re ready.

I’m a very light sleeper. This means I’m up at all hours of the night with my children (for the most part unless one is sick which is where mommy does all the heavy lifting because mom). I get the late night bottles. I do most of the late night put them back to sleep duties. When my son tries to run into our bedroom for the fourth time, it’s me who picks him up and tries to rock him back to sleep and then place him back in his bed. And it doesn’t bother me. Again, I’m a light sleeper (thanks to my daughter’s baby and toddler days) so I’m going to be awake anyway. And I still function quite well on four hours of sleep. But the problem for me is that I’m still a light sleeper even when drunk. This sucks. Sleeping in is something I’m not very good at doing. My recovery time is ALREADY way worse than it was just two years ago as my tolerance has already diminished because I rarely drink. This means that if I get drunk and get in late, my ENTIRE next day is going to be a lethargic, exhausted fog.

The only plausible solution for me has to been to cut back on drinking, almost altogether. And by drinking, I mean liquor. I’ll drink a cider, like Angry Orchard or Bold Rock, though I’m not sure that constitutes “drinking”. It’s been easier for me than most since I’m pretty much only a social drinker and don’t go out as much as I used to and don’t drink wine or anything else that people typically drink at home to unwind. I just drink my water and juices and call it a day.

Even when I do go out now – I still throw parties – my rule is to drink before midnight (and again, by drink I mean drink a few beers at most) and then drink water for the rest of the time so that I feel almost nothing the next day. And it works. Even on my birthday I managed to take only one shot of Jameson (and another much weaker shot because my friends do, indeed, love me) but felt just awesome the next morning, and I’m a dude who has been literally carried out of the club on his birthday before. (To be fair, on that particular birthday, I was managing the nightclub and the goal was always to get the managers as trashed as possible – I promise I took about 10 shots of Patron ON TOP of the regular drinks people kept putting in my hand.)

The title of this piece has “Asterisk” in it. This is for a very good reason. When I’m out of town and don’t have my kids, I am willing to let myself turn up, even if it happens fairly irregularly. It ain’t like I refuse to drink on a principle. But if my kids are present, it’s just waters and juice boxes and smooth sailing the next morning as far as I’m concerned. And to tell the truth, I don’t even really miss drinking that much. There’s something about remembering everything that makes you feel alive. And frankly, the taste of liquor isn’t as sweet as it used to be.

I don’t know if this counts as maturity or functionality, but whatever the reason, I’ll take it.

Now somebody pass me some O’Douls.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • i get you…i drink. and i think i can hold my own…however, i dont drink alot…because i have to be responsible (either i’m driving, or it’s an event…or i’m driving to or from an event)

    and yes, alternating between alcohol and water, and eating, is the best for me. aint nothing wrong with nursing one drink the whole night either, once you’ve made it to #SeasonedAgeTwitter

    but if i’m on vacation? in another country? keep ’em coming lol

    • Val

      If I’m in another country that’s exactly when I do not want to be anywhere close to being inebriated.

      Otherwise, I’m like you, I pretty much nurse one, maybe two drinks if I’m out.

      • Reminds me of that flick “Hostel”

      • You Know I’m Sawcy

        So no shots when we finally hang out? ‘Cause I kinda had my heart set on shots.

        • Val

          I’ll sip one and watch you hit the shots. :-)

          • You Know I’m Sawcy

            lol Tsk. Nah, if one of us ends up on World Star, we both do :)

            • Somewhere over in East Slappystan with ya kidney missing…

              • You Know I’m Sawcy

                lol Nah, we got street smarts that would prevent this. And if not, you’d have to Liam Neeson us.

                • “Sawcina, listen…they’re going to take you.”
                  “Kick em in the business.”
                  “Call me back.”

    • Val

      If I’m in another country that’s exactly when I do not want to be anywhere close to being inebriated.

      Otherwise, I’m like you, I pretty much nurse one, maybe two drinks if I’m out.

    • miss t-lee

      “and yes, alternating between alcohol and water”

      I do this as well.

    • Quirlygirly

      I usually have one drink early on and then it water for the rest of the night. I have a low liquor tolerance

      • miss t-lee

        This is normally what I do at work events.

        • Sweet Potato Kai ?

          Now, there will be no lituation at work events! One drink, sip it slow.

          • miss t-lee

            Oh…there’s a small lituation.

            • Sweet Potato Kai ?

              Guess it depends on the job

              • miss t-lee

                …and with mine when we do events…there’s plenty drinking.

        • I wouldn’t drink around my co-workers for nada.

          • miss t-lee

            Well, we do a lot of entertaining. So I’ll have one early, and fake drink the rest of the evening.

          • Kas

            Drinking is the only way to handle being around co-workers.

            • LMNOP

              If I drank around my coworkers I feel like there’s the distinct possibility I’d wake up out a job.

              • Kas

                Everything in moderation

            • Cheech

              I used to work with guys who drank every day at lunch. If you did not want to drink at lunch, you had to yell “no booze, Ma!” as you walked through the front door. (Our bartender’s name was Janey, but eberyone called her Ma.) If you waited till you got to your barstool, your drink was already in front of you.

              It was ok, though. It’s not like we worked with electricity or hoists to hang heavy stuff from the ceiling. (We did.)

        • jarednotjerrad

          This.

          I’m straight soda water and lime the whole time. I know the yt people are already looking at me half cross eyed.

          • miss t-lee

            *daps*

    • Hugh Akston

      Hmmm

      Was living and a couple colleagues went to a karaoke…one of them decided to let go of everything…she was drunk as hayle she went to the bathroom and we all were sitting inside thinking she’ll come back a little better…a couple minutes later a bouncer came to our table and said in his broken English “your friend is sleeping outside”

      We looked at each other thinking it’s someone else…then someone went to check on her and she wasn’t in the bathroom…we rushed outside there she was lying in a pool of vomit in front of a karaoke bar

      Don’t be that American

  • You Know I’m Sawcy

    Alcohol typically makes me sleepy instead of turnt. So I guess old age humbled me in that way. Suddenly the sangrias and moscatos I was used to were giving me hangovers. Now I only drink socially/heavily on weekend occasions where I have like an extra day off from work. But it’s more likely that my drink of choice before going out dancing will be coffee instead of anything alcoholic.

    • Jae Starz

      If I am home and trying to “have a drink” then it’s one and done for this reason. I can only manage to stay awake if I am out.

      • You Know I’m Sawcy

        I wonder… should people like us be mixing in Red Bull for added advantage? Or should we just let it go? I hate the taste of Red Bull but I also hate when I pass out in the middle of a Crispin Cidre.

        • Jae Starz

          Girl no! I drank rum and red bull one time. Never again. I saw my heart beating. Or at least that’s what it seemed like to me. I just stick to a glass or 2 of reisling.

          • You Know I’m Sawcy

            lol Ohmigosh… okay, duly noted.

        • a friend heard that i mix henny and red bull and was like OMG NO YOU WILL DIE..one is a downer and one is an upper..yadda yadda

          the only thing henny and red bull ever made me do was buss a mean whine and maybe suffocate my husband face with my thighs. dassit.

        • ThatJerseyGirl

          The trick is to have a Red Bull as part of your pre-game routine. Knock back a small or medium can before you head out – best if it’s sugar-free (helps avoid hangovers), then drink what you want once you get to the club.
          Mixing the Red Bull directly with the liquor is a recipe for disaster.

          • Imma try it.
            But I’m staying close to home.

          • You Know I’m Sawcy

            -jots down mental notes-

            Thank you!!

            • ThatJerseyGirl

              No problem. While you’re taking notes, I’ll add another piece of advice. Don’t go over the 12.5 ounce can of Red Bull, especially if you don’t normally drink it. I don’t know why they got these big ol’ 20 oz cans out here – you’re just trying to stay awake, not literally run the Indy 500.

              • You Know I’m Sawcy

                Wow, yeah. I’m afraid to know what those giant cans does to our bodies. I drank part of an Amp energy drink once and it made me paranoid and jittery. So… I’d def take it easy. Thanks!

                • Saaaawce…
                  Amp is not a damn joke!
                  One amp and you are literally running around like Jason Statham in “Crank”.

                  • You Know I’m Sawcy

                    This was back in college. I’ve never touched it since.

                    • When I was driving a forklift/shipping/receiving…the weapon of choice.

                • Cheech

                  Have you seen the first Alien movie? That’s your heart escaping your chest on Red Bull.

          • Kas

            I have crashed that Hindenburg a few times.

        • Wait..what does the red bull do to the drink?

          • miss t-lee

            Make it taste disgusting.

          • You Know I’m Sawcy

            Theoretically keeps you from falling victim to the downer effects of the alcohol.

        • miss t-lee

          That’s a waste of any good liquor mixing it with Red Bull.
          Gross.

          • You Know I’m Sawcy

            It is gross. But I really want to enjoy liquor and sometimes I get too tired to do that otherwise :(

            • miss t-lee

              Gotta be a better way.

            • Kas

              Take a caffeine tablet beforehand. Lines will also keep you alert so I hear.

            • LMNOP

              Maybe rum and coke?

              • You Know I’m Sawcy

                Coke doesn’t do much to wake me up since I drink coffee regularly. But you’re right, it might be better than nothing.

                • LMNOP

                  Or just a coffee before you start drinking.

        • HeyBooHey

          Nah girl. For all that, drink a Corona with grenadine and spare your taste buds.

          • You Know I’m Sawcy

            Corona with grenadine sounds kinda good…

  • i can have maybe three drinks at most before i’m ready to throw up.

    y’all can have the liquor. pass me some raw and grabba.

    • Quirlygirly

      My limit is 3 and that is pushing it. I am usually the responsible one. So I am driving or taking care of business.

      I was on vaca and thought I was grown and had 3 large drinks. My head was spinning and I had an inappropriate conversation with someone I should not have. I am making sure I will not be that lit again

      • Val

        Mmmm, you know we want details, Qg. Lol

        • Quirlygirly

          lol..It is not an interesting story. I just tend to be less reserved when I have has 3 large tumblers of liquor.

      • miss t-lee

        That sounds like the beginning to a great vacation.

        • Val

          And story.

          • miss t-lee

            Indeed.

          • miss t-lee

            Indeed.

      • Sweet Potato Kai ?

        Video? Pics?

        • Quirlygirly

          Kai..you know I have a no evidence policy..

      • You Know I’m Sawcy

        If it stopped at conversation you did not drink enough, Q. DO OVER.

        • Quirlygirly

          LOL!! Saw I was in a diff country.. you trying to get me in trouble in a different country.

          • Kas

            Out of the country is off the books. It basically didn’t even happen.

            • Quirlygirly

              Lol..until pics are posted on social media. You know you can do dirty without a camera present.

      • NonyaB?

        Inappropriate interesting conversation? Do tell, ma’am. ?

    • ¿¿¿¿

  • Wise Old Owl

    Bruh,
    I am trying to quit…shit ain’t easy….I don’t smoke and tequila, vodka and rum makes long days easy nights…

    • Val

      Why quit, minimize. Sipping and enjoying a fine alcoholic beverage is the natural progression of things.

    • blueevey

      I agree with val. Minimize the intake. If you still feel like you need a drink, it may be time to stop drinking, even if for awhile. This of course assumes you’re not dependent already or addicted

  • Val

    You ever try stand up, PJ? You have a very Sinbad-esk way of telling stories. And I really like Sinbad.

    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

      Right, I giggled through this.

    • panamajackson

      I have thought about it. Not in a while though. But thank you for that compliment.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      This is actually more of a inducement to not try stand-up Val.

      • Val

        How’s that?

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          Cause in the pantheon of comedians with whom a person might want to share their writing style, Sinbad is at the hackiest, corniest end of the table.

          • Val

            Man, Sinbad is prolly my fave comedian. So stop it. Lol

            • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

              Awww Val…that says so much. Fortunately a little corny streak does wonders for you. Sinbad…not so much.

  • I used to drink to get “nice” (ie, smashed) , then I chilled out because I was a walking target afterwards. My next move was sipping the so called “good stuff” …You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t a funny azz intellectual in big groups of people.
    My new move tho?
    I like to have a lil sip as a reward after a long week, visitors, or while on vacay.
    Brews, brown, white, I don’t discriminate.

  • I try not to drink during the week. I try… lawd knows I try.

    • miss t-lee

      This is me. If I drink during the week sh*t’s been rough.

  • Val

    Disqus acting crazy for anyone else?

    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

      Comments disappearing, asking for me to log in when I already am

  • blueevey

    I’ll never understand how people can say they don’t like the taste of liquor. I dislike beer, but liquor!? Elixir of gods.

    And that’s why I haven’t had a drink in over a yr. That and the last time I got drunk, i blew a .23 and a 51/50. I’ve never had a hangover. And I’m a lightweight.

    drinking can be a fun social activity when done in moderation but it’s a very slippery slide into dependency and addiction. And it’s a b*txh to kick since it’s the only withdrawal that can kill you. And I miss it daily. Idk guys. I’m gonna be 30 in less than 2 months. I want a drink. And eating guiness chocolate didn’t affect me so maybe i can handle it?

    …People who don’t like to drink confuse me.

    • miss t-lee

      Elixir of the Gods? YASSS.
      There’s an old quote I love that said something along the line of “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink because that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.”
      Most people I know who don’t drink, have valid reasons though, so I understand.

      • 44isnojoke

        Would my 2 drunk brothers be a valid reason? There’s something about slurred speech and stumble walking that makes me frown. Male or female….but I will not stop you from doing you. Mattafack I’ll get you home safely.

        • miss t-lee

          Hmmmm. Maybe?
          Folks have valid reasons. one of my brothers and my sister doesn’t drink. And, I’m glad they don’t because they really don’t need to.

      • Kas

        I no longer push alcohol like I did in my youth.

        • miss t-lee

          I don’t push it on anyone.

          • Kas

            That’s what I meant

            • miss t-lee

              Gotcha.

    • miss t-lee

      Elixir of the Gods? YASSS.
      There’s an old quote I love that said something along the line of “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink because that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.”
      Most people I know who don’t drink, have valid reasons though, so I understand.

    • Kas

      I don’t fully trust people who don’t like to drink.

      • blueevey

        Me neither.

    • LMNOP

      If you’re not 30 yet, there might be hangovers in your future. Getting grown people hangovers has REALLY cut my desire to drink, so maybe you’ll be like me and this will all work itself out.

  • BrothasKeeper

    I sip juuuuuuuust enough, and only when I know I don’t have anything pressing to do the next day. And this is the second time this week I’ve seen a White Hennessy bottle. I think the Universe is tryna tell me something.

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