Gut Rumbles

May 02, 2006

I am a lightweight

At the Austin Blown-Star Blog-Meet, I was in bed asleep by midnight both nights I was there. Yes, Acidman has turned into a lightweight.

I was a little bit concerned that I might fall off the wagon in Austin, and I'll admit that I WAS tempted a couple of times, especially on Saturday, when I slow-roasted in the sun by the empty swimming pool. A cold beer would have tasted mighty good then, and it was there, right in front of me.

Hell, on Friday evening I grabbed this guy's drink at the hotel bar and took a sip when I mistook HIS gin and tonic for MY club soda. Luckily for me, I never did like gin, even in my drinking days. I didn't repeat that mistake.

I may have seemed "exceedingly quiet" to some folks, because I WAS, by previous blog-meet standards. I didn't get loud and obnoxious and show my ass the way I always did when I was well-lubricated. I don't think I pissed anybody off or made any new enemies who couldn't wait to get home and ceremoniously de-link me. THAT was a refreshing change.

In rehab, one thing the councelors preached loud and long was that I could have fun WITHOUT alcohol. I'm not sure that I believed them at the time, but they were correct. I had a blast in Austin and I stayed sober, too. Old habits may be hard to break, but it CAN be done.

A wise man one said that there's nothing worse than a bunch of drunks when YOU'RE sober, but that's not true. I enjoyed the company at the meet, even though beer and liquor were consumed in copious quantities. But nobody puked in my lap or fell off the sixth floor balcony (Party Central) of the hotel or started a bloody, drunken fistfight with a fellow blogger. We might have been loud, but everybody was fairly civilized.

The best part is, I actually can REMEMBER the people I met for the first time.

The sad part is, I AM a lot more quiet than I used to be. When I played guitar for a living, I always drank a couple of beers before I climbed on stage to perform. It loosened me up and removed some of the butterflies in my stomach. When I played golf, I always drank a couple of beers before I teed off, just to loosen up and keep me from thinking too hard. When I WROTE, I always liked a couple of drinks to summon the muse in me.

If I could stick to just a couple of beers or a couple of drinks, I would have done that at the blog-meet. Alcohol works great to lower my inhibitions and bring out the talker in me. I go from shy to spry after a couple of drinks.

But I reached the point where I couldn't stop after just a couple and I wasn't content until I was shit-faced. That's when I thought I became witty and charming. Everybody else around me just thought I was a loud mouthed drunk.

They were right and I was wrong. I don't want to do that anymore. But damn! I sure do miss that warm, fuzzy cloak I wore after copping a slight buzz. I'm really struggling to reinvent myself today without using alcohol as a crutch to help me overcome my inner fears and inhibitions. That's not an easy thing to do, at least not for ME.

So, if I appeared to be somewhat quiet and withdrawn at the meet, just trust me on one thing--- you really DID NOT want to see me the way I once was. Some of you HAVE.

You know what I mean.


It was good to see you, Rob.

I am glad you looked so well.

Kudos to you for being strong.

Take care.

Posted by: Christina on May 2, 2006 10:09 AM

Onward and upward... things can only get better from here...!

Posted by: Mike on May 2, 2006 10:22 AM

I didn't take even a sip and I had a blast! I could teach you how to do that darlin. I think you are charming and witty sober. I'm very proud of you. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: livey on May 2, 2006 11:05 AM

I've seen you both ways.

The new way is way better.

It was like meeting you for the first time. The difference between the Rob Smith of October 2005 and that of April 2006 is like night and day. Lookin' good, Mistuh Smith!

Posted by: Elisson on May 2, 2006 11:21 AM

Booze is a social lubricant, and can be a hell of of a lot of fun and good times.
When it takes over your life and you stare into the abyss, it is a demon out of control, and needs to be put down.

When the booze has been a large part of your life it takes a lot of willpower and strength to give it away.

You have those qualities in spades, A-man.

One day at a time.

Posted by: Henry Blowfly on May 2, 2006 11:42 AM

It was such a pleasure to finally meet you. What a Southern Gentleman Sir. And I very much enjoyed hearing you play and sing. A delight. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Tammi on May 2, 2006 12:25 PM

I like Ellison's comment, "It was like meeting you for the first time." It was worth the wait, from what I'm reading here.

Posted by: Bonita on May 2, 2006 01:03 PM

This is why your readers keep stopping by. Your writing, especially the introspection, is wonderful. You are a treasure (not as in the old joke, "you should be buried".)

Posted by: Patrick on May 2, 2006 01:26 PM

what about reefer?

Posted by: richard on May 2, 2006 02:08 PM

My daddy fell off the wagon, he had to (long boring story). And it was a sad thing for mom & me, my sibs, to watch as teenagers. It whipped him every day after that, and finally killed him.
I think you're stronger. Just look at the support....

Posted by: marcus on May 2, 2006 04:45 PM

I saw a man snatched from the jaws of the beast when I finally met you in person, hon. Sure you're quieter--but then, most folks who have stared into the eyes of the Devil and lived to see another day, tend to be a bit more reserved and prone to introspection.

Don't be ashamed, be proud, and wear your quietness as a badge of honor. You earned it.


Posted by: Denita TwoDragons on May 2, 2006 06:13 PM

"So, if I appeared to be somewhat quiet and withdrawn at the meet, just trust me on one thing--- you really DID NOT want to see me the way I once was. Some of you HAVE."

Good for you. It is HARD. But, better.
I know, even though I haven't totally quit.
Control counts.

Posted by: Dan Pursel on May 2, 2006 10:06 PM

Ya done good, man. Gott-damned good.

Posted by: Jim - PRS on May 2, 2006 11:09 PM
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