The O’Doul’s Maintenance Program: Once a Pickle, Always a Pickle. There is No Chance of Going Back to Being a Cucumber.
Understanding a recovering drunk isn’t always easy, unless you happen to be one of us. We get each other without uttering a word. We’ve been there, made all of the excuses, and lived to laugh about how stupid we were….
Here’s all you need to know about a recovering alcoholic or addict: Once a pickle, always a pickle. Much as we’d like, there’s no going back to being a cucumber. It just is what it is.
Oh sure, we can tap-dance around alcohol. We can play footsies with it… We can even pretend with so-called “near-beer”. To me, there isn’t much funnier than a newly recovering alcoholic flummoxed by their decision to drink a six pack of O’Doul’s, as if it was water.
The only trouble is, who in their right mind sits down to watch TV and hammers through a six-pack of water? How about a twelver of Mountain Dew?
Nobody. Ever. Near-beer, near death.
Once a pickle, always a pickle. You can pretty it up with nice language, you can call the recovery “evidence based” even when there’s no evidence it works at all, but when you boil all of the BS out, it’s just pickles living with being a pickle.
Oh, and one final point to put a bow on this post, on the near beer front: Read the fine print. It’s not alcohol free (less than 1/2% alcohol by volume) and if you’re delusional enough to believe that a half-percent doesn’t matter, well come back and tell me I’m wrong after the relapse. The body and mind remember. Do the math. 1/2% alcohol by volume over a six pack, you’re at 3% or half a beer (and several trips to the bathroom). That’s more than enough to set off the craving in any ex-drunk.
I know this to be true. 24 years ago I had 1-1/2 O’Doul’s at a friend’s birthday party. I was seconds away from a full-blown relapse when I set that half-finished O’Doul’s down and made a beeline for the door. I can still remember the fear. That was the first time I’d ever left half of anything sitting on the table. Because I am, and always will be, a pickle.
The humble cycling computer…
If you don’t know how fast you’re going, you have no idea whether you’re crushing the wills of your friends, doing them right, or babying them. Worse, you have no way of tempering your pace when you are riding with slower cyclists so you don’t bury them.
I capped off a perfect week of cycling with an easy club ride yesterday followed by a cookout/potluck for the club in my backyard. We had one of the craziest mixes of cyclists I’ve ever ridden with – four B’s, three C’s, a D and two E’ s (!). Heading into the wind, it was easy to keep the pace reasonable and I took advantage of the best characteristic of a strong headwind: It kills those at the front while the cyclists in the back get an awesome free ride. My first turn at the front, in a double pace line, lasted ten miles. I never rode at the back, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
After we got the whole group out of the headwind we split the group up. B’s and C’s in one group, D and E’s in the other – and we picked up the pace.
Before long it was tailwind time and it was all good all the way home. We ended up with 35-1/2 miles at 17.8 mph – an excellent, moderate to easy ride to cap off a perfect 250 mile week.
Then there was the cookout after. Burgers, hotdogs, garden burgers, coleslaw, salads and desert…. and fellowship.