Gerald Hecht in beBee in English, Scientists and Research, Medical Researchers Associate Professor (Tenured and rank promotion 2007) of Psychology • Southern University Baton Rouge 6 d ago · 1 min read · 5.6K

On Alcoholism...

On Alcoholism...

I am a 56 year old recovering alcoholic --still...I have to admit that I remain tremendously proud of many of my exploits from my days of ridiculously heavy drinking. I weigh about 158 pounds (am 5’ 10”) and until I quit drinking several years ago, I could regularly down a case of Samuel Adams Double IPA, and a bottle of Jaegermeister over a 5-8 hour time period.

Although I renounced alcohol in 2012, I would be lying to you if I claimed anything other than tremendous pride regarding my incredible consumption of alcohol and the concomitant exploits which often accompanied extended bouts of focused continual drinking.

Even though I haven't been to “The Spanish Moon” in over 3 years; that bar still holds a special place in my heart --Indeed, one my greatest fears is that of losing my affection for that awesome bar. It was the best; the decade or so during which it was my “home away from home” is probably the most significant touchstone of my life.

Often, after a night (8-12 hours) spent in the Faraday cage in the Electrophysiology Laboratory recording single taste responsive neurons in the Nucleus of the Solitary Tract (NTS) with a tungsten microelectrode in laboratory rats; recording their characteristically changing musical patterns as I would bathe their tongues with samples of NaCl, HCl, glucose, and quinine --I would arrive at “The Moon”...greeted by my "buddies" from the Dow plant...waiting for the doors to open at 8 a.m. (more or less).

The owner, whose daughter was a student in several of my undergraduate classes (Physiological Psychology and a Laboratory Course in Psychopharmacology) used to joke about “the irony of my drinking paying for her college education”...I will never forget his lively sense of humor; even though it's been over two years since he died from complications of Hepatitis.

As many of you know --I rarely tell personal stories about anything other than natural disasters or pending litigation --that have occurred since I quit drinking. I think we all agree that there is nothing very interesting in this life when experienced in a state of sobriety.

In parting, I would at least like to share an invaluable lesson that I have learned from all of this (even though...let's face it; this hardly meets the minimal criteria for qualification as a parable): “Everything I Thought I Knew About a Bottle in Front of me and a Frontal Lobotomy may be right --or not”On Alcoholism...

© Gerald Hecht, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gerald Hecht with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Neil Smith 8 h ago · #133

Loved this. Thanks Gerald.

Gerald Hecht 8 h ago · #132

I love to drink Bourbon when I read this with my friends from the Cajun Temptresses Club

Gerald Hecht 9 h ago · #131

I'll drink to that!

CityVP Manjit 16 h ago · #130

My first job was a barman and I have attended alcoholics anonymous and I am a teatotaller. As a barman I was awful at serving drinks and my manager had to explain to me what an alcoholic was, which was his way of saying that I need to use my judgement when I was serving - whereas the person he was referring to was steadily getting more legless every time I sold him a round. I was 18 years old at the time and I even got my shots wrong. At the end of the first night on bar duty, the manager declared that they were $500 short on the shots - it was then he discovered that I thought the shots were broken, so I hit the shots five or six times. Yes the people in the bar had a totally curious look and yes more of them came for shots - but I thought that this was because I was becoming popular.

I attended one of my brothers friends medallion ceremony at an AA meeting and what I did not know is that as the meeting commences, everyone declares themselves to be an alcoholic. I had my brother with me and I whispered to him, "I am going to say my name is Manjit and I am a Teatotaller" and he made it clear that I just tag along and support his friend. When it came to my turn, I did say "My name is Manjit and I am an Alcholic". I then turned around to my bro and told him I cool with saying that on the basis that our mother gave us gripe water when we were babies, back then the original formulation contained alcohol. Bro taught me humility that day when he retorted "you really feel superior to them don't you, such a shame".

It is odd what alcohol does to the personality of a human being, both my dad and my brother turn into happy drunks, I have to remove my dads wallet when he gets drunk because otherwise he would give the farm away. Yes, there is the downside - and hearing the stories at AA made me even more humbler that night - but there is true Viking stories - the legends we do laugh with.

jesse kaellis 16 h ago · #129

The best thing about alcohol is that it's legal. And cheap -- cheap in the US. In a town like Vegas you can drink at any time of the night or morning and nobody cares, especially if you tip up front. Booze was never my drug of choice I used it in conjunction with narcotics. It's useful that way. I have -- I'm coming up on 14 years now. So? Is that the cure for cancer? Is that a big accomplishment? But it's better for me all around. I didn't like where I was heading. There's a limit.

Nick Mlatchkov 17 h ago · #128

#123 how I'd know u know it ...?

Gerald Hecht 23 h ago · #127

#126 @Ian Weinberg okay; I am on it

Ian Weinberg 1 d ago · #126

#122 Think Zeitgeist - the spirit of the time: No force so powerful as a thought whose time has come! About being in total rapport with the collective. Question is ... whose thoughts are these? From the depths of our neuro-noise? From the collective neuro-noise? From the quantum space of the Implicate Order? Resonance, connection ... whatever. @Gerald Hecht you are the chosen one.

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