Reason NOT to drink #7: “Personal turbulence”


I experienced some of what a friend calls “personal turbulence” about two weeks ago. Well, maybe it was a bit more than turbulence, but I’ll call it that for now.

Immediately after it happened, I was in shock. I trembled. I felt nauseous. I felt cold. And I had an extreme attack of dry mouth. I rushed to the fridge where I was at the time and flung open the door in search of soda or sparkling water, but saw nothing but beer, wine and champagne. Nope. Nope. And nope.

I didn’t want any of it. The thought briefly flickered through my head that maybe this situation merited a beer…but as soon as that thought materialized, it vanished.

I didn’t want a drink.

I didn’t need a drink.

I didn’t have to drink.

My release and my comfort came instead from my close friends, from my AA meetings and from my Higher Power. And…from karaoke.

Two nights after this event, my colleagues and I were set to celebrate the end of a big project with a night of karaoke fun. Honestly, I couldn’t wait.

When we first arrived, everyone bellied up to the retro-styled bar to order 60’s-era cocktails – Highballs and Manhattans and Martinis all around. I stuck to my sparkling water, ignoring the teases and pleas to indulge in the “good stuff” from those who didn’t know I was sober.

And then our karaoke room was ready.

Ours was an 80’s-themed room named “Kasbah,” painted purple and yellow with black-and-white accents and a large Nagel-esque decal of a woman’s eyes.


Happily, we jumped right into belting out the usual suspects, including:

“All My Exes Live in Texas”

“Don’t Stop Believing”

“Islands in the Stream”

“(Workin’) 9 to 5”

“Sweet Caroline”

“We Are The Champions”

At one point, I commandeered the controls and entered my own “Heartbreak Playlist,” which included:

“Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”

“Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”


And then….

I performed the song that summed up how I was feeling that night. And, in retrospect, it also sums up my feelings about giving up alcohol and being sober.

That night, I let my emotions out and lost myself in the moment – and didn’t need alcohol to do so. It was good. It was healthy. It was powerful. It was cathartic.

And it was fun.

I highly recommend “karaoke therapy” for whatever ails you. Far as I can tell, the only downside is the risk of a hoarse voice the next day.

But I’ll take that over a hangover any time.

5 Responses to “Reason NOT to drink #7: “Personal turbulence””

  1. I’m so sorry. Weathering a major breakup sober is one of the biggest challenges that I have had to deal with. I am praying for you.

  2. It takes a passion to replace a passion. Sounds like you may be onto something with karaoke therapy!

  3. 3 Sharon

    *LOVE* it… Thanks for sharing!

  4. 4 robyn

    Hi .. when I saw the title of this blog it made me smile: I know the BB story about the jaywalker. I’d just like to say thanks for your great blog. I’ll keep coming back. I’m a compulsive overeater trying to get back to sanity. I haven’t read my BB for a while. But the other night when I was trying to find some hidden food under my desk (almost breaking my printer that lives under there in my desperation to find it – thinking that someone had taken it) I recalled Bill Ws (I think) story of how he would have to hide alcohol around the house to get him through the night (or was it day?) and I realised just how much like the alcoholic I am.

    I started eating again (after having 3 months of almost-peaceful 3 meals a day) because of personal turbulence. It’s never a good idea. Now I have two (three, four, five) different problems.

    Anyway.. thanks for your great blog and great title,

    robyn xx

  5. 5 C

    Thanks to all for the responses. Robyn, thank you for reading and for encouraging me to keep coming back and posting. Hang in there – and if you get a chance, get yourself some karaoke therapy for that turbulence that torments. I might have to do it on a weekly basis…!

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