Wednesday, March 21, 2012



Hal Pepinsky,,

March 21, 2012

I just returned from 10 days in a hospital recovering from a severe episode of delirium tremens out of town after I hadn’t had a drink for a day. I will never take so much as a taste of alcohol for the rest of my life. I have an insurance policy: I have made this declaration to so many people that to do so with a closing reputation as a bigtime hypocrite.

That said, I continue to assert as I did in class that there is no such thing as a good or bad substance. The problems lie in how they are ingested, and what happens as a result. That includes alcohol. I have had experiences with the drug ( e.g., I totaled a car in 1972, but I had many a happy time in bars at conferences. I know plenty of people who take only pleasure and health from alcohol and many other substances. My consumption of alcohol is my problem. I can enjoy the smell. I can have fun with others having as much fun and pleasure from their choices of beverage, serving them even, as ever. Alcohol has not become my enemy. Putting so much as a drop between my own lips is over. The taste never appealed to me anyway. I hate soda pop but will continue enjoying my tap water.

In my view I continue to live many substantially different lives in a single lifetime, from, from pre-pubescence living in six states and a foreign country by the time I got to college to a marriage that has lasted nearly 38 year to a citizen of Poland, Canada and now the US, to a crisis where I dad leisure in a hospital bed to see how much this old body sighs with gratitude when I my drinking is over. Thank you body for putting up me so long.

As many of you know, I am by profession a student of social control, and within that realm, concentrate on peacemaking--on how we try to build trust, safety and security in the face of war and violence. I reject the idea of social control as punishment or enforced obedience. If you want to down your guard with anyone you need to trust that s/he assumes responsibility for her or his own decisions rather doing as told. I could never abided AA or 12 steps or counting days and years of sobriety (and frankly hope to behave no more soberly than ever). I am sure this works wonderfully for many people but it is not for me. I wish we would stop using words like “recovery” as though it was always wrong for all of us and those who conceive of changing habits differently,

Feeling liberated means a lot to me. My blood pressure has dropped by 300 percent and I don’t have to worry that the drug will damage my liver. I will never get picked up for dui and can be a designated driver. I can sing on open mike night with as much fun at a coffee house as at a bar. I have been given a new life I have never enjoyed. And the chances are I will die having returned to my beautiful childhood home. How lucky is that!

I continue to reject opposition to alcohol and the imposition of treatment regimens. Love

1 comment:

  1. I'm just getting this, Hal. Think of it as a ceasefire on your body and reawakening of a new spirit. I'm extremely glad you're ok.