Bivalves and Booze: What Others Can Tolerate, I Can’t

tolerate
One I Can Tolerate; One I Can’t

One Is Deadly, One is Delicious!

Above are photographs of a lunch my friend and I enjoyed. We both had the same fare: Shrimp, slaw, and corn on the cob. However, if I had eaten hers, I would have probably wound up in the ER. You see, hers was steamed in water the cook used to steam clams and mussels, some of the mollusks to which I am allergic.

Years ago, a doctor suggested I may have outgrown the allergy, because many allergies do dissipate with age. Armed with this uninformed hope, I ate a luscious clam chowder a friend prepared, one chilly fall evening.

Guess what landed me in the ER? Some allergens the ER doc said, grow more potent as we age.

“If you knew you were allergic, why did you eat them,” he asked impatiently.

It hurt too bad to explain, “One of your fraternity brothers said to try them, and see if I were still allergic!”

The memory capped years of dealing with increasingly painful symptoms after feasting on all the bounty the waters yield. So, now I am a little picky if seafood is on a menu. I ask waitresses and hosts if their food has had any contact with mollusks – or bivalves before sampling. I must decline some wonderful food – alas.

Nobody – except for the first doctor – tries to tell me, “Maybe this time the allergic symptoms won’t be so bad.” Nor, has anyone suggested that becoming a Christian healed me of this allergy to bivalves.

I choose not to drink for some of the same reasons I avoid mollusks. A long painful history with booze convinces me, that drinking again might land in places I don’t want to go.

But some folks, like the first doctor, have suggested because I could stop drinking, I am not an alcoholic. Or, some say, because now I am a Christian, I have a fresh start. Therefore, I can safely drink because I’ll know better when to stop.

Tempting, huh?

When I shared with my AA sponsor these comments, they suggested I ask God, “Is it ok to have a beer with my next bowl of steamed mussels or bouillabaisse?” (Who Do You Think You Are?)

Coming to terms with the reality some substances that don’t harm others, will harm me is part of acceptance. (See AA Big Book, Chapter 16, page 407)

What Others Can Tolerate, I Can’t

I can’t drink safely, any more than I eat a fried oyster sandwich. (Can I Safely Drink Again?)

How are you doing, dear reader?

If you have become convinced that

Your drinking causes more problems than it solves
Booze took you to places you would never have chosen sober

Don’t let friends, even church friends, – or your silly self – give you permission to try something that has brought you so much hurt.

Check with God; He will answer – He’s still got the pattern He used to knit you together (Psalm 139)

Just for today, then, I am glad I know how to avoid allergens, be it bivalves, or booze!

Love in Christ,

Sober and Grateful

PS: Get a Sponsor –and use them. The only dumb question is the one you don’t, won’t ask.