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The Miracle of “No, Thank You.”

“Would You Like a Beer?"

Photo by Diego Indriago on Pexels:

Last week, my wife and I took a mini-vacation for a few days. We went to a hotel that’s near to beaches, good restaurants, shopping, and parks. It also has a pool that we love.

It was a gorgeous day, and we were encamped at the pool for the afternoon. My wife and I were swimming when a couple toted in a cooler, sat down and cracked a couple of beers open, and turned on some music, kind of loud.

Oh, brother. Here comes the idiot intrusion.


Well, not quite. The gent, Eric, quickly asked us if the music was OK. We said it was a bit loud, and he quickly turned it down to a very fair level.

My wife got out of the pool to read in the sun, and I ended up wandering over poolside as Eric had engaged me in conversation. He follows professional tennis closely, and we talked about that for a while. We talked about the area, a little personal history, and then, Eric said:

“Would you like a beer?”


Eric doesn’t know me from Adam, so he had no idea he was giving me an invitation to Hell. He doesn’t know that a single beer could be the beginning of my downfall. Or that it could be the trigger to an insatiable craving that would lead me to drive drunk, looking to score some cocaine, and setting off my psychological obsession for that dreaded word, “more.”


Nope. It was an innocent, friendly gesture. Meet a guy, strike up a conversation by a pool, offer a beer.

In my drinking days I would’ve had my own beer, and for sure some weed, at least. I would’ve settled in with Eric and I would’ve gotten blotto and sunburned whether he was a lightweight or a heavyweight. If he was into it, we would’ve headed inside to the hotel bar at some point until I would stagger to the elevator and plotz onto the hotel bed.


Instead, I said “no, thank you.” And that was that.

And, that, friends, is a miracle for me. The miracle of No.

There was no struggle, no consideration, no second-guessing, and absolutely no desire to drink that beer.

I like what my sober life is. Wait, check that. I love what my sober life is, challenges, problems, and all of it.

I’m so relieved that my reflexive action these days is the exact opposite of what it was for many years.

It’s awesome to not want to drink. I don’t miss it, and I don’t want it.

And, a day at a time, I work to keep it that way.

“No, thank you.”

End of story.

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