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Living Maxwell

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A Recent Date: Do You Mind If I Drink?

I had a very interesting lunch date recently with this very beautiful Indian woman. A friend of mine thought that I would enjoy meeting her and set the two of us up.

Why did he think I would like her? (1) He thinks she’s awesome  (2) He knows that I am very attracted to Indian women (the love of my life is Indian) and (3) There is almost nothing that I find more sexy than a woman who meditates. She meditates. (Meditation is a huge part of my life and is something I first started doing in 1991).

Even though I knew almost nothing about her, the conversation flowed pretty effortlessly. Aside from the meditation, we are both very into yoga and eating healthy. This was the first woman I’ve met in a long time who thought it was fantastic that I eat almost 100% organic. That kind of surprised me. Normally, I don’t get that reaction. What I tend to hear is “isn’t that a little extreme” or “don’t you ever want to go to a nice restaurant with your friends?” or “you can’t be so rigid.”

I went on to tell her that eating organic for me is much more than keeping toxic chemicals and GMOs out of my body. It is about supporting the organic food product companies, restaurants, juice bars and farmers that do business the right way. Every time I spend my money on food, I am voting organic and making a statement with my dollars.

The conversation inevitably turned to my experience of being on Prozac for nearly 11 years, which I went off of in 2001. It took a brutal 3.5 years to recover from the medication, and I thought about taking my life all of the time. Waking up in the morning was the worst part of the day, while going to sleep was my favorite. I just wanted to stay asleep forever.

One unintended side effect of Prozac was that it numbed me emotionally. When I was on the medication, I was never happy and I was never sad. My emotional range was severely restricted. Thus, the only way I could feel something was by getting drunk. Needless to say, I drank a lot and developed a real problem. Fearing for my safety and after far too many times of blacking out, I quit drinking in 1999 and haven’t touched a glass of alcohol since.

When my date heard all this, she quickly asked “does it bother you to be with a woman who drinks?”

“Not at all,” I replied without hesitation. Just a few minutes before, she mentioned that she loves drinking wine with dinner but never gets drunk nor loses her sense of control.

Later that night and the next day, I felt very bothered by how I responded to this question. It was very much of a knee-jerk reaction and wasn’t well-thought out.

Drinking is a very sensitive subject for me. I have a drinking problem and do not like being around alcohol. However, alcohol is a “me” problem. Most people have no issue with it, but I do. In the past, dating a woman who does drink has been complicated.

A few examples: I had one girlfriend, where there were lots of problems in the relationship, and every time she drank I got upset. Her drinking made me feel very unsupported and just exacerbated the other issues we were having.

I had another girlfriend, where there were very few problems in the relationship, and when she drank moderately it was not a huge issue. I didn’t love it but put up with it.

So, my lunch date’s question and my immediate response got me thinking again about whether drinking is now going to be a major obstacle when dating a woman. What I have concluded is this.

If I am with a woman and we have an absolutely great time together (lots of fun, no drama, tons of shared interests and values), then I will just deal with it if she is a light drinker and does not get drunk in front of me. So, if everything else is great, I will not end a relationship simply because she consumes alcohol. No, I don’t mind if she drinks.

The same cannot be said if she is not willing to share in my organic food lifestyle. That’s a deal-breaker.

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Living Maxwell

Personal

The Struggles I Faced in College and How I Handled Them

As I wrote about the other day, it was during college when I went on antidepressants. Each day was getting harder than the next. The sky was growing darker and darker. It was a major struggle just to survive.

I was overwhelmed with a variety of responsibilities — school work, in which I seemed to be drowning; the tennis team, which occupied several hours of my time per day, not including constant traveling to other schools for matches and tournaments; and my fraternity, something in which I was very actively involved.

With my voice becoming more heavy during each phone conversation, my parents suggested that I go visit a local psychiatrist to see if he could help. More specifically, they thought that antidepressants were the answer. After a brief chat with the doctor, he diagnosed me with a mild case of depression and believed that Prozac would indeed improve my situation.

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Living Maxwell

Personal

Farmageddon: A Food Documentary That Should Serve as a Wake-Up Call to All Americans

Last night, I went to go see the documentary Farmageddon, a movie that I had been hearing about for the last few months.

Farmageddon highlights the USDA’s brutal crackdown on farmers selling raw milk and how the agency’s heavy-handed, corrupt and politically-motivated ways have destroyed the lives of small, organic farmers trying to do the right thing.

The objective of the movie is not to promote raw milk, however. The objective of the movie is to get people to wake up and to start demanding change.

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