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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

Am I Being Too Rigid with My Dating?

Last week I wrote about dating a non-organic woman and the challenges that it creates. A few questions that I grapple with are these — Is my very strong desire to be with someone who eats organic eliminating many great women with whom I could have a relationship? And, is my rigidity causing more harm than good?

Over the last few years, it has become increasingly clear that health is one of my most important values. Almost everything I do revolves health and eating organic food is a huge passion of mine.

My values are what they are and they are not going to change. The only woman with whom I am going to have a successful and happy relationship is someone who shares this same value. Does this mean that she has to be as passionate or into health (organic food) as I am? No, because she may never have been exposed to this lifestyle and doesn’t know much about it. That is perfectly understandable. However, she needs to be open to this way of living and eager to embrace it.

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Living Maxwell

Personal

How Organic Food Played a Crucial Role in My Decision to Quit 11 Years of Antidepressants

In the summer of 2001 and at the urging of my then-girlfriend, I went for an appointment to go see her naturopathic doctor in New York City, the place where we were both living at the time.

Having done acupuncture since high school, I had always been open to alternative medicine and was curious what this woman could do for me.

During our session, she asked me about all of my health and dietary habits – eating, drinking, smoking, drugs, exercise. Everything. In the midst of this conversation, the topic of organic food somehow arose. I remember that I had some notion about what organic food was but wasn’t overly familiar with it.

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Living Maxwell

Personal

Was Taking Antidepressants in College The Right Decision at the Time?

This is a very complex question that my father and I discuss from time to time. He insists that it was the right decision for me to go on it and doesn’t regret it at all. He also thinks I should never have gone off antidepressants when I did in 2001.  He and my mother were adamantly against this decision.

For me, the question of whether going on antidepressants was the right decision brings up many thoughts and additional questions.

* As I talked about in my last post related to this subject, there were tremendous and disastrous repercussions for going on Prozac. There is no doubt about it.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink