I have had one alcoholic drink so far this year. I had a glass of wine with dinner at a friend’s house. I was there to celebrate the festival of Imbolc. In my head, it’s still okay, even necessary, to drink after a ritual. As the glasses were being placed on the table and the bottles of wine opened, I remembered how nice it was to have a drink. I remembered the complex flavours of the wine and my mouth watered at the thought.
I had one glass. I felt awful. I didn’t feel sick, but I felt groggy and generally ‘meh’. As they say here in Ireland “that learned me”.
I remember not understanding why anyone would choose to drink sparkling water in a pub. Now it’s my drink of choice. I used to really enjoy a drink. I remember working in a bar many years ago and relishing a large gin and tonic after a shift. I remember the yumminess of a good pint of Guinness. As my late twenties progressed and I turned thirty, the side effects started to outweigh the enjoyment. I developed awful hangovers after a few drinks. I had flare ups of psoriasis if I drank beer. My sleeping pattern was disturbed for days after a single drink.
I enjoy my friends. I am pretty outgoing and sociable andI tried night outs with no alcoholic and found they were far more enjoyable than trying to limit myself to “just the one”. I much prefer having a good conversation with a clear head. I feel more relaxed without alcohol. If the truth be known, I go out far less than I would if I drank. Bars are too noisy now. After a certain point in the night, the conversation gets uninteresting and repetitive. And also, I notice that I’m tired and I’d prefer to go home to bed.
I don’t enjoy a drink. There still seems to be a perception amongst drinkers that the sober person isn’t having any fun. There’s a parallel there relating to the ways “the quiet one” is perceived as in need of cheering up. I don’t need cheering up. I’m having fun. Or maybe I’m not, in which case, I’ll probably be sober enough to realise it and to go find my fun elsewhere.
I’m curious about you. Do you drink alcohol?