I always thought I would quit drinking when I was much older and on the verge of complete liver failure, or in order to save a rocky marriage, or I was dead. Turns out it would happen when I’m 31 and having only slight liver issues. I don’t know where this will lead me, but hopefully it’s not full retirement from booze, but more of a small break, like a vacation or sabbatical. Yes, like a drinking sabbatical, wait I think that’s the opposite of what’s happening.
When the doctor first told me to stop drinking, I told him it was no problem since I hadn’t had a drink for about two weeks. At the time I was impressed I had gone that long. That was easy to do when the stomach was rotten. I wanted nothing but ginger ale, water, or Sprite. It was also easy to do as I wasn’t being very social.
Then time progressed, as it always does, I was starting to feel better, but the doctor still didn’t like what he was seeing with my liver and kept my off the sauce. I started to miss drinking, a little. Especially at baseball games. It was almost like when Homer had to stop drinking and suddenly realized how boring the game is without beer. Almost like that because I do actually like baseball, but beer helps those between innings, pitching changes, and other down moments.
Another surprising moment when I missed beer was when I tried to watch “Brew Dogs.” I could listen to anyone with passion and knowledge about beer making talk for hours, and that’s exactly what this show is. These two Scottish gentlemen are so passionate and knowledgeable that one time last season they actually had me wanting to try an IPA made with kale. I like nothing about either of those things, yet that seemed like the greatest beer I had ever heard of. Ten minutes into this new episode and I just couldn’t take it anymore.
If you thought this meant I gave in and had a drink that would normally have been a safe bet. I have never had much will power. However, when the alternative is possible pain and discomfort, then will power doesn’t mean shit. I just changed the channel and kept to my sobriety.
It then started to become a personal challenge to not drink. I mean the doctor still has me not drinking, and it’s still possible the booze could do some crazy damage, but I am curious about how much longer I can keep this up.
It’s been five months since my last beer. Full disclosure I have taken a sip or two in that time to taste someone’s drink, but I doubt all combined would even add up to a shot, and some of them didn’t even stay down. Also, I don’t have to explain myself to you.
In addition, because giving up alcohol isn’t enough of a challenge, and because I want to not feel like shit, I have been trying to go gluten free. I’ve been doing that for about a month and I think it is having some positive effect. I have also been on the new medication for a month, so my sample is flawed.
I really thought being gluten free was going to be a very difficult thing for me to do, on account of my love of pizza, and sandwiches, and pasta, and tacos, and spoonful after spoonful of raw flour, but it really hasn’t been. Again, the alternative of possible pain and discomfort has played a large role to avoiding gluten, but also we live in such a time when gluten free is big business, so there are plenty of options. I am also kind of having fun with learning which products have gluten. Sometimes it surprises me, sometimes you learn Cheetos are still an option and you suddenly start believing in a god.
Denying myself both booze and gluten is not only serving to keep whatever weirdo sickness is attacking me away, but it is helping to keep the massive amount of weight I lost off. It’s like those benefits that are double benefits. The bottom line here is I spent plenty of time looking at the shitty aspects of what was going on that now I am fully embracing whatever positives there happen to be.
We’ll just see how this goes when tailgating season starts in a month.