Folks who follow me on Twitter may have caught me discussing the concussion I suffered in early July. While I initially thought that it was going to be a minor thing that I would bounce back from in a few days or a week, I was out of work for five weeks straight and worked part time for most of another month. Even after that, I had some lingering symptoms and reactivated a number of them about a month ago.
Through all of that, one common thread has been that alcohol was a bad idea. Even a sip was enough to provoke pressure in my head if not a full-blown headache. Given the long period of recovery and regular setbacks, I've been extremely wary about getting back into drinking regularly. Though I am still experiencing some post-concussion symptoms, alcohol no longer seems to be the immediate trigger that it was, so I have been cautiously dipping my toe back into the water.
Given the rather central place that drinking has had in my life, whether that's sipping a scotch for a review, mixing up a daiquiri on the weekend, or having an Americano while I cook, being forced to completely forego all of that for months has been a real experience. Especially at home where I have shelves and closets stuffed with bottles, knowing that even a little bit would cause me pain was a real emotional struggle. To be clear, I don't have any worries about alcoholism or physical dependence, it was the simple fact that I had to give up something that brings me a lot of joy on top of feeling lousy and not knowing when it might get better.
I'm not sure that constitutes a major epiphany, but I do feel like it spotlights the upsides of alcohol that go beyond its effects. In our current health-conscious world, much of the discussion around alcohol focuses on its downsides, whether physical or mental. But the enjoyment of a good drink can be one of the real pleasures in life that is practically impossible to replicate in any other way. Here's to many years of enjoyment, in moderation.
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