I realized, this morning, that I am passing 5 years of being alcohol free.
In November 2009 I came down with a bout of acute pancreatitis. As I was being treated for that, my GP told me that I could no longer drink alcohol. Frankly, I didn’t believe him, but pancreatitis was not pleasant, so when I was on vacation in January of 2010, I figured that I’d give it a bit of a test drive: 1 strawberry daquiri at the all inclusive resort… about the most mundane thing there was.
And I got sick. Really sick. There’s not much worse than being sick on vacation in a third-world country.
So that was it. I no longer doubted my doctor’s advice in that area, and I’ve not had anything really in the way of alcohol since. Yes, I drink de-alcoholized beer occasionally which has a very tiny amount, and I’m sure I’ve consumed a bit in various foods but essentially none.
For the most part, I don’t miss it. It’s made going out to restaurants substantially cheaper, and I never have to worry about “did I have those two beers close enough together that I shouldn’t drive?” Even in 2009 I was well past the stage in my life where drinking was about getting drunk.
I do miss sitting down for a good beer/wine/whiskey though… the taste, and the social aspect. It feels awkward being at an event where I’m the only one not drinking, leading many people, I think, to assume that I’m an alcoholic on the wagon.
It’s harder than you think too. I have a certain appreciation for what alcoholics must go through. Booze is literally everywhere! In Canada, a lot of our social activity contains alcohol as an integral part of its format. I’d never realized this until 2010. I’m happy to say, however, that people are cool about it. I am sure it would have been a tougher row to hoe back in 1985 than it is today.
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