Less than intoxicating

Hello, my name is Véronique, and I...stopped drinking.

I didn't resolve to quit. I wasn't drinking too much. In fact, I had been drinking less and less. But at some point around Christmas, I didn't buy any more beer or wine. The wine cellar was already down to a single bottle of Viognier ice wine. I recall one Irish coffee around the holidays, then no more.

I love beer and wine. I love alcoholic beverages of all kinds. But they no longer love me. Upon reflection, they never really did. When I was younger, I could better tolerate alcohol's ill effects, but I still suffered from many a hangover. As well, a combination of alcohol and my relaxant of choice can produce its own bad effects.

As I got older the ill effects became worse, and have become much worse since I turned into an old-age pensioner. I wouldn't get hung over. I'm reasonably sure it was migraine, or maybe even both, if that's possible. Brain capillaries misbehaving and brain dehydrated at the same time? Seems logical. If that sort of thing happened, I would lose the whole day. Sometimes I was sick to the point of not being able to keep down water for several hours.

There's nothing worse than having a raging migraine but being unable to ingest caffeine, and then getting a lack-of-caffeine headache added in.

The maddening thing would be that bad mornings after, even mildly bad, didn't always happen. In fact, they didn't happen very often, and they were unpredictable. Many times, I could have a couple of glasses of wine or two pints of beer and be fine the next day. But another time I would have a single glass of something and suffer the consequences. And the worse effects were getting frequent enough to finally convince me that I didn't want to go through one of those days again.

I sip more Oasis mango and peach-mango juice than I used to. They have a lot of sugar, so I try not to drink too much. Tasty though.

I really don't want to have to avoid alcohol entirely. I would love to share porch beers this summer (being optimistic). I very much enjoy a glass of good wine with food. And sometimes cider is particularly satisfying. But I'm a little afraid even to test the waters. I have an open bottle of white in the fridge from when I made ragù bolognese last week, and no immediate cooking need. Do I dare try a small glass?

I imagine I will at some point. I don't want that wine to become undrinkable or unusable. I don't want to go all summer without my current favourite summer craft beer, hazy (or New England-style) IPA. But I'm in no hurry. Aversion therapy works! Nasty, but effective. So it might take me a while to hop off the wagon. If indeed I do.