I’ve never stopped liking alcohol. Alcohol just stopped liking me.
Nowhere is this more obvious then after a birthday. A day to both consume and compare yourself to a previous version. At 36, it only takes a handful of drinks to have me pacing around in the middle of the night with a racing heart and pounding headache. These days I try to outsmart my body by falling asleep with a stomach full of Advil and Ativan.
I always assumed it was a conscious choice. People got older and they became more mature, and with that maturity came responsibilities, and so naturally they felt compelled to cut down on their drinking. Which on balance seems like a shitty trade, and so I never had any intention of doing it.
It never occurred to me that it wasn’t a choice at all.
Somewhere after thirty the whole pleasure vs pain equation got flipped on me. I’ve put up a good fight, trying to convince myself it was mind over matter. But it’s hard to ignore a lingering 3-day hangover. And the unreal anxiety.
But I still dip my toe in from time to time. Because it’s fun. Or maybe I just remember how fun it was. And now it’s a chance to reconnect with that other version of me. A self that felt like getting good and drunk might actually be a more real version of me.