The Other I

July 18, 2011

Awakening

It is now 4 o’clock a.m. and I’ve been sitting at my computer for the last hour unable to sleep but not really able to do anything worthwhile in the awake mode either.

It’s due, I know, to the gin and tonic I had before dinner last night.  It was just one, but my sensitivity to alcohol seems to be increasing with age.

I realized in my early forties that alcohol seemed to make my joints ache.  It took me a long time to accept this and to forego my evening glass of wine after work.  I’d stop for a couple of months, and then read research that a daily glass of red wine was actually positively healthy.   So I’d try again.  Until I finally decided that drinking in moderation might be healthy for some people, but  it simply wasn’t for me.  I seem to have an allergy to something in wine — at least the wines I could afford to buy — that was gradually crippling me with arthritic pain.

So although I never formally gave up drinking wine, I will now go for years without joining my husband in a pre-dinner glass.

I could though, indulge occasionally in a gin and tonic.  This seemed at least one immoderation that, within limits, I could manage with maturity.  But I’m afraid even a single gin and tonic now seems to grab a hold of my bio-rhythms and rev them up like a triple blast of caffeine.

So I’m sitting here at my computer in the middle of the night thinking that the pleasure just isn’t worth the pain.

“Behavior has consequences,” I say to myself.  The consequences of a gin and tonic these days seem to be that at first I get mellow.  Then I get cranky.  Then I get too tired to do anything but go to bed.  And then about three hours later I wake up with this drug-induced inability to sleep.

It’s not worth it.

  I’m going back to my cup of tea.

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