The Difference Between Me & Them: Alcohol

I don't consider myself to be any different from my friends. I think like them, I feel as they do, I am able to have the same life style as they have etc. Except for one way I know that I am drastically different from them -- alcoholic intake.
I am not as tall as they are, do not weigh as much, do not have the same sized liver, and oh yeah.. I'm fragile. This makes my alcoholic intake and general drinking experience to be somewhat different than that of my friends. Ever since I started drinking ahem, legally at age 21, of course..I've been trying to put my finger on what alcohol does to my body. My first drink was something fruity and tasted more of cranberry juice than alcohol, it probably had some stereotypical girly name (but god no it was not pink!) But it was one of those sneaky drinks that doesn't taste like alcohol, so you keep drinking and drinking until

BAM! That would be the sound of my wheelchair into a wall.

I can't ever do shots. Believe me, I've done them before and in my mind it is like sticking a hot fire brand down my throat, whirling it around and then forcing it into my stomach. Within seconds my brain and body are in completely different universes and I am floating just inches above my wheelchair's joystick, trying desperately to steer correctly but always missing -- kind of like when you watch a 3D movie and when you reach out your fingers are just grasping at an illusion.
Wine? Wine tastes like an explosion of fart on my taste buds. I hate it. And will force myself to drink it only when I have to pretend to be "mature" and somewhat adult-like. Also, if there is cheese around - that makes wine drinking absolutely acceptable. But honestly most of the time I will opt for a flavorful beer (Blue Moon, anyone? Or perhaps an Allagash White? Or in the spirit of fall Sam Adam's Pumpkin Ale?) or some embarrassingly fruit-drenched cocktail.

All too often and quickly the alcohol will tend to go straight to my head. Which is confusing to me because at the very same time I will feel the emergency world-is-ending urge need to pee (and god help the person who is using the wheelchair-accessible stall in these instances!). It's like there is some vertical tube that runs from the top of my skull to the bottom of my bladder, and when alcohol hits my lips it forms an immediate funnel whose sole purpose it is to slosh the liquid around in that tunnel until 2AM or when my head crashes on to the pillow.

For someone who has a tendency to over think, over work, over analyze and be stressed out about everything simultaneously -- my friends often tell me that having a drink would do me a lot of good. "Sandy, live a little. Relax. Everything will be fine." And there have been more than a few occasions when I forget that I am not the same height, weight, or size of my able-bodied friends. Suddenly the world, the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the faces of my friends will all seem to be buzzing - everyone will seem overly enthused and giggly, but by the time I've made the 5th trip to the restroom that vertical tube in me will have cleared out, and I'll have remembered: I'm fragile and no matter how much delusional fun I'm having, no amount of swishing chemicals can ever change my genetic make-up.

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