“What’d you have for breakfast?”
“That’s a really hard one,” I say.
“Okay, what about lunch?”
I pause. “Another challenging question.”
The nutritionist’s questions get tougher.
“So, do you wait until you’re hungry to eat?”
I had to restrain myself from rolling my eyes. I don’t know when I’m hungry — I’ve devoted years of my life to thinking about food, but that was one question I forgot to answer. I probably should have known, though, that in going to see a nutritionist, I was most likely going to have to talk about food.
For so long, I’d felt like my body was “wrong” and then that my attempts to change my body were “wrong.” I don’t gamble because I know it’s a losing proposition, statistically speaking, and yet, I was playing a game in which I literally could not win. Was I bad at it, or was it a poorly designed game?
I quit drinking about nine months ago. I once told a friend I worried I had a drinking problem. She asked if I drank every day. I grimaced. Not only did I drink every day, I’d been doing that long before I thought I had a drinking problem. It was normal. By which I mean, I knew plenty of people who did. Booze helped me do the things I did at night — date, perform stand-up comedy, occasionally relax. For years, I experienced very little downside. I found something that worked, so why wouldn’t it do it every day?
I had tried to moderate my drinking for years. I’d successfully restrict myself to one drink per night, but I’d hate it. Or I’d drink only two nights a week, which didn’t make those nights any better so much as they made every other night significantly worse. Or I’d only drink at parties, but I wasn’t popular enough. Or on dates, but I didn’t want to ruin the fun of drinking by introducing a dull man. Or when I was sad, or happy, or had just gotten rejected, or had something to celebrate. The problem with relying on alcohol to soothe any particular emotion is you always have some emotion. I’m not a tech billionaire, I feel things. So I quit. I’m deeply grateful I quit drinking. I’m even more grateful, though…