One day I woke up and suddenly became allergic to alcohol

Experience alcohol allergies

I never spend the night drunk. Photo: Permission granted by Celine Enriquez

This was the first time at a Zoom party. On the night of the quiz, I noticed that my legs were turning red only after 30 minutes of involuntary scratching while drinking a can of chukhai. It was a few days after I recovered from COVID-19, so I thought it was a strange, unexplained symptom of the mysterious virus. But now, about 10 months later, I still can’t get out of the hive and drink cocktails like I used to.

No, this is not just an Asian glow.

Since I became addicted to alcohol, I have lost consciousness three more times. When I first arrived, I had only half a glass of red wine and a third of the same jar. I thought I could scratch the itchy area, but then my face swelled and my limbs became swollen. I took a cold shower to relieve myself a little, but within a few minutes I was naked and fainting in my locker room, where my sister dried me up in the middle of loud calls to all the doctors on Friday night. My lips were bruised and my eyes were wide open. “It was like a scary movie,” my aunt said, no exaggeration.

Once again it was midnight. After drinking mixed drinks, I felt better and even went to bed as usual, but later I woke up in the bathroom, my face and head bruised and I could not remember how I fell on the cold tiled floor.

I went to the doctor, but after a blood test they still do not understand what is happening. There are no definite answers to what happened to my body, and every sip of the drink tastes more bitter than ever: I expect the skin to itch, my eyes to blur, and my heart to slow down until I lose consciousness.

“There are no definite answers to what happened to my body. Every sip of alcohol tastes as bitter as it has ever been.”

Even worse, I thought I would never be the same again – a wine night with friends, a Malibu rum and coca on the beach, a K-BBQ.

Experience alcohol allergies

In 2018 at a bar in Kyoto with friends. Photo: Nikki Sunga’s permission

Drinking is a big part of Philippine culture. Every day, my uncles would drop a bottle of San Miguel beer for lunch. I’m not into hardcore, but I’ve always been proud of my high tolerance for alcohol. I started drinking at a young age, so I only know how to drink at night. My friends loved me when I was drunk, and it seemed that every time I started my theories of life, I was on fire. I am glad that I have been waiting for two years at different stages of the blockade, and I will not experience any of this again.

Experience alcohol allergies

Staff from college. Photo: Permission granted by Celine Enriquez

For many, the pandemic was a breakout stage, but it seems like someone has pushed my life forward without me knowing, and I’m now left to figure out what happened to the fragments of the foggy memories. My brain still thinks it’s a good idea to order endless sangria, and it’s something to look forward to drinking brunch. In fact, these basic millennial habits that have comforted me for thousands of years create uncomfortable social relationships.

Each night now includes a 30-minute conversation, convincing myself why I can’t shoot for free from the bar and having fun stealing a tonic with diluted gin. I first learned to drink to avoid this relationship. An introvert in the world of extroverts, I was the only hero who was brave in public. After drinking tequila, my legs became numb and my heels became uncomfortable, the events of my boring life became interesting after three, and after five I lost my confidence. I have changed to a different version of myself and I cannot log in now.

“An introvert in the world of extroverts, I was the only hero who was brave in public.”

But one thing I’ve taught me over the last two years is that life is too short – too short to care what others think and too short to waste (if it kills you). I still need answers, but I’m learning to live with it.

Experience alcohol allergies

Holding an unopened bottle of non-alcoholic wine, I couldn’t drink, almost next to an empty bottle of white wine. Photo: Angelica Reyes

I found that it was better to take antihistamines before drinking, to stick to one type of alcohol, and to drink slowly and in moderation. It doesn’t make me drunk, but at least I can drink one thing. I’m on a mission now to find my favorite soft drink, but I missed it or missed it. On my 30th birthday, I bought a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne. So far, my fridge has been filled with La Croix jars, and I open it and pour it into a glass on Fridays, it’s like a cocktail, not carbonated water. Eventually, when my life was about a year away, I was learning how to socialize again.

Some people still look at me strangely when they find out about my condition – a mix of “I’m so sorry for you” and “I’m glad I’m not,” so I double down on other things I love. going out: quitting work, getting dressed, pouring tea, remembering the stupid things I did in high school.

I recently reached the limit. When I went out to lunch with two friends and they were drinking Aperol Spritzes, I happily skipped the cocktail. They still laughed at my jokes and that was enough at the time. It turns out that my life is The fun, and the need to overcome insecurity, is temporary. I also changed my heels to Birkenstock.

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