Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable.
I am a lush, and one twelve-step meeting away from being an alcoholic. I never drank a drop until I was around 25 years old, when a co-worker introduced me to a proper pint of Guinness.
To my long-term ill health, I re-made the same discovery as many before had already done, which is that alcohol is the original and best nootropic in the world. A little bit of tipple, and I was writing better than I'd ever written before, having richer ideas and imagination than before, and feeling stronger and more profound emotions than before.
Yet alcohol consumption has its price. For too long I went about it in the wrong way, drinking it at all times of the day and in dangerous excess. I didn't really realize I had a drinking problem until I discovered that I had gone through half a liter of vodka and didn't even feel buzzed.
When I started going to doctors to figure out all the strange pains in my abdomen, I was busy rationalizing and explaining to myself what it couldn't be. Probably just ill-fitting pants, or a duodenal ulcer that could be cured with a few rounds of antibiotics.
Nope, it wasn't any of them. My liver was the just size of a house, that's all.
But one can enjoy a lifetime of drinking without being in danger of liver failure if one follows moderation and some simple rules. Drinking is beneficial on many levels, improving heart health as well as protecting against memory decline in old age. As Christopher Hitchens has said about his own habit, "I like to think that I get more out of alcohol than what it gets out of me."
To enjoy the benefits of drinking, then, follow the rules below.
1) Never drink before 6pm
2) Don't start drinking until about 30 minutes after dinner, so that you're neither drinking on an empty stomach, nor forced to drink too much to overcome the slower absorption caused by food
3) Stick to wine. Spirits are better for getting smashed two or three times a year, but not as a regular habit
4) Drink it slowly. Take a sip, hold it on your tongue, roll it around (you will absorb some of the alcohol sublingually), and savor the taste before you swallow
5) Drink with company, or with a book, or a pen and paper
6) And don't drink more than 2 glasses a night. Drink 4 or more and you are officially Heavy Drinking, and one day you'll find that abdominal cramp won't go away