Coronavirus

Daft Drafts Day 5: It’s Closing Time, and I’m Cutting You Off

Luis Mejía Ahrens | The PhoenixAfter five days, Luis Mejía Ahrens called it quits on his beer fast.

This is it, everyone. Friday was the day I broke my fast.

I know I said I would remain steadfast in my decision to see this to the end, but after some mulling over, I had to make the call.

At the end of day yesterday, I noticed physical discomfort arising. Oftentimes I would stand too quickly from a sitting or lying position, nearly fainting from blood not reaching my head in time. Sleeping became a nuisance, since I knew I would wake up in the middle of the night from a rumbling stomach.

Despite exerting the least amount of energy throughout the day, by 10 p.m. I was exhausted, unable to be productive. I quickly realized I’m a tall, broad-shouldered (and dare I say, handsome?) young man in the tail end of his development. This isn’t the time to restrict my daily nutrients.

With good health in mind, I came to another realization: we’re living in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. We’re living in a time where we must hold one another accountable for our own health, doing the best we can to keep each other safe. By avoiding food, I was hindering my immune system, and this isn’t the time to weaken myself for my own selfish reasons.

The mental turmoil of living through a pandemic is unavoidable. I was already surrounded by thoughts of my family and friends, my community, my hometown and how this virus may impact my stay in the United States. I introduced a new set of preoccupations into my life, and thus my mental health took a bit of an unexpected punch to the face.

I even found doing activities that would otherwise keep me positive during isolation was only distracting me from the fact I wasn’t eating. Any movie I watched, any song I listened to, any patch I sewed on my denim jacket all became ways for me to pass the time, avoiding the thought of food. Instead of finding clarity, my mind was fogged with the thought of how good it would feel to eat a sandwich.

But despite not finding the clarity I thought I would, I learned some valuable information about myself. I found that discipline, a characteristic I’ve struggled with in the past, is something teachable, but it takes a great deal of self-control and mental fortitude. The best part about it is I stuck to my three beers a day plan for an entire work week. By day three I was able to share a kitchen with my two other roommates, knowing I could control myself from reaching over and grabbing a snack.

Regardless, by end of day, the negatives of continuing the fast outweighed the positives. I learned what I had to, and I did a fun thing to keep me occupied. Would I recommend this to anyone? No. Definitely not. But I did it, and let’s just say I’m happy I made it five days.

I think I’ll go make myself some soup now.

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