Some five years ago I decided to stop drinking beverages containing alcohol. The motivation behind this decision had many aspects. As part of the process I was in at that moment I had asked myself why I was drinking a glass of wine or beer almost every day. Since the answer was “I don’t honestly know, probably because I am used to it”, I started to dig a little deeper.
I was not drinking for social reasons, nor did I do it under peer pressure. I started drinking in my early twenties but never more than just one glass, occasionally two, in combination with a meal. I never had the urge to drink more than a couple of glasses when going out with friends and I never got drunk.
Adding to this the fact I started to react to the alcohol on a physical level, I decided to stop cold turkey. Since my partner already stopped drinking completely a while earlier it was not a difficult decision in private situations. Also in social situations explaining people why I did not drink (anymore) was quite easy using the health related point.
In the past years I have observed on many occasions how people deal with alcohol. It is impressing and scary at the same time. I’ve seen people becoming uneasy and even aggressive only by the thought they would be deprived from their ‘drug’.
So, in a way, I was happy for myself I was not drinking alcohol anymore, it was easy and allowed me to skip looking at all the aspects and dimensions connected to alcohol. On several occasions where I went to parties with other people, I found myself in the role of the non drinking driver. A role I actually liked because it satisfied my need to be the good and caring type of person taking care of other people not any more able to take full responsibility for their actions.
Very recently I decided to try a glass of wine. In my process of stopping drinking alcohol, wine for me degraded into a silly drink made from rotten grapes. A kind of reaction to the fact in the past I could become really enthusiastic about wine in all aspects. I really convinced myself that wine had an awful taste. And that was the truth for some wines I tasted in all those years.
The glass of wine I had was of a good quality and I drank it with a nice meal. I was almost surprised the wine tasted really good in combination with the food and I enjoyed drinking it. I had just one glass of wine as it was enough taste to go well with the food.
I also found I was not any longer reacting to the alcohol and that meant that from now on I can eventually have a alcoholic drink in specific social occasions. I have no interest in going back to a routine, having a glass has to be a nice experience of taste in combination with food.
After this long period without drinking a drop of alcohol and having done research on who I am and how I stand in relation to alcohol I now feel I can make a real choice whether to drink a glass of wine or beer. It is the same choice as any other type of food or beverage where I take in consideration what is good for my body in that specific moment. I know that I will not make a choice based on routine nor due to social or peer pressure. I will simple choose what is best for me.
In the process I went through I have seen several points I have to address properly in order to close the loop. In the following statements I will apply self-forgiveness to point out a specific topic and make sure I ‘reprogram’ myself.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to distantiate myself from the effects alcohol can have on people. By doing so I am not taking full responsibility regarding the consequences alcohol can have for my body.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to become the savior of the situation in occasions I was the non-drinking person that could safely drive home others that have been drinking.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to indirectly encourage people to choose for drinking a (extra) glass of alcoholic beverage when offering to be their driver for the occasion.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to define wine as a drink made from rotten grapes from a perspective of taking distance from wine as being something bad with according emotions, preventing myself to take wine for what it is for me on an emotional level and for my body on a physical level.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to use the excuse of reacting to alcohol on a physical level to justify I was not drinking while avoiding to look at other dimensions related to myself and drinking alcohol.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to define wine as an evil thing by defining it with diminutive adjectives like ‘rotten’. By doing so I gave wine a negative definition that I used to justify the fact I was not going to drink it anymore.