Drinking alcohol is normal, right? Not according to my body. I made the choice to stop drinking alcohol 7 years ago, around the same time that I started to take care of myself and listen to my body. I was not a heavy drinker, I had no liver issues and my health was fine. So why stop?
I loved my glass of wine, that I drank nearly every day. One glass, sometimes two, gave me a relaxed and numbing feeling (and red cheeks). My anxiety seemed to temporarily disappear and occasional levels of stress and feelings of emptiness were swept under the carpet.
With parties or other ‘special’ occasions, like Christmas, birthdays or weddings, I told myself that it was fine to drink more. Especially when I was not feeling at ease within certain company or when I was tired, I really enjoyed how alcohol supported me in feeling seemingly more confident, open and alive.
I had been avoiding honesty like the plague
When I made the choice to start listening more to my body and less to the outside world, I realized that I woke up differently, even after one glass of alcohol: not truly vital and still sleepy. I also became more honest, which is an important fundament when you put yourself on a never-ending self-care and falling in love with yourself program. Honesty? I had been avoiding that like the plague.
Mariette, I asked myself, why do you like to drink? Or more honestly, why do you need to drink? That’s the whole thing, it was not so much that I liked to drink (which I used as an excuse), but that I needed it. In truth, I thought a life without alcohol was extremely boring, but also challenging.
I remember that day when a friend told me she had stopped drinking alcohol. It triggered me big time, but I didn’t tell her. I just thought that she was boring instead of seeing her as a remarkable and true reflection.
Self-care and alcohol don’t go hand in hand
So one day I made the choice to stop drinking alcohol for one month. Not because it was January, but because self-care and alcohol don’t go hand in hand. That one month turned into 7 years. Why start drinking again after one month when I feel so much better and more aware?
Guess what? Apart from the fact that life nor I are boring at all, it has been one of the most self-caring and self-loving choices I have ever made. I stopped drinking alcohol because I am worth it, because I want to be present (even though it might feel uncomfortable at times) and because I don’t want to numb myself. I feel more connected with myself and others than ever before.
It just makes me wonder: why is drinking alcohol our ‘normal’? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
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