My son stopped drinking at the age of 21.
He discovered on his own he couldn’t handle it.
I give him much admiration for doing this all on his own.
Proud to call him my son went up to another level.
It has been 358 days since he gave it up.
I too decided in solidarity that I would stop.
During this past year, I have found it might not be as easy as it sounds.
To give up alcohol…
I went down a path of diving in deep to discover why so many of us rely on alcohol, even if we don’t realize it.
1. The lie that is told to us about having fun.
We associate alcohol and having fun.
Every weekend we get together with friends and family after a long work week.
First things first…
How many of us pop the top of a beer or uncork a bottle of wine?
From a young age, we see our parents do this.
The ads on TV and radio illustrate this.
We link alcohol with positive emotions, bonding with friends, and carefree moments.
We are conditioned to believe that alcohol is necessary for a good time.
2. Alcohol is known to lower inhibitions and make us feel relaxed.
Most of us find that alcohol helps with social anxiety, and creates conversation and easy interactions.
This also promotes the idea that we need alcohol to have a wonderful time.
For fear of looking shy or uninteresting, we our “liquid courage” during social pressures to interact with others.
3. Our culture and many others are embedded in traditions.
Traditions that are deeply engrained with alcohol rituals. Wedding toasts, ringing in The New Year, tailgating parties, and other various gatherings.
Many individuals turn to alcohol for stress relief.
But after the “escape,” the stress is still there.
5. It’s simply the weekend
The feeling of “I deserve a drink” after a long work week.
Most of us how fallen victim to this myth.
In reality don’t we deserve to 100% enjoy our time off?
Without a hangover and tiredness.
I thought giving up alcohol would be easy, but it wasn’t.
I became perplexed about why…
The reasons above have become crystal clear to me.
The social pressures to drink.
It’s crazy to think if it was another drug that could cause just as much damage, our friends and family would all encourage us to STOP.
We are encouraged NOT to stop…
Non-drinkers are judged.
Non-drinkers are often asked why.
I hope society can turn things around and remember that NO ONE “needs” a drink.
For now, I will continue down the research path of the psychological impacts of drinking and not drinking.
I will be here supporting whoever needs it.
Please reach out if sober living is a journey you would like to pursue.