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Non Drinking versus Drinking Lives
Have you ever had that discussion with the drinker who can’t understand why on earth you would bother giving up drinking when clearly drinking is the source of all the good things in life? It’s a challenge that I think faces us all at some point.
In fact, it is something I face all the time….
During January several friends of mine did dry January with varying degrees of success. All went back to drinking after the month (most earlier) one despite her original intention to stick it out for three months.
All of these people, as well as my continuously drinking friends, struggle with the concept of why you would do this? And then it dawned on me….
What they are comparing is a “drinking life without drinking” to a “drinking life with drinking”. My friends who gave up drinking for January didn’t become non-drinkers for January, they became drinkers who through sheer willpower didn’t drink in January. The idea that life should be lived day-to-day, not doing something that you want to do, surviving through sheer willpower? You can’t sell that to anyone beyond 30 days. If that…
I was on holiday last week and a friend of mine asked me if I would drink on holiday?
When I said “No,” he said, “I wouldn’t want to go on holiday if I can’t drink! What’s the point?!”.
The point is that a drinking holiday without drinking, just like a drinking life without drinking, has no appeal at all.
I have a non-drinking life where drinking doesn’t get considered. It’s very different to giving up drinking for a month. I haven’t given anything up. This sounds like word semantics but it’s a key element to this process (for me?).
You have to build the non-drinking life and allow drinking to become more and more irrelevant as each day passes. Embrace this way of living and love it. I can honestly say that I have not given drinking much air time in the last 6 weeks. If I have it’s to reflect upon the ridiculousness of people’s views of drinking and their lives. When you can’t see the point of a holiday without getting smashed you need to have a word with yourself. (I have been there and did!)
This is the same point with Moderate drinking. Whilst moderation and Dry January give your liver a break for as long as you can hold out, they don’t give you a glimpse of what a non-drinking life is like. They don’t show you how good the world can be without needing to get plastered. What they do is create a framework built upon denying yourself and rules that become increasingly hard to meet, until eventually, emotionally exhausted, you relax into your favorite tipple.
Ask yourself the question. Are you a drinker who is not drinking or someone who doesn’t drink? If its the former this is hard work.
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