This is a post that I wrote in my fourth alcohol free month .
The other a day a friend told me that when she was young she drank to “ magnify the beauty of life”. That really struck me because that is exactly what I thought when I was young. When I drank with friends and with lovers. Long before I really became addicted and drank just to drink
People often talk about the “spirit in the bottle” and and many of us worry when we stop drinking that the vitality of our life alcohol-free will not compare to life as a drinker. I think that it’s the main reason that people try so hard to work on moderation. Because we are afraid that if we stop drinking, completely, forever …we lose dimension.
But the longer I’m AF the more I realize that the whole idea that alcohol “magnifies the beauty of life” is THE biggest lie that we’re fed.
Most of us start drinking in our teens when we are already at a stage in life where our minds and bodies are wired for sensation. Hyper charged.
I was lucky enough to be in an environment when I was sixteen and seventeen where I could not drink. I was at an arts school in Northern Michigan, buried deep in the forest, backed up by a beautiful lake. The change of seasons there was spectacular. Vivid colors in autumn, deep quiet snow in the winter and vibrant green rejuvenation in the spring.I was surrounded by creative kids studying music, dance, theater and visual arts and the academic teachers were uniquely committed to helping each of us discover our brilliance.
There were kids there who drank and did drugs but I did not want to risk being expelled and…
……my heart and soul were so full of energy that the thought of numbing it down was unimaginable.
My grandfather brought me a bottle of champagne to celebrate my graduation. I snuck into the woods with it but my friends and I were so nervous about getting caught that we just popped the cork and exploded the thing all over the trees.
So if I fast forward a few years, than ten more, and another ten.
If I think about all of the occasions were I drank to magnify the beauty or intensity of an event, a social occasion or a celebration I realize that the drinking did not magnify anything. It numbed me. Softened out the rough edges but also blurred my focus and my intensity.
That focus and intensity is really beginning to come back now. Not in a frenetic way like it was in my second alcohol-free month when I was bouncing off the walls and every post was full of !!!! and #&%$ but in a very quiet spiritual kind of way.
I’ve been remembering the time when I considered myself to be quite the wine connoisseur . I loved the multi layered oral sensation of a really great red wine. Loved pairing the right wine with the right food . I loved really great beer and a very long time ago I remember really developing a taste for great single malt scotch. When I was waitressing and became really good at selling tiny 45$ glasses of vintage port I was able to sell it because I had tasted it and BELIEVED it was worth that much money.
But all of the wonderful sensual effects of those drinks are in the first glass. After the second your taste begins to numb along with your brain and body. That’s why wine tasters swish and than spit.
One glass or two is moderation. And I have never been a moderate drinker and never will be.
So I think that rather than magnifying the beauty of life alcohol numbs it and it really always has…
………even when we were young.
If you can hang on to an alcohol-free lifestyle you will find every day that the incredible beauty inside of you magnify s…and glows
I have heard it said and now know it’s true that ” sobriety offers what alcohol promises”