List for a good feeling

The February 20th information about why alcohol is so addictive got me thinking. A welcome eye opener. In the article they talk about a happiness hormone that is produced by the alcohol. And what that happiness hormone does to you after, for example, stress at work, an annoying conversation, or just the idea that everything is going against you, an off-day. Look, that will be it! I had quite a few of those less fun moments until a few years ago.

I can still see myself sitting on the couch when I did drink. Glass of wine in hand, laughing at something in a movie that I had already lost the next day. Or flirting on a chat with a fuzzy figure, blurring boundaries. At that moment it was nice, nice, I forgot all the worries for a while. But the next day… well. Not just a hangover from the alcohol. Fake happiness!

I am starting to experience more and more what not drinking does to me. I still laugh at a freak in a series. And as for the chat on a dating site and possible dates: not right now. Dating has become more complicated in this fast-paced world of the internet. There too, boundaries seem to fade and I seem to be 'old-fashioned', if I try sober once and indicate my limits if someone immediately asks about my bra size. Too bad, I also have a piece called self-respect. And why tackle everything at once? Quitting drinking is already a big deal. Not everything at once.

Anyway, back to that article: Alternatives to make that happiness hormone, endorphins, could be brought by sports, laughter, sex, massage. The first thing that comes to mind now is that my so-called friend alcohol actually prevented me from really being able to experience those other alternatives. Because well, let's face it, sports are a bit less if you are broke, you will probably lose that laughter and perhaps the rest of the alternatives the next morning.

I've been busy for the past two years making choices to end unhealthy things for me, including work, certain friendships, and relationships that didn't bring me much joy. I let my heart speak and followed it. Perhaps it is also because of these choices that I am less inclined to drink. I'm doing really well.

However, last week I caught myself having a moment in the supermarket. Out of the corner of my eye the wine shelf and one moment I thought, 'shall I'? Really only one second and immediately walked on, finishing my healthy shopping list. Been gentle with myself at this thought, not judgmental. You can't just change a behavior, pattern that you have had for so long from one day to the next. I had an off day. Quite a few things happen in my life. But the big question is, what do I do with it? Give me a shot of endorphins!

I've had a 'list for a good feeling' for a while, which I wrote down in a nice book. They are all healthy, safe and cheap ways that make me happy. That evening I deliberately used something from my 'list'. I put on a favorite music album, had a great time bleating along and danced all over the room. My dog participated, probably thought he didn't get enough attention, so as an encore for me another hug moment. Really, if you're talking about a moment of happiness! Who needs booze anymore? To enjoy!



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