Walking around fun with a big bow

January 26, 2020 / Topical / Blog Caroline

As I write this I have not drunk alcohol for 24 days. It comes easy to me. Although I do feel that I am not playing a fair game. In one way or another, this month has been a very quiet month and I have encountered few temptations. I don't have birthdays or parties, I don't have dinners and I haven't been to the cafe (yet).

 I have also not been to the golf course, which is also an excellent place to have a drink in the restaurant there with tasty snacks accompanied by (a few glasses) Chardonnay. I am not tempted at home either, because we have an alcohol-free house. When our daughter came out of rehab in August 2018, we got rid of all alcohol. We didn't know for how long we would do that, that was never discussed. I actually like it, it's very clear. The result is that we no longer have dinners at home with friends (my husband likes to cook and extensively) because it remains with us that with extensive food belongs wine.

 This week I was in touch with a friend whom I haven't spoken to in a while. She suggested we go out to dinner for a chat. It occurred to me that I wanted to plan that in February, because then I could drink a glass of wine with dinner. That's how it goes, almost not wanting to meet, because then you can't drink wine. I pulled myself together and we agreed at the end of January. I'm the BOB, so an extra reason not to drink wine. Last weekend I also thought about going out for a drink with my husband. But then where? Cozy to a wine bar and then drink spa red? Or to the cafe where everyone is filled with beer? To the golf course where everyone is also drinking wine and beer? So I made no offer and stayed at home. Apparently I don't think it's that normal yet, that not drinking alcohol. So it also feels boring and I avoid the opportunities. I'm kind of scared that it works that way for me too. Apparently drinking alcohol is still the norm for me for fun and loosening up.

 I'm afraid not drinking alcohol for 30 days will change that. Consciously not drinking alcohol does give me insights, especially in combination with writing these blogs. Writing makes me think even more about what it does to me. An important insight is that it is not that easy. I get even more admiration for the people who at some point in their lives have decided to stop drinking alcohol altogether, never again. How handsome is that! I'm not talking about people who don't or hardly drink anyway because they don't like it. No, I'm talking about the people who drank (a lot) every day. At some point in their lives, these people have reached the point where they thought they couldn't go on like this any longer and have started working on themselves and have stopped drinking alcohol completely, forever.

I don't think these people have it any easier than me. In fact, I think they have (had) a harder time, but they hold on because they know the alcohol will wreck them in the long run and ruin their lives.

My wish is that the norm 'sociability = alcohol' changes in our society. Hopefully not drinking alcohol will soon be accepted and people will no longer be urged to drink 'one glass'. Accept when someone says 'no' and makes a conscious choice for something else. You don't know the story behind the choice, but you can also ask yourself whether that is important.

 No = No.

 

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