Hidden and Forbidden Fruits

January 12, 2020 / Topical / Blog Caroline

Saturday January 4 I went with two friends to watch a performance of another friend. She is a singer and this was her first performance with a new band. Exciting for her. I didn't know the location, it turned out to be a tiny rock cafe. We were early and we decided to have a coffee somewhere else first. The coffee came; pleasantly presented on a small tray with something delicious and a small glass with a dollop of whipped cream… This turned out to be a hidden alcoholic snack, so I almost made a mistake! Fortunately, I realized just in time that there was probably liqueur under that dollop of whipped cream… and that was right. So I just took a bite of whipped cream. It did make me think. Alcohol is so normal in our society that you get this, unsolicited, served with your cup of coffee! Now it wouldn't be a disaster for me if I 'accidentally' consumed this. This can be a major trigger for an addict in recovery!

After coffee we went to the cafe. Phew...it was full and the beer was flowing freely. Normally I would throw my 'basically I don't drink beer' overboard and go for the beer anyway, because, after 3 beers it tastes best. Not now. Alternately drank spa red and Radler 0.0 which was fine. Because my friends didn't drink alcohol either, I wasn't triggered, moreover I was the BOB so alcohol was a No Go anyway. It was a fantastic performance by my girlfriend (what a voice!) and we enjoyed ourselves. Around half past eleven I noticed that the alcohol was getting a grip on the visitors of the cafe. Talking became louder, people stepped into my aura and men suddenly found it necessary to say something to me. If you don't drink yourself, things like this stand out more and I started to feel uncomfortable. In addition, I also started to get tired. At 12 o'clock we decided to go home. As a result, the financial damage was not too bad; I lost less than ten euros, another advantage of not drinking alcohol!

A New Year's reception at the golf club was also scheduled for that weekend. The alcohol always flows there too…Something came up, so I didn't go. I did, however, go out for dinner that evening, normally an excellent time to drink a glass of wine. Of course I didn't. I obediently drank my spa red. No problem, but all the time I thought about NOT DRINKING.

Now that I've imposed the 30-day no-alcohol rule on myself, I think about alcohol much more and more often than usual. I am not a heavy drinker (anymore); on working days I don't drink alcohol, our house is alcohol-free for our daughter who still lives at home (and who, as I mentioned before, is an addict in recovery). The moments that I drink alcohol are therefore minimal and if I drink alcohol I try to stick to a maximum of two glasses. Normally I never think about drinking alcohol that much. So now it is. When I'm in the supermarket and walking through the wine and beer aisle, when I walk past a cafe, when I see people on TV having a drink; it all strikes me more now. Alcohol is really everywhere, it's hard to avoid. Coupon with the coffee? Wait, let's make sure there's no alcohol in it. stew in the restaurant; check if there is red wine in it. Nice recipe for risotto? Yes, too bad, it needs 175 cl of white wine. Balsamic vinegar? Contains alcohol. Now I know that this wouldn't hurt me that much, but for an addict in recovery these are all triggers; hidden and forbidden fruits! Alcohol is everywhere!

Until next week!

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