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I am no fan of new year resolutions. In the past, things only changed when I acted on them
out of an intuitive feeling, right when the idea kicked in. Spontaneously.
For the beginning of 2018 however I planned to give up drinking months before, as
I felt no reason to give it up without a certain circumstance.
The new year came, passed by and as always, I did not stick to it… until my body
miraculously forced me to fulfill my plan.
I started drinking when I turned 18.
Although the age was not the crucial fact.
Starting my education in a bank was. Christmas and office parties, trainee parties,
and the it´s-finally-weekend-parties. Somehow before, I never really enjoyed
the taste of alcohol the way I did like after getting introduced to the 9-5 working schedule.
Of course this is no excuse. That´s why over the years, in my brain I began to fill in a whole list
with reasons to drink.
That might have been for example some occasion that needed to be celebrated.
Whether passing an exam, or getting called back by a boy I liked or surviving the day
and making it home. Another huge reason was being in company and
increasing the amount of fun we had. A bond-movie always needed a Martini.
A hot summer evening a cold beer. Winter hot mulled-wine.
Before I even knew it, drinking alcohol was my habit.
And when I heard that everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, that there are
only different levels of it, I laughed.
I was no alcoholic! Couldn’t be. Because I could stop anytime! Right?
Somehow I laughed at this the same way, I laughed out of disbelief about someone who
never drunk alcohol or never suffered a hangover in his life.
Years went by and it was sometimes better, sometimes worse.
I recall a time right before I handed in the notice to my bank-employer, when I hid
red wine bottles in my room. Emptying them every evening alone and throwing them in the glass container secretly the next day.
Although leaving this workplace let me give up that particular habit, I did not necessarily drink less,
when I thought I was genuinely happy with me and my circumstances.
Yes, the excess drinking became rare. Suffering from nausea, headache, and a whole day of laying in bed was not worth the short pleasure of forgetting the world anymore.
So I settled on one or two reasonable glasses of wine or beer. Every. Single. Evening.
The miraculous change
A few days after new year 2018 – after 8 years of being used to drink- I was not able to fall asleep anymore, only getting a few hours rest for weeks. This is, believe me, scary as hell.
Too exhausted for anything, after the first sleepless night, I stopped drinking alcohol.
The following night I felt like dying. My body went itchy, with violent shivers I threw around in bed,
suffering, but not knowing where it came from. A heat burned my body, but it was no fever.
With the help of the internet and the judgement of an expert, I finally figured,
I was going through a withdrawal of alcohol. For the first time in ages, I did not give my body his regular dose- not even a small amount.
The following weeks were the real challenge though.
Every evening I yearned to open a bottle of wine. I felt restless and nervous. I, who thought, was so in control of this regular pleasure, suddenly found myself submitted to a physically noticeable addiction.
It is no secret, that alcohol makes old, fat and dumb. But only through this, I understood the
unmistakable consequence it has for our will and mind strength.
Now I can tell you, alcohol is not cool. Although commercials and Jessica Jones give another picture. More than not cool, it is not harmless. Even a small, regular dose can create an addiction.
This world is meant to be enjoyed for sure and I always thought maintaining a moderate consumption of poison is okay. But not for the price of giving up the freedom of our body and mind.
We highly underestimate how strong the effect of alcohol is and how easily it changes our health and life for the worse. Alcohol is so common. So easy to get. So popular.
Promising and seductive like Kaa, the snake from the jungle book.
We feel secure through our fogged judgement, because we can experience a feeling of happiness fast and easy through the body. And mistake it for true happiness.
We ease our mind, forget this and that, fall asleep faster, relax or enjoy the state of
losing a bit of control. But it does not really take away our problems.
It only puts a curtain around them for a while, then passes, poisons and damages our
inner and outer organs and the nerve system.
It clogs our ability to connect with our divine source through our mind.
The only place where we can feel true, pure and clean happiness and really solve
our problems. Once the connection is disabled, we feel a hole that we constantly want to fill up, to maintain feeling good or at least better.
The more we try to fill it up, the bigger the hole feels afterwards. A vicious circle.
Once being in this state, we hardly recognize on our own, that we are trapped,
without some kind of wake-up call.
To drink or not to drink
It is only now, about four months later, that I can say, I don’t feel the need to drink
alcohol anymore and that my sleeping problems finally came to a stop.
Although I made an agreement with myself that I would not forbid myself anything,
I know I will not take the consumption of alcohol lighthearted anymore.
I wonder what you experienced with alcohol so far. If you drink, would you consider yourself an addict? Or do you believe, like I once did, that a good amount of alcohol now and than does not do harm and that you have everything under control?
I am beyond grateful that my body gave me a warning shot, that I could not ignore-
thanks to having a sensitive body- to finally cut a string that weakened me for years.
However I do not wish for anyone else to experience what I did – or worse.
Turning inside, instead of grasping a glass of high-proofed liqu
id is a daily decision and worth it in the end. Even if the whole world does it otherwise. Even if it only starts with a new-year resolution…
Take care of yourself!
May the love be with you