Deliberately Non-Drinker: How Alcohol Is Going Out Of Fashion

A life 2023

Table of contents:

Deliberately Non-Drinker: How Alcohol Is Going Out Of Fashion
Deliberately Non-Drinker: How Alcohol Is Going Out Of Fashion
Video: Deliberately Non-Drinker: How Alcohol Is Going Out Of Fashion
Video: How It Feels To Be A Non-Drinker 2023, February
Anonim

Most of us live in one way or another with alcohol. - whether it's a glass of wine at dinner, a series of cocktails at a party, or your favorite beer after a long day at work. Moreover, many of us act as if by inertia: at a party or when meeting with friends, we automatically take a glass in our hand. But, just as with the declining smoking, balanced diet, and general tendency toward mindfulness, we seem to be reevaluating our relationship with alcohol. Meet sober curious, a movement to phase out alcohol and replace it with other experiences.

Image
Image

Alexandra Savina

Image
Image

The phrase sober curious (literally "interested / interested in sobriety", but in its meaning is closer to "drinking consciously") was invented by Ruby Warrington. In addition to the term itself, she also credits the book Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol, and the corresponding podcast. Warrington got the idea of ​​consuming alcohol from her own experience. A few years ago, in 2010, she worked as an editor for the Sunday Times Style - there were a lot of parties and alcohol accompanying them in her life. Ruby once went on an editorial assignment for a weekend yoga retreat, where, for obvious reasons, there was no alcohol - and was surprised how good she felt when she returned to work on Monday. Warrington considers those days to be the beginning of a sober path: of course, she did not quit drinking at that moment, but wondered what her life could be without alcohol and why it affects her well-being so much.

Warrington began to refuse drinking two years later, when, following her husband, she moved from London to New York. Then the journalist decided to ask herself directly why much in her life is built around alcohol - given that she is rather bad from him than happy. At the same time, Ruby realized that the traditional scheme - complete and irrevocable sobriety - did not suit her: at the meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, she felt that she was not ready to perceive herself as a person with a serious addiction.

She is not alone in such thoughts: alcoholism is traditionally associated with binge drinking, drinking before losing consciousness or the habit of getting drunk, and not with good alcohol in a comfortable environment, which does not seem to interfere with living a normal life in the morning. At the same time, the first signs of abuse are easy to miss: drinking more than planned, losing the day due to a severe hangover, taking a glass after work to relax out of habit - all this seems harmless, but it can signal the beginning of a problem. According to a 2015 poll by the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, almost 27% of respondents over 18 admitted that in the last month they abused alcohol at least once - that is, they drank five or more servings at a time, if it was about men, or four or more servings in the case of women. Another 7% of those surveyed admitted that they have abused alcohol five or more times in the last month - the familiar habit of many of us not drinking for a week, but taking a shower on weekends may not be as harmless as it seems.

Ruby went to a yoga retreat for the weekend where there was no alcohol - and was surprised how good she felt when she returned to work on Monday.

On the other hand, there are also those who choose sobriety. For example, according to a study by University College London, more and more young people completely give up alcohol: if in 2005, among respondents aged 16-24, there were 18%, then in 2015 this figure rose to 29%. The number of young people drinking more than the recommended norm also fell (from 43 to 28%), as well as those who abuse alcohol not regularly, but one-time, but strongly (from 27 to 18%). True, it should be noted that the study was sponsored by the charity Alliance House Foundation, which calls for complete sobriety.

There is a wave of celebrities, albeit not so large, who openly talk about giving up alcohol: from Kim Kardashian, who claims that she drinks only five shots of vodka in Las Vegas every three years, to rom-com star Noah Centineo, who, after several years of partying with alcohol decided to spend his twenty-second year completely sober (in the United States, alcohol is allowed from twenty-one). The latter appears with kombucha instead of beer and in the frame - unusual for American cinema, where a teenage party is associated with an illegally purchased beer keg.

Nevertheless, a complete rejection of alcohol is not suitable for everyone - and not everyone is ready to admit that they have a drinking problem. In the end, only one in ten is threatened with serious addiction; many are able to somehow control their condition and the amount of alcohol. Moreover, there are also programs to combat addiction, which seek to move away from the principle of "once and for all": one of them, for example, begins with a complete rejection of alcohol for a month, and then suggests gradually returning alcohol to your life, but already in in moderation.

Image
Image

The movement of "mindful drinkers" fits into this process quite well - instead of completely eliminating alcohol from life, it encourages you to think about what alcohol gives you personally and whether it is possible to get it in another way. For example, alcohol is also an important element of social interaction: some drink a glass or two to relax in an unfamiliar company, others drink to feel more confident, and still others by inertia or not to feel superfluous or stand out. Sobriety in this system seems to require additional arguments - like pregnancy or a history of alcoholism in the family - and a simple reluctance to drink seems to be insufficient. Ruby Warrington also talks about this: she says that she was afraid that if she quit drinking, she would be considered strange, suspected that she had some problems, that she considered herself better than others, and so she would lose friends.

At the same time, Warrington says that, having given up alcohol, she lost only one thing - in fact, the feeling of intoxication. “What am I talking about? The fact that drinking alcohol is not an obligatory element for building a connection with people and, as a result, a full and happy life, but quite a separate occupation. It is simply a change in the mental, emotional and physical state through the use of toxic alcohol, she writes in the book. - Because of him, we, on the contrary, are less aware of what is happening around us and with whom we communicate. And this, as happened with many, can easily lead to arguments, quarrels, text messages, which you later regret, terrible sex, and in the morning, in the cold light of the day, to a feeling of complete and catastrophic loneliness."

In addition, the "social" drink does not have to be something alcoholic. An emerging market is helping, too, from kombucha and fancy soda like the popular US LaCroix to a huge selection of non-alcoholic beers and cider for those who want to keep in touch with familiar rituals.

Instead of completely eliminating alcohol from life, the movement encourages you to think about what alcohol gives you personally and is it possible to get it in another way.

In addition to the fact that it is quite possible to fight social anxiety without alcohol, there are also quite legitimate arguments for reducing alcohol consumption. For example, the state of health: drunk at night affects the quality of sleep - and, as a result, it can be great to spoil the sense of self the next day. There are more serious prospects: alcohol abuse is associated with a variety of health problems - from problems with the nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas to depression and increased dementia. The desire to mitigate these risks is a natural history.

Of course, the method of "mindful drinking" is also not suitable for everyone (Ruby Warrington herself says that it should not be used in cases of serious addiction): if severe depression is hidden behind an addiction to alcohol, it is unlikely that the issue can be resolved, simply by reducing the number of servings of alcohol per week to the norm recommended by experts. For everyone else, a mindful approach to alcohol can lead to very different results. Someone may quit drinking for good, having found out that alcohol does not bring joy, others may simply reconsider their habits - for example, giving up alcohol in situations where it seems to be accepted to drink, but in fact they do not want to, such as corporate events or parties. That is, ultimately, it is better to understand yourself and your own desires.

“Being aware of ourselves as a 'mindful drinker' does not allow us to be in the rigid framework of 'all or nothing' - whether it is about thinking, feeling or acting,” says psychotherapist Alison Stone. - It can also help us better understand our own relationship with alcohol: in what situations do we drink more than we would like? Do we drink because we want to or because we feel we should? Curiosity enables us to better understand ourselves and why we do this and not otherwise."

Photos: Zamurovic - stock.adobe.com (1, 2)

Image
Image

Popular by topic