by Nicole Serafin, Age 40. Tintenbar, NSW
Most celebrations usually have you partake in the drinking of alcohol and eating way too much food that the body struggles to digest – and often in my past experience, there are drugs involved to boot.
As a society we have become so accustomed to and accepting of this way of life that it is generally considered to be out of the ordinary to not have alcohol involved.
Why is it that we are unable to enjoy ourselves without some kind of substance that alters us?
In my experience, if you didn’t drink it was only because you were the designated driver, not because you chose not to drink.
Oh yes, and of course if you were pregnant!
My body slowly began to tell me that drinking was not for me. Of course, I continued to try, jumping from red to white wine, brown to white spirits, all in the hope that I would find something that I would be able to drink.
Even with allergic reactions I persisted, and those around me would make suggestions so I would still be able to join them in a drink (or three)!
Eventually it did not matter what I drank; 1 glass of red made me feel like I had drunk 2 bottles, as did every other form of alcohol.
So, finally I began to accept that drinking was just not for me.
It was not however, before deciding that maybe marijuana would be the next best option – so just exchanging one drug for another.
It seemed to do the job; I only ever smoked enough without actually getting stoned, as I did not like the feeling of it. I still liked having control over my body, hence why other drugs did not appeal to me in the way that marijuana did.
How crazy! I drank, but never liked to get drunk… and I smoked pot, but did not like to get stoned!
So the alcohol dwindled off and eventually so too did the smoking of pot, until I no longer used either of them.
I often have people ask me what it is I do if I don’t drink. They are surprised, yet at the same time intrigued by the fact that I no longer drink. What is most surprising to them is that this is a choice I make!
I understood as I used to feel the same way: what would I do if I was not drinking or smoking?… it was such a big part of my life.
But I could not believe how much better I began to feel. I no longer woke up in the mornings feeling tired, hung-over, hazy or foggy.
My life is now completely alcohol and drug free. Many of my friends and family still choose to drink and smoke but there is no issue for me with that. I accept them for the choices they make, and they now accept me for mine.
I find I now enjoy the time I spend with others, calling on my own self-confidence rather than that of the alcohol, as I once did.
I realise I am now willing to feel more of what I am feeling without reaching for a glass of red wine or a joint to numb it out.
I realise I did not want to be left out – as drinking and smoking in my mind helped me fit in.
I was lucky enough recently to attend an end of year Universal Medicine celebration – where there was not an ounce of alcohol or drugs in sight.
There was however, a plethora of talented individuals who had put time and dedication to a performance that was second to none – simply awesome! Along with this there was dancing, great food, wonderful people and great conversation.
It was a confirmation of all I have come to know myself – that yes, it is possible to have a great time with others without having a drink or taking drugs.
It was fantastic to be together with such a wonder-full group of people and enjoy their company as well as my own. And all that without the influence of alcohol or drugs!