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!

212 thoughts on “Celebrations

  1. Celebrations are truly joyful at these Universal Medicine celebrations, ‘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!’

  2. For me my alcohol and drug use wasn’t about fitting in, it was about what I called ‘wiping the slate clean’, a phrase I used to describe my imagined ability to rid myself of my built up tension. Of course I wasn’t wiping anything clean I was only temporarily covering it up by getting wasted.

  3. Wow Nichole, Love what you have shared and may I add that it is so simple for anyone to make the choice not to indulge in abusive behaviours but most in society want to relate these behaviours’ as normal and thus for those who do not join them something else has to the root cause of not indulging, because they do not want to look at their own issues behind any addiction and thus denying it is a choice.

  4. What is crazy is that even though we know alcohol isn’t for us, we persist in trying to find something we can drink. I remember my mother being the same way and would suffer greatly with migraines after drinking alcohol and like me, she eventually didn’t drink regardless of the occasion.

  5. Is it possible that we have celebrations infused with alcohol and drugs just as a form of relief, to let our hair loose from the stressful life we lead? Is it possible that we are actually not celebrating at all, but are just looking for the next thing to take the edge off even just for a little bit. A life lived in that momentum Can only guarantee burnout, exhaustion, depression and the likes. It is so obvious when we look at it, yet how many of us are willing to do so?

  6. “Why is it that we are unable to enjoy ourselves without some kind of substance that alters us?”

    Good question Nicole. I have stopped the drinking and smoking but find that I still use other substances that alter me such as food and patterns of behaviours. A loving work in progress to answer that one for myself.

  7. I can completely relate this searching for the right alcoholic drink, just so that you can keep drinking, trying out different types and flavours, all in the hope that something will work and not make you feel sick. And I can see how, for myself at times, this behaviour has not stopped with alcohol.

  8. We get together because we want to meet but we miss out on the real treat being offered when we drink alcohol or take drugs. I think we innately want that true connection with people but we miss out when we get intoxicated. I also think we are a bit afraid of what we will experience when we do meet without any mind altering substances. We might just get to experience a level of connection that we haven’t felt before.

  9. “What would I do if I was not drinking or smoking?… it was such a big part of my life”. This is a problem that anyone faces who has built their social life around a drug such as alcohol. Giving up drinking or smoking means so much more than just that. It is no longer feeling part of the crowd, perhaps not being invited to events, realising you have little in common with some of ‘the crowd’ or becoming aware of how unenjoyable some nights out actually are when you are not affected by drugs.

  10. The usual image of a celebration is that we celebrate harming ourselves together and laugh about it. Well, that is only one option. We can choose differently if we feel that harming has ceased to be our favorite way.

  11. Drinking and drugs are such a huge part of our upbringing that it is seen as unusual or abnormal not to drink, smoke or do pot. For years I tried to get my body to accept these things, but it just kept saying no and now that I have stopped trying to push them into my body, I am glad that it was so strong and held its ground.

  12. There is such a culture around having some kind of substance as a celebration or to relax or to de-stress. Blogs like this and sharings of seeing through the illusion of needing something to alter us, are so important and powerful to share.

  13. Spot on Brendan, and for many women it’s almost like a relief that they can say there is a ‘legitimate’ reason why they’re not drinking and get people off their back. I can remember saying that I was breastfeeding and wouldn’t drink alcohol but there would still be some who would make comments like it won’t hurt the baby or it would be good for the baby because they will sleep better! There is nothing much though that men can say they are not drinking for that is okay for others not to badger them to drink. I see this when my husband says no to alcohol, it’s almost like whom ever is offering doesn’t even hear him.

  14. I would do things to get accepted too but in the process, or even before, I usually realise it is not for me but I still go for it. I am very aware I am not owned by what I do, but neither do I reject it. I do not drink, but I may go in and out of places where people do, or work in industries where drugs and alcohol are common.

  15. The truth is when we are not connected to our essence alcohol and drugs are very appealing, as they take us even further away from how we feel inside, because not living connected to our essence doesn’t feel great at all. However when we are connected to ourselves, it’s who we are we celebrate at parties, and taking loving care of our essence with what we eat or drink is a natural part of that. It’s even more amazing when we get to celebrate in a group where everyone is connected to their essence together.

  16. Celebrations are so so lovely without alcohol, smoking or drugs. I can really feel the difference in myself and the people around me and it feels pretty darn good ✨

  17. 2018 and its the same where it is thought to be out of the ordinary not to drink alcohol – that’s been my experience. There is some that just drink because of the pressure but I’m sure they probably would not if were supported to freely choose. Alcohol is evil. There is nothing you can do to stop the energetic change once a certain amount (and not much) of alcohol is in the system. This is energetic science, and why I do not put that poison into my body.

  18. I have not smoked or drank for years now, and have had no problems filling that time spent in more productive activities. This past Christmas, our work party was in a hall and I volunteered to be the bartender. It was an interesting position to observe others and their actions at a free bar. There was no judgment just loving service.

  19. The more we honour our body and what we find works best for us, the more we offer a reflection to others to be more true to who they are as well, and to not dismiss what they feel in their body. I love how you describe discovering and acting on what felt true for you, without any need for others to do the same and at the same time with an openness about your way of living, not thinking you need to hide it in case someone else thinks it odd.

  20. The fact that alcohol has become such a predominant feature in our ‘celebrations’ in society says a lot about the true quality of life we are living as a community. Are we living in a way that is much lesser to our natural way and therefore need a chemical to stimulate us to feel happy? What if we brought back our true values in life which allow for true contentment and settlement within ourselves, perhaps then we would not seek stimulants or depressants like alcohol as a form of ‘happiness’.

  21. It is so strange that we have normalised a celebration to be one where we glorify disconnection, getting ‘out of it’, or needing to over-stimulate ourselves with alcohol, drugs and food. But maybe the way we celebrate is indicative of the quality of lives we are living? Are we living in connection to who we are, to a life of love, or are we not and as such our need to seek to attain a momentary thrill is what we pursue? What I love about Universal Medicine celebrations is that it is a confirmation of a way of living that is founded on love, connection and truth and the richness that this brings to life. Coming together to proclaim this way of living, is a sacred ceremony itself and the joy of being open to express, connect and celebrate this way leaves alcohol, drugs and other stimulants for dead, and would in fact grossly diminish the magic we naturally share.

  22. I love my life without alcohol and I do not miss being around others who drink either. There was always something in me that felt drinking too much was not harmonious and when I started to listen to that something, the allure of drinking started to wane. Not only this, but other less than harmonious habits have been exposed too. As a consequence I feel much lighter, more vital and even joy-full in general. We might perhaps look at what is fueling the social pressure to confirm to such a habit and whether it is a lack of love for ourselves we are trying not to feel.

    1. I agree, ‘ I do not miss being around others who drink either’. Having been to some weddings where people were drinking large amounts was a complete waste of space, it was impossible to connect or have a conversation with these people.

  23. This is an amazing point to make, about no longer seeking substances to help you to numb-out to what you are feeling, but letting yourself feel whatever is coming up to be felt instead. I love this because of how this can be a daily practise, something which is a constant in one’s life – to always seek to be aware. And this is beautiful because it takes away the need for something or someone to do it for us, as we all have the ability to feel and to be aware.

  24. I didn’t numb my feelings today and I felt it was unfamiliar and when I started to make justifications to not feel I became more anxious so I just allowed myself some space. I felt what it was. The natural power of myself is unfamiliar to express and sometimes I water it down to protect myself and not wanting to feel this makes me anxious.

  25. What I am noticing is not only are we unable to enjoy ourselves without the need for alcohol but the amount of alcohol consumed is increasing! It has stepped up! Interesting? It’s as though we have to increase our intake of alcohol to numb ourselves because what we were drinking before is not enough.

  26. “Why is it that we are unable to enjoy ourselves without some kind of substance that alters us”? This is a great question, one I unfortunately took about 30 years to consider! I suspect most of us are struggling socially, even those who appear to be happy and outgoing. We knew from when we were little kids that our true selves were not acceptable, so we sadly use alcohol/food/drugs in an attempt to change ourselves and fit the mould.

  27. With the Christmas season soon upon us there is no doubt that there will be excessive “drinking of alcohol and eating way too much food that the body struggles to digest”. And with it being summer here there will be those who are getting their bodies ready for the beach; toning up and trimming down. They will probably eat and drink way too much for their precious bodies, put on weight and then make a New Year’s resolution to lose the unwanted kilos. And next year repeat the same cycle. I wonder if anywhere through this body disregarding process whether anyone will stop and ask themselves what they are doing to their body – maybe not but it is always all about choice.

    1. Maybe consider how they feel the following morning after a night of drinking, ‘ 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.’

  28. Celebrations like the one you’ve just described can seem daggy and uncool…when your world is more about the glamour and intoxicated fun one can have of a night out. But, despite the perceived daggyness, I can say from experience just how lovely it is to have a night out where everybody is sober and just being themselves. No egotistical rubbish, no showing off, no trying to be sexy (which when drunk is probably more embarrassing than anything)! It’s awesome to be with people that allow you to just be, and it’s awesome to enjoy that company, go home at a reasonable hour and wake up ready to face the day. There are only positives in this scenario!!

  29. Celebrations are always a time of togetherness and joy and yet as a society we deem a good celebration as a night to push our bodies to the limit. If we were to truly celebrate people and the coming together of friends and family at gatherings would it not be beautiful to be able to also support and cherish the bodies that got them to the party too? Celebrating who we are by way of supporting the vehicles we express from not only offers us much to enjoy and connect with on a daily basis but also brings a new take on what it truly means to come together in celebration of who we are.

  30. Celebrations are either alcohol or sugar fuelled (which is no difference to alcohol). A false pretence of being around people who are trying to be something they are not – WHY?

    The silly season is upon us soon and the cycle of dieting, getting fit and undoing it by indulging re-begins – WHY?

    Whats the point of it all? Be far away as possible from who we truely are – crazy.

    1. Most of us are agitated, bored, frustrated, angry, resentful, bitter, annoyed, sad or just generally pissed off by life, we therefore enjoy the feeling of temporarily not feeling these things and we do that by drinking, smoking, eating, exercising, watching, playing, working etc which of course we need to keep doing to prevent us from feeling the things that we don’t want to feel. Having cleared most of those feelings from my body I have to say the sense of freedom and space that I now have most of the time is sublime and of course any thought of doing anything to stop me feeling anything has totally gone.

  31. Iv’e not done the hard drugs but definitely the alcohol and the smoking. Its seems the norm to drink. I know of a work colleague to take their son on his 18th birthday for his first beer!…which I was surprised by.

    So if you don’t drink, smoke or take drugs then it is considered abnormal. But I am the converted not because someone told me but my body had had enough. Goodness knows what I put my liver through and I’m sure my brain is thankful of being free from the regular hangovers.

    I too have experienced Universal Medicine celebrations and to have such fun without alcohol or drugs was just glorious. Going home sober, waking up sober and remembering the night before was just lovely to experience – no regrets. True joyful celebrations can have lasting fun.

  32. I find it interesting that even when the body gives clear signs of not wanting something that we try to find a way to sneak around it. if alcohol doesn’t agree with us we may try different kinds of alcohol until we find one that does. If dairy doesn’t agree with us you can even get lactose tolerance tablets that help you digest the lactose. We really do think we are smarter than the body which just goes to show how smart the intelligence we currently use is.

  33. ‘I realise I did not want to be left out – as drinking and smoking in my mind helped me fit in.’ This made me question what fitting in really means, that we think we will be accepted by others for doing what we believe makes us socially acceptable by our friends, when in truth our true friends will accept us for who we truly are without the need to join them in drink or drugs.

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