Getting Honest about Alcohol

by Julie G., United States

For many years I had what I felt was a strange and challenging relationship with alcohol. I first started drinking as a teenager, when I went to parties at friends’ houses. The first time I drank, the rush was so new to me and felt so ‘freeing’, that I overdid it and got sick. I have been thin all my life, and it never really took much to overdo it, no matter what I drank. One would think that would help me put a stop to drinking ever again, but it didn’t. The feeling I had of being ‘comfortable in my own skin’, to open up and not be shy, seemed to be worth enough that I came back to alcohol again and again all through college and beyond. I had a lot of fun, and I also overdid it a lot and got physically sick and hung over a lot. 

As an adult, when I first got married, I kept drinking socially with my husband, mostly only on weekends, and mostly beer. I drank because I had convinced myself that I liked the taste of beer and it just seemed like the thing to do (i.e., if you go to a bar or a restaurant, you drink). I would watch others drink socially and seem to stay sober, but I would get buzzed so easily.

Eventually, I started to notice that when I drank, I didn’t feel like ME. It felt like some other energy was working through my body. I could feel the moment the alcohol was affecting me. It started as a tingling feeling in my legs and arms and everything around me seemed somehow brighter (i.e., lights, colors). Then there was a bit of numbing, sort of like things were softening, and I felt duller, less aware of what was going on. I started to feel like I was poisoning my body and imagined that I could feel the poison working through my veins. I didn’t stop drinking completely, but it became less and less and I would rarely finish a full glass at a meal. The more I would see the effects of alcohol on the people around me, the less I wanted any part of it.

Then, a few years ago I went to a friend’s birthday party in which we spent the night going to various clubs. Other people were buying me drinks and I ended up becoming very drunk… and very sick the next morning. I hadn’t been that sick since college and decided after that experience that I would never drink again. During this same time, my husband was reading one of Serge Benhayon’s purple books and would read excerpts to me. That was my first introduction to Universal Medicine. What he was reading to me felt so true – and surprisingly, so familiar.

About five months later and after reading the book myself, we attended Universal Medicine courses in the UK. I really felt like I had come home, like I was finding the truth, some of which I could feel I already knew, although at the time I didn’t know how I knew. One of the many things that we talked about in the courses was eating and alcohol. It was a confirmation for me to be presented with the possibility that drinking alcohol truly does prevent me from feeling the true ME, and that there was something I was seeking every time I drank – both self-acceptance and the approval of others. Although I had already stopped drinking by this time, I felt that it may not have taken much convincing to have a glass of wine at a celebration or work event on occasion. Learning the truth about what happens in the body when alcohol is ingested was all I needed to make the commitment to never drink again, and now there is no part of me that would choose to drink alcohol no matter what other people are doing around me.

The beautiful thing is that no-one told me not to drink. I was just presented with the impact alcohol has on the body and supported to reflect on why I needed it, and it was my choice to stop altogether. The only attention, reward or recognition I received from stopping was from me: from the relief and tenderness I felt for myself for making a choice out of a desire to care for me.

644 thoughts on “Getting Honest about Alcohol

  1. Alcohol is not pretty despite the way it is advertised and glamoured up by the press, the advertising industry and movie stars etc. If people were truly informed about alcohol no doubt many less would drink it.

  2. If we connected to our bodies and truly honoured what they shared with us we would not drink or eat most of the things we do. I always felt the alcohol running through my veins like a poison, I never could say I loved it or even enjoyed it. I only used it to loosen up and be more sociable or so I thought.

  3. Whilst you began drinking for the approval of others… you stopped drinking for the love of yourself – this is significant.

  4. I stopped alcohol a few years ago and frankly I don’t miss it. I find it interesting how people respond when I share that I don’t drink alcohol anymore and I often hear them say, ‘oh I can’t live without my beer or my wine’- yet they don’t question why they need it in the first place.

    I enjoy going to a party and wake up the following day with no consequences, I still have fun and remember everything about the evening. I can honestly say I can truly enjoy a party or social gathering without alcohol because you see the real me having real fun.

  5. Isn’t it interesting, that there are choices in life that we make that are for the good of our bodies, and no one seems to pay much attention, but if we act recklessly drunk and make choices that harm us on a weekly basis, we get all the attention in the world…even praise at times for being so out of control. Baffling.

  6. It is very common to associate alcohol with freedom. Alcohol frees me from … X. So, I feel better after drinking it. This is typical. The truth though is that alcohol does not free anybody from anything. All it does is offer temporary relief from life and from ourselves. And, even that has some glamour. We get together and we all get relief from life, from ourselves and from each other together. Drinkers are heavily dependent on alcohol (hence they cannot easily free themselves from it) and by the illusion that alcohol frees them. To stop drinking is not just a physical action. It also requires saying NO to a series of false images we have bought into about life.

  7. Someone I knew a while back got in contact with me and two others by email to say they were an alcoholic and they were now in therapy and part of the therapy was to contact all the people they knew and apologise for their behaviour. There is no judgment from me, I used to drink loads at one point too it was part and parcel of the sales environment I was working in. What I did feel reading the email was that the therapy would not get to the nub of the reason why this person drank so heavily and I expressed this in an email back to them, that was it possible that they drank because they are extremely sensitive living in a world that does not cherish sensitive people so drinking alcohol is a way of numbing or masking how we truly feel?

  8. Whilst alcohol can at times take away uncomfortable symptoms we are experiencing such as anxiety, it prevents us from dealing with what is triggering the anxiety in the first place…hence alcohol buys time but in the end is an avoidance behaviour that does not actually deepen our quality of life at all.

  9. I also do not drink alcohol as I do not like what it did to my body. It is a poison that is why women who are pregnant are not allowed to drink alcohol as this would have an negative effect on the foetus. So in a way we chose to harm ourselves if we drink alcohol and we can feel it afterwards and because I do not like to harm myself consciously I stop drinking it.

  10. When we eat a food that makes us sick and feel terrible we choose not to eat it again. So why is it that we do not apply the same logic to drinking something that can make us sick and feel terrible? I feel so much freer having made the simple choice to no longer drink alcohol.

  11. It’s interesting how we don’t like alcohol when we first drink it, yet because our friends are drinking it we override everything our body is telling us and end up convincing ourselves that we actually like it, however was our body not actually telling us something super important, that alcohol is a poison and the body has to work overtime to deal with it, and then cannot process the everyday things it needs to deal with too?

  12. “from the relief and tenderness I felt for myself for making a choice out of a desire to care for me.”

    Interesting that you used the word relief, I don’t hear it expressed like that very often but it is so true. It is a relief when you make choices to care for yourself because it is our natural way to do that, and when we dont, and we go against the grain, there is a tension created in the body. And then when you do, there is the relief. So imagine if we naturally took care of ourselves, there is less energy spent on the tension of not doing it and then the relief of doing it.

  13. It is crazy that drinking is so socially accepted by millions of people but if you choose to be loving and caring for yourself you are looked upon as being strange or different form the ‘norm’.

  14. I remember when I thought connecting to people and having open conversations could happen through drinking alcohol – fact is, I could never remember the conversations or sometimes even the people after! Connection, openness and being ourselves is natural and if we have to drink a glass of poison and load up on sugar to think we are doing that then we really have to look at where we are at as a society at large and what we are accepting as normal.

  15. Many people I know are in denial of the fact that they are alcoholics, this is super common. Just because they do not go out and drink and party, they think that their bottle of wine every night over dinner is a socially acceptable way of drinking…this is pure illusion and coming from a place of not wanting to take responsibility for why they need to drink every evening.

  16. As you say – the more you see the effects of alcohol on those around you, the less you want to have to do with it. I was at an epic party last night, but it reached a point (fairly early on) where the whole energy of the place changed and suddenly it was not quite so welcoming or fun. Alcohol was the main culprit…

    1. To think we used to think that it was the alcohol that made a great party and now we realize that alcohol is actually a party popper!!!

  17. ‘The only attention, reward or recognition I received from stopping was from me: from the relief and tenderness I felt for myself for making a choice out of a desire to care for me.’
    Is a very profound statement – also showing that the power of stopping certain things that are damaging must come from within and can not come from someone else.
    Also showing us what can come in the place of the alcohol that is: care and tenderness! Who does not want that?
    Powerful blog and coming from the inside out of what you chosen for you to be true.

  18. We live in a way that is toxic to our bodies and then to cope with this we drink alcohol which is also toxic to our bodies…hence the so-called remedy is the poison we initially invested in.

  19. It’s actually very lovely and enriching to honour your body and being and do what really feels true for you and when things are let go of from that place it’s not a deprivation but a gain.

  20. I used to drink heavily as an escape, medication and to hide who I was. The illusive, less tense, more open/ hyper/excited feeling I would be in when I drank was an alteration of who I truly was. It was a pretense and control of being open but not by first accepting what I felt was a rejection of the world, and the judgment I have on myself convinced me I have to drink so as to disregard these feelings as I judged the world to the bad. So drinking is a cover up to truly address these issues, of what affects me in the world, and of how I affect the world by hiding, it is something very uncomfortable to feel, so alcohol is used to completely numb all of this self-chosen cycle of ignorance.

  21. What I love about this sharing is the natural relationship you developed with your body that was deep enough to say no to what did not support you. That is just awesome. I have been told in the past not to drink and when that has happened, I never truly stopped because I was told. It has only been through having my own personal experiences with alcohol (and it took a fair few times) that I was able to come to my body saying ‘this isn’t supporting me anymore’. Universal Medicine has never told me what to do, it has only ever presented the possibility that our bodies tell us things all the time, and by listening my relationship continues to deepen.

  22. It’s evident that to cope in society we have learned to cloud our innermost feelings and enjoin whatever is popular – you could say it is a way of survival. But when pondering and asking ourselves the deeper questions – and we are free of the clouding then this is where we make every loving choice back to reclaim our knowing of our Soul.

  23. The world is an intense place and hence it is understandable, when we are generally not raised on how to handle that intensity, that so many grow up and alcohol as a means to cope. But let’s call it for what it is, a means to take the edge off the tension we are either not dealing with or feel unequipped to deal with. Otherwise we are attempting to glorify alcohol by ignoring the lie that it is used for which makes for a corrupt society.

  24. When we drink any amounts of alcohol we truely are not us. I too can recall being so drunk one night that all my senses were gone/lost and I felt like a puppet on a string being controlled by something else. And the following day struggling to put the pieces of puzzle together as to what I had got up to and thinking it was a cool night. I shudder at the thought I had once put my body through this.

    Alcohol is only one substance, used to escape the intensity around us and more and more drinks are coming into the market that either leaves us senseless or stimulated (and as the saying goes), we ‘don’t know whether we are Arthur or Martha’.

    More and more people are using toxins to avoid feeling the pressures they’ve placed themselves under, an avoidance of truely being in their own company.

  25. When we are prepared to be honest about something we have an opportunity to address it, for otherwise, in the dishonesty nothing changes and we just keep repeating the same again and again…

  26. When I look back and remember the way I always felt bad every morning I do wonder why I didn’t read the signs and call a halt on it earlier. There is no doubt that we poison ourselves when we drink but we choose not to see that, well I did at any rate.

  27. Alcohol is an obvious substance which causes separation within oneself, and harms the Body as well as harming others – something not as obvious however is music. We are easily fooled by sweet melodies and hooking lines, riffs and tunes, but don’t realise the effects these emotional expressions are having on our bodies – which are not made to be emotional but observational and clear.

  28. Alcohol is deeply entrenched in our society as a social thing to do. Not many events are run these days without some kind of alcohol and it doesn’t feel likely to change any time soon. Although a way to look at this is, there is a different way and there are many who are living in a way now that is reflecting that life doesn’t have to revolve around alcohol.

  29. That’s a great story. I remember when I gave up drinking, it as funny because it felt like a no brainer. I could never really be bothered, and spent my whole drinking career trying to find a drink I actually enjoyed….but really enjoyed, not just one I could tolerate the taste of. And not only that, i simply didn’t see the point, so one day after a conversation with a friend around that she stopped drinking…I felt the absolute freedom in the choice to do the same.

  30. During my college years and growing up in my teenage years I never drank, but the pressure to do so from others was really intense. I would find all manner of ways to halt the onslaught. Their discomfort as seeing my choice to not drink made them feel guilty and they wanted to alleviate this feeling. The drinking culture is enormous and to not enjoin with it is seen as bizarre and not normal… yet, what is normal about making ourselves vomit and be ill through poisoning ourselves?

  31. So great to get honest about what these currently ‘accepted as normal’ practices are doing to our bodies. And what our lives become because of that – not so harmless after all!

    1. Spot on Jenny – in our society we can normalise so much, including drinking alcohol, yet when we feel what harm it does, not just to our own body, but also to our behaviours and how it can impact on all those around us, we get to see that it is not that harmless after all.

  32. The impact of alcohol is so much greater than hangovers, domestic violence, car injuries and death, heart disease and obesity. As if all of this wasn’t enough, the impact is your connection with yourself is gone, and that is the greatest of all follies.

  33. I would rather see life for all that it is, and feel its tension, and disorder rather than not see it by using alcohol to escape – at least if we are feeling honest and clear we have something to work with whereas drinking can bury our issues.

  34. Being 28 a lot of people my age drink, and working in a restaurant that does an unlimited alcohol offer, people my age can drink A LOT. I’ve been there before and it seems like fun at the time but feels horrible the next day. What I love about going out sober is that my connections and friendships have a chance to go deeper. Whereas with drinking we only separate from each other.

  35. Being inspired to reflect on why we need alcohol or anything else to stimulate or numb our body opens up our awareness to feel the impact our choices truly have on our body and to look more honestly into the true reason of why we do this to ourselves.

  36. Hello Julie, and thank you for an honest and open sharing of your experience with alcohol. I recall already as a child observing and watching how people changed when they had some alcohol. They were no longer the same, and most of them seemed to become actors and behaved completely differently, in a way that was sometimes silly or sometimes a little scary. I can’t say it ever made me feel safe to see this transformation in people. And then when I was old enough to drink, I recall trying it and finding it not only tasted awful, but it also made me feel really unwell, even just a few mouthfulls. It was bad enough for me to pretty much skirt around it and avoid drinking most of my teenage years, though I did have the occasional sip (1-2 mouthfuls) to feel like I could fit in with some friends. I used to find it sad that people could not have fun and entertain themselves without alcohol, and my weak spot was not the alcohol, but the need to fit in with friends. Giving up alcohol completely was not difficult for me, but what was hard was for me to accept that some people had trouble coming to terms with that and accepting me as non-drinker. But over time many have gotten used to it, and no one really bothers to pester me about a drink anymore…and if anything it has a very sobering effect on others!

  37. “Learning the truth about what happens in the body when alcohol is ingested was all I needed to make the commitment to never drink again, and now there is no part of me that would choose to drink alcohol no matter what other people are doing around me.” – when we truly and deeply feel and understand something, and we know to never do this again, then the lesson is truly learned, and we get to realise that there are no mistakes, but only learnings.

  38. I had that feeling of coming home too, at my first Universal Medicine course. It was extraordinary beautiful at the same time very familiar. I knew that I had returned to what I always new but had strayed away from for eons.

  39. Quitting alcohol or any other self distructive behaviour becomes a lot easier once we re-connect with ourselves because in that re-connection we feel the beauty of who we are.

  40. That’s the way to go with our food too. To not follow the books or stories what we should eat or not but by becoming honest what the effect is on our body and by the willingness to build a more loving relationship with the body.

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