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The Buzz about Being Booze-Free


St. Patrick’s Day and beer go together like wine and charcuterie, peas and carrots, or love and marriage. You can have one without the other, but why would you!? Well, there are some reasons…


I have had some epic St. Patrick’s Days, full of loud music and gallons of green beer in raucous bars. But it’s not the only celebration I associate with alcohol. May 2-4, Canada Day, Labour Day, Christmas, New Year's, and birthdays—drinking and celebrating have been tied together throughout my teens and adult life.


drinking and celebrating have been tied together throughout my teens and adult life.

And when I think about it in a wider way, not only celebrations are anchored to alcohol. I drink to celebrate and mourn, when I’m happy and sad, when I feel overwhelmed or bored, to calm down or get amped up. Not always to excess, but there is no denying that drinking is a big part of my life. And while I don’t think I’m an alcoholic, you don’t have to have a drinking problem for drinking to be a problem for you.

 you don’t have to have a drinking problem for drinking to be a problem for you.

It’s something I revisit from time to time. I’ve even paused my drinking many times before. Once I stopped drinking for six months after a particularly bad hangover! And believe it or not, that was the longest I’ve gone without drinking since the age of thirteen, twenty-five years ago. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my relationship with alcohol, and trying the plethora of booze-free options at the grocery store.

 

So this St. Paddy’s Day, I kicked back on the couch with some Partake and Libra ‘near beers’. It was a great way to scratch the itch and mark the day while not numbing myself or succumbing to temptation.

Will I stop drinking forever? I don’t think so. But I’d like to be more mindful about when, why, and how much I drink. Alcohol is something I would like to enjoy on occasion without using it as a crutch. I want to experience my full range of emotions fully.  


Alcohol is something I would like to enjoy on occasion without using it as a crutch.

How about you? What vices do you have and what’s your relationship with them? Do you have any tips for my new sober-curious lifestyle?



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Linda Lefler
Linda Lefler
Mar 18

This is something I work on, too. Despite the covid lockdown being over for um, quite a while, I still feel at 5:30 pm like I need a reward for getting through a day of cooped-up parenting, daughtering, wifeing, and working (at least) 8 hours from the dining room table.... Um, life has moved on - We've moved on medically, I've shed the kids (to their own apartments) the mother (to senior living) and the job so the only thing that remains is wifeing and he's back in the office (TBH the wifeing isn't difficult). Pleasant habits are hard to break.


Hot tea can a good substitute, I like something a little bitter for a drink at that time of…

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lindseytheresa
Mar 19
Replying to

"Pleasant habits are hard to break." So true! And I also agree we are all works in progress... But I also believe we are lovely just as we are and it's important to be compassionate to and gentle with ourselves <3

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Andrew Shaughnessy
Andrew Shaughnessy
Mar 18

Lindsey, this is an important discussion. Being a repressed Welshman that held off the taste of alcohol until university, I learned how to drink as an undergraduate in university. From fringe to binge you might say. I am not a teetotaler, but I have, by and large, stopped drinking -- slowing down in 2001 (what a pandemic that was!) and giving it up in 2022 (except for special occasions). I find I cannot tolerate it anymore. I've lost the taste for red wine, but not for spirits, which can be problematic if I choose to drink and am persuaded to get a second. The alcohol takes the elevator to the roof deck quickly and, after that, I sleep horribly. Like…

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lindseytheresa
Mar 19
Replying to

"It's not a judgement thing, it's a me thing," is a great line! I don't anticipate writing more because I'm drinking less. To be honest, I think I use drinking as a way to relax because I put so much ding dang pressure on myself to produce, so maybe I need to drink less and write less! I am also a big fan of ginger beer, let's go for one next time I am in the big smoke :D

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