Okay, so today, let’s talk about non-alcoholic drinks.
I always get asked ‘can I drink non-alcoholic beer/wine/etc. if I am an alcoholic?’
Let me answer that question with a question: what do YOU honestly reckon?
When I was still struggling terribly with denial about my own addiction, I promise you I went through this same question. For a few years I bought non-alcoholic (NA) wine, beer, and mock-tails in lovely glasses.
I wanted my party beverage to look, smell, and taste like booze. Durr. I was an alcoholic. So, off I would trot to the partay. Smugly drinking my ‘non-alcoholic’ drinks. Then, I’d come home and hook into the real stuff….
Because guess what NA booze did? It looked like, smelled like, and tasted like beer. And guess what THAT did? You guessed it. It made me CRAZY with a desire for more beer. Because there was just enough of a sniff of boozy smell and flavour to whet my alcoholic appetite and leave me craving more.
In short: I was living the definition of insanity. I was repeating the same behaviour and mistakes and poor choices over and over and OVER again and getting the same results. (And wondering why I couldn’t get well. Sigh.)
See – at that stage, I was eating and breathing denial. I refused flatly to use the ”A” word in any sentence, thanks very much. I was still enraged if anyone suggested I might be addicted. I STILL thought that alcoholics were those unfortunates we see in gutters and such, clutching brown paper bags.
When I got properly sober and stopped lying to myself, I completely couldn’t believe I had been so stupid as to want a drink of anything called ‘non-alcoholic’.
I remember not long ago going to a picnic country race day once and a fellow alcoholic handed me a champagne flute and asked if I wanted some non-alcoholic champagne. I instantly recoiled and said ”Good God, no thanks Luv. I don’t want a bloody bar of anything that looks or smells or tastes like booze!” – and off I trotted, as quick as I could.
THAT was, for me, the difference between alcoholic thinking and recovered alcoholic thinking. Do you see the difference?
I am one of the fortunates who fully recovered. And I would not risk that for the world. Even as a converted health-nut I don’t drink Kombucha because it tastes like beer, and that makes me personally feel all kinds of anxious and wrong. Ditto for things cooked in red wine. Sure – the alcoholic content might have ‘evaporated’ during cooking – but I don’t want a part of it. I am repelled utterly.
Also, my loves: did you know that non-alcoholic beer HAS, in fact, got up to 0.5% alcohol. So does Kombucha. So does wine.
In closing – I believe that non-alcoholic drinks are for non-alcoholics.
I do know of a few long time sober humans who smash the odd NA beer – but honestly, why would you if there is ANY risk in the planet? Why?
Get yourself into the swing of soda and lime or whatever blows your hair back. Get serious. Get away from anything that quacks like a duck or walks like a duck, I reckon. Especially in the early days. Stack the odds in your favour.
Those are my thoughts.
Founder of Sober in the Country (see social links)
* standard disclaimer applies: I am not a doctor, rocket-scientist, nurse, psych, or whatever. I am however a recovered alcoholic who speaks from a butt-load of life experience and butt-loads of mistakes. No doctor or shrink ever gave me any info that was 1/10th as useful as what I learned from long-term recovered humans (bless you all X)