A year without alcohol: Alcohol is an escape from yourself

Debesylian stories

I can celebrate today. The strangest thing is that right now this fact does not seem impressive or glorious to me. It seems - and that's what it is.

The last ones 365 days broke through in my life without alcohol.

And really, maybe I wouldn't even have written about it. But then I thought about my teenage years, about my life with alcohol in it, and I decided that I would speak up a little.

First of all, very briefly, what I think about the government's attempt to deal with alcoholism in Lithuania.

After all, this is currently relevant. No, I am not in favor of harsh and drastic laws, because, first of all, they have created such a bathhouse in our society, where everyone suddenly rose up and gathered in a large force that loudly said "you will not explain to us". Yes, the harder you try to grab, the more the grabbed wants to rebel.

Secondly, that rebellious force suddenly no longer understood what they were fighting for - for the freedom to decide how much and where to consume, or simply for the fact that alcohol is a matter for everyone.

My once-beloved Marijonas on the stage near the Seimas Palace, I'm listening, he's already talking about how he went from happy to sad and pensive, because, understand, without alcohol, a person becomes gloomy and grumpy, like those politicians who tried to teach us.

And then I think, well, Mary Mary, we have a problem with alcohol.

You had problems with alcohol, many people told me about you getting lost among the trees in the mornings, and when young people laugh at your jokes about gloomy non-drinking politicians, did you really feel happiness and good when you were hanging out in those mornings?

Literally, the fight for freedom of choice suddenly became slogans about a fun life surrounded by alcohol. This is of course my subjective angle and I could go on for ten paragraphs, but I won't.

I'd rather tell you why I cut alcohol out of my life and how it changed my daily life.

Although I have had many stages without alcohol, this is the longest (since I first tasted it). Before, I felt emptier, something inside did not give me peace. It's a bad love story, it's longing or pain, it's fear, anxiety.

...And then after a few glasses it became calmer, more cheerful. Only the further it went, the more everything dragged on, and each reality confrontation with itself became more bleak.

One day you just realize that you have to take it and solve it. And for some reason, the first thing you want to eliminate from your life is alcohol. Here, intuition apparently says that this should be your first step.

I keep saying that alcohol is running away from yourself and I so want to go to myself, look at myself, search within myself.

I stay with myself and I'm not afraid: I'm neither bored nor sad just because I'm me and me. I don't need to amuse myself, nor to calm myself down with intoxicants.

And it's strange, but you don't miss the heady uncertainty of that existence.

People tell me that alcohol helps them relax. Well, I don't know, I sit down with a coffee in front of the restaurant window - I feel relaxed; I look at the lakes, mountains, pine tops - I feel relaxed; I come home, turn on the radio, grab a handful of my favorite mixed nuts, chew, listen - I feel relaxed; I sit with friends, they sip beer, I sip conversation and warmth - I feel relaxed.

Relax – is to be with yourself and those around you. 

Enjoy it. And neither nature will become more beautiful, nor people more interesting, nor food tastier after drinking alcohol. Only you yourself are somewhat different, I would say - more superficial. But, unfortunately, for many, it is simply much easier to live on the surface.

The last year was the presentation of a diploma, and seven trips, and enrollment in master's studies, and the New Year, and a birthday, and a new home, but I drank everything with happiness, sometimes even with non-alcoholic champagne.

I don't think I got one less good emotion, but definitely a headache.

The past year has been full of painful break-ups, and experiences of love moving away, and homesickness, and a string of endless jobs, and moments of heart-piercing pain, but I don't think that alcohol would have made it easier and encouraged me to overcome at least one problem faster.

And yet, I'm sure there's at least one person who's read this far who's angry, who doesn't think it's sincere, who doesn't think everyone can do it, who doesn't think there's any point in it, who would grab it by the throat and pour it in, because "What are the extremes for?" !?' I'm not saying that everyone who drinks is drowning themselves senselessly. Not really.

Very rarely and without emphasizing it, alcohol will not make life worse, maybe even bring fun winds, but when I see people who do not know how to relax, who need it often and more and more often, more and more, it makes me sad.

Not everyone is gifted with the vein of a fighter for true, sincere happiness. But not everyone tries to develop it, even if they try differently.

And I stick to complete sobriety, because at the moment a lot of things in life are still unresolved. 

And I'm so interested, I like solving, searching, discovering! Maybe someday, when/if I raise children, I will be hugged by someone who will say "you are the light of my eyes", maybe then I will say "let's have a glass of wine and share the constellations in the sky".

For now, I don't have the desire or time for even one glass, and even after one, my brain would start buzzing, my heart would start racing. For now, I don't want to forget anything, push anything aside, I feel relaxed at the edge of everyday life, but at the same time, I'm not one hundred percent sure that I wouldn't start wandering around uncool footprints after drinking.

All in all, the year without alcohol was the best year of my life. Let's keep going!

- Ona Adamavičiūtė

Interested in hearing more good experiences about giving up alcohol?

Watch coach Igno Bakay's show "0 degrees"!

  • Thank you for a calm, honest and inspiring article - especially the emphasis on walking towards yourself instead of running away from. However, this is also an opportunity to react to the statements from the interview of S. Tamkevičius published by Debesyla, such as "Such freedom leads to addictions to alcohol, drugs, etc." At that moment, I refrained from commenting - I did not want to reproach the elderly gentleman with the status for his darkness. But there is enough research that addictions (if we don't focus on recreational drugs, but especially paying attention to anti-depressants that are no less addictive than heroin - benzodiazepines) do not come from too free a life, but from the pain that needs to be relieved - as you rightly noted . Limiting the opportunities for people to quietly get drunk (although hooligan or violent behavior after drinking should be punished even more severely), violence against others and oneself will only increase.
    By the way, my experience has shown that there are no differences in well-being between 1-2 k/monthx1-2 glasses of wine and periods of complete abstinence from alcohol. However, I prefer to refrain rather than give in to impulse when others are around me. Which is why I'm experimenting again this month :)

  • My non-alcoholic experience is maybe 6 years. Based on it, I say that after about three years of sobriety, any desire to even theoretically imagine myself drinking that glass disappeared. I see a lot of bottles in stores with nice labels to attract the attention of the customer. I find them funny if you can laugh at the efforts of advertisers. Talks about relaxation and culture under the influence of alcohol are absurdly funny to me. Because it's strange when people take pride in artificial states as their ability. And I'm very sad about Marijonas... I don't know if he still has a chance to come back, but I wish him luck and thank him for his work.

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