Drinking Culture as it is today:
An evening out with friends, drinks after work, drinks on the weekends, brunch and so many other momentous occasions where drinking has taken over our human interactions. A sip of alcohol can make a person feel free, limitless and on top of the world. All feelings that are fleeting; once the nasha is gone, you’re tempted for more poison.
Why do we drink? To make ourselves feel better. To be more social. To release anxiety and fear. To be uninhibited in order to be vulnerable. All of these reasons seem enticing to the average person. I too have indulged in drinking culture for many years only to find true enlightenment from meditation, exercise and sleep. Laughter can still be heard and is heartfelt when sober. Anxiety is a state a mind and something that meditation can easily fix. Fear is not knowing, easy remedy for trusting in the divine.
As a single woman in her thirties living in New York City, drinking is difficult to avoid. I know I can give it up and one day hope to do so entirely. Last year in NYC I gave up drinking for 100 days during the holiday season. The backlash I received from people was unfounded. People at holiday parties called me “boring” “lame” etc all because I didn’t drink. The tradeoff was I lost 15 lbs and looked fabulous in my holiday dresses. It was challenging to forgo alcohol during the holidays, but it was enlightening to experience the holidays sober.
During the past year and half sitting at home doing everything virtually made me more averse to drinking, I never understood the point of zoom happy hours or virtual drinking nights. At the end of it you’re alone with a bottle of temptation to keep you company and what is the point in that? I witnessed some of the best people become the worst versions of themselves whilst drinking alone, it only fosters depression and anxiety and is not healthy.
Recently when in a room filled with strangers, or traveling to Portugal alone I rarely felt the need to drink for I believed my experience would be numbed by the nasha. I’m heading down a path where I can live a fulfilled life without alcohol or any other vice. In the future I imagine a night out with friends who respect the lack of drinking and our culture shifts towards those who don’t drink to be the “cool” kids.