a slippery-slopey bad idea

from Laure (day 62):

“Hi Belle – still doing great here zero cravings. But someone offered me a alcohol free beer. I didn’t take it but i wanted to have your thoughts. I never drink beer anyways but just curious. Let me know :)”

me:  happy day 62 to you 🙂 I personally don’t drink NA beer. here’s my quote from the book (is it douchey to quote from your own book?) on the subject:

What about non-alcoholic beer? I avoid fake beer, fake wine, and other non-alcoholic drinks or dealcoholized beverages. There is often a small percentage of alcohol in supposedly non-alcoholic drinks (often as much as 0.5%).

But most importantly, I don’t drink NA beverages because I do not want my brain to even think it’s having alcohol. I don’t want to fake-drink. I don’t even pour sparkling water into a wine glass, I use a regular juice glass.

I think mock-drinking in any form is a slippery-slopey bad idea. No fizzy fake champagne. No little bottles of apple juice that look like beer.

Let it be said that there are many people in the sober world who do consume NA drinks and they say that it is fine for them. And it may well be fine (for them). Me personally, I continue to err on the side of caution. I have spent time trying to get Wolfie to shut up, so I am not going to risk waking him up for the sake of a fake drink made to look like alcohol.

There are some situations or events where you are used to having wine, and if you replace the wine with something else, the absence is felt less (yes, I know, it’s not the same to have ginger ale when your brain wants wine, but it’s a partial replacement: it’s a beverage in a glass). You used to watch (and sleep through) a movie with wine in your hand. Now you can watch (and remember) a movie with tonic and lime. It’s not the wine that makes the movie better. You want the snuggle-cosy-alone-time that a movie brings. Turns out it doesn’t matter what’s in your glass. You drink lemonade, or imported mineral water, or tea.


Gift from me today:

listen to my short interview with Emma Barnett on BBC Radio ‘5 Live’




I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I do have a n/a beer from time to time. I can definitely see how it could be a trigger though … [edited]. I never want more than one N/a beer though, and we all know 1 actual beer would never ever be enough. But as many times as I’ve quit, I always keep booze in the house. I don’t want being around alcohol or seeing it to become a trigger for me, I always want to be choosing not to drink. Knowing the choice is mine. Not because it’s not there. It does work for me, although with my 4 resets these past 8 months of sobriety I did not use my old usual. It’s just too familiar.

    • and if you relapse even one time when drinking NA beer, then you remove it. it’s a trigger because your head thinks it needs a replacement for beer, and you don’t. being sober means none of the things, so if you’ve reset 4 times in 8 months, that’s a sign to change a few things, including removing the fake drinking 🙂 hugs hugs

  • Hi I gave af beer a try when going to a bbq. It really took the edge off of going. And surprisingly it taste just like the beer I drink. That being said the following weekend – beautiful weather out I decided to grab another 6 pack for myself for home to sit outside on the deck, like the good old days. 9 months sober). Well I have bout 3 6 packs in 2 weeks- not good! The mental obsession was creeping in. Craving na beer!!! Yesterday Wolfie was on me all afternoon. I had to hit a zoom meeting and then distract myself, and it passed. But talk about old behaviors!! I almost feel like I’m at day 1. That’s how insane this disease is! Thanks for listening

  • Day 13. I went to the gym at 7:30 . . . in the morning. Hubby is crazy today and I didn’t lose it. Ate salad for breakfast. I am “no” on AF drinks. Certainly not now. It’s too early in my process and I think it would stir voices that at the moment are quiet.

  • I completely get where you’re coming from with the fake drinking thing. I cannot have anything in glass bottles and when I stopped drinking, I gave every single alcohol glass and regular drinking glass away and started with a whole new set of regular drinking glasses that didn’t look even remotely like the old ones. No reminders when I open the cupboard. No reminders of what I used to drink out of drinking glasses (and yes even mugs!) This helped me- one of my tools.
    Thank you for the radio interview-well done all of you on getting the message out there!! The hang up on the word “alcoholic” and quantity of drink is a key message that drives your point home to many, many people ( I only have xx amount, so I don’t have a problem). I do not consider myself an “alcoholic” and it doesn’t matter how much or little I drank- the point is, it affected ME. It concerned ME.

    • I agree. I put my wine and cocktail glasses away as well because the sight of them would trigger me. I have had fake alcohol and realized it could very easily be a slippery slope. I want to rewire my brain from thinking I need a cocktail or wine after work. Replaced with yoga and walks. Like you, no one would describe me as an alcoholic. But my drinking concerned ME.

  • Thank you for this- I do not do non-alcoholic beer, or anything in bottles that remind me of alcohol bottles (they make them look the same!!). I can see far enough ahead to know that my head will think I’m having a beer (even though it’s supposedly non-alcoholic) and then the next step- I will think it’s ok to have one…slippery slope is correct indeed! It may be a “fun” looking bottle hanging about, but my head will remind me of the fact that alcohol comes in those bottles and then start thinking ….it’s a silly risk to take, I am not prepared to throw all of my hard work away. It’s easier to see the hole and walk down a different street.

  • Thank you for sharing, Sarah, much love to you. And thank you to the other penpal for sharing (I couldn’t catch your screen name). Really enjoyed this interview:)