Day 22 – exhausted (but/and AF drinks!)

21:56 Hi everyone. I’m in bed, in the rental cottage, seem to have internet thanks to my husband providing me with some kind of “dongle” (such a weird word), so I’m writing a quick update while the wifi lasts.

My husband joined us for the first part of the holiday, I love him and he’s amazing in so many ways, but honestly the beer drinking, no matter how moderate, gets on my nerves. Just for the record.

And for the record, I confided to him once again about my feelings around alcohol as far as I’m concerned (i.e. in my own life), and he once again said (quite kindly) that he thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. This time I was quite firm in saying that no I was not, for me “my life had in fact become unmanageable” because regardless of what others thought of my drinking (i.e. that it may be moderate or average in their opinion), it did my head in, the next day, psychologically.

I noticed once again, this time around, that I usually get the urge to drink (or consume anything mindlessly, for that — food, media, whatever) when I am feeling lonely in a crowd. I.e. When actually I’m aching to be alone with my own thoughts, with nature, or with my creative projects, yet for duty reasons I am required to be around people, especially people who don’t ignite that “communing” spark in me.

Yesterday I stopped by the grocery store on one of our outings and bought a wide variety of 0% (alcohol-free/AF) drinks to try out.

Tourtel Twist Raspberry near-bear, cherry near-bear, Heineken near beer, Bavaria near-beer etc. All 0%. And… a bottle of 0% [EDIT 2019-06-08 0.5%!!! but read also comments in that linked post] red wine!!!  I have looked EVERYWHERE for something like this. So happy. It’s called Bonne Nouvelle (“good news”) — quite appropriate. (Tip: in France, at least, these were all mixed in with the alcoholic beers and wines in the shops, so it takes quite a lot of staring at fine print on the labels — and inhaling the overwhelming stench of ethanol eeking out of the alcoholic drinks in the aisle. I thought it was just me, noticing the smell, but my kids did too (though I’d said nothing). “It smells bad in here!” they said. Out of the mouths of babes…)

I don’t hope to become hooked on near-drinks (and lucky for me, they’re missing that one critical addictive substance). I hope to always prefer water and herb tea one day. But this is good for getting through those times when we need to party with a drinking crowd, even when that crowd consists of just one other dearly beloved person.

I’ll try to post some pics of the AF drinks at some point. For now, I’m nodding off… hubby left today with the two elder kids, and I took the younger kids on a huge sightseeing trip. Now I’m completely knackered. But also feel happy that I brought them to see these things.

Lots of love, and thanks again for all your support, it’s keeping me feeling in such good company!!!

xoxo stl




14 thoughts on “Day 22 – exhausted (but/and AF drinks!)

  1. It’s weird as the af drinks make me feel relaxed and calm without the button that doesn’t turn off. It could be the hops which are a recognised natural sedative. I had two small beers after hauling my way up and down a mountain yesterday and they hit the spot. They really did. And I went through the ritual of getting them in the fridge ready. With only three recognisable ingredients in Heineken 0 I feel they’re better in a way than diet soda drinks. And in no way, shape or form do they make me want the real thing (aka the toxic brew). I would have had at least 5/6 of those, in the large size!
    Enjoy your break and your hops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the same for me, though my drink of choice was wine, and now finally finding this decent AF wine, it’s hilarious, I enjoy it but the bottle is still not gone after several days, without the alcohol in it I don’t have the urge to drink beyond what I truly feel like drinking, I love that so much. I do also like the AF beer, and it’s the same with that (i.e. one or two will do, then it’s yawn and off to bed), though beer I had never much trouble regulating in the first place; wine was definitely my drug of choice. So it’s especially interesting to see the difference with the AF wine. ;)) Thanks and same to you 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I go out, I sometimes choose AF beer.
    Unfortunately in the states, I am lucky if they carry one brand.
    I am not triggered by the AF stuff except one kind of AF red wine.
    Red wine was my drink of choice.
    After we tried this, I told hubs… nope.
    Can’t have this.
    The only problem I have is AF stuff makes me gassy! Lololol
    So I don’t have it often!
    Good for you for staying sober on vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy. Ahahaha on the gassy, so that’s what it is lol ;D That’s funny you said that about the red wine, I did somehow feel that was triggering an old desire I hadn’t felt in a while. Red wine and sparkling were my favourite poisons. Beer doesn’t do a thing for me, so it seems to cause less triggering. I will likely mostly stay away from AF wine in future as well, except as a last resort type thing. My favourite turns out to be the flavoured AF beers, raspberry and cherry. Nice to have a few options for the social scene anyhow. I really don’t think drinking outside of meal times is much of a thing here so it’s quite different from life as I remember it in North America. Thanks again :)) xo


  3. You’re doing great. The AF drinks are filling a gap, acting at the very least as a bridge to continued better times. Enjoy! And if they do trigger you going forward, then you’ll know what to do next! 👍💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My first sober holiday was hard and I drank lots of AF beer. I was a big wine drinker in my past but none of the AF wines worked for me when I got sober. I was probably looking for something similar to the real thing for all the wrong reasons!. I think drinking AF anything is a personal thing. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree with this. And I have to admit, the AF wine definitely felt lacking that particular ingredient so to speak. So true that it’s a personal thing and depends on the timing, we have to be so careful to keep listening to our bodies and hearts, and in my case, at least, I have to be careful to stay on guard against complacency. I am really happy on this path and I want to stay on it; I have to keep reminding myself of that the minute I begin to have fleeting nostalgic impulses.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. mmm I am a coffee lover too. I take mine with rice milk. “Orange monster”?!? 😀 Not sure if I’ve seen that here! though I am a little unobservant at times :))


  5. I can completely relate to your frustration when your husband drinks beer. I felt the same way and sometimes still do. In the beginning I asked him not to have booze in the house and he obliged. It helped not to constantly be reminded everytime I opened the refrigerator.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you :)) That was brave of you to ask and kind of your husband to oblige.

      I don’t mind the beer in the fridge since I didn’t much like beer anyway… it’s more the way he acts even after a couple of beers, that gets on my nerves… also I feel he inadvertently glamourizes drinking by relishing it so much, in front of the kids. They look up to him a lot. Once upon a long time ago, though, I was strict vegetarian, and he followed suit of his own accord without my saying a word about it. So who knows, the joys of sobriety might be contagious too. ;)) He is a brilliant guy.

      Also, I am about 38% through “This Naked Mind” right now… and though I feel like in my case, the book is basically preaching to the choir, it might be just the thing to get my husband to read, to convince him to at least not glamourize it in front of the kids. It lays the arguments out very clearly, which is not my own forte.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate beer too. It was the wine that was tricky. I had to learn to see it differently. It can be a challenge when society romanticizes alcohol. Sounds like a good idea to have your husband read the book. Mine never has, but he read my blog and I think he gets where I’m coming from now. I love your blog!! You’re on the right path❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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