I had been drinking since about the age of 17, and I had been a lover of craft beer for many years. I had stopped getting drunk in early 2007, but I still continued enjoying my beers here and there. I didn’t mind getting buzzed, but I didn’t like the feeling of losing control over myself, even a little bit. I began going to the LDS (Mormon) Church in summer of 2010. In church they’d talk about The Word of Wisdom, which is the counsel given to us to but I would keep telling myself that I would still secretly drink my craft beer after I got baptized. I mean, seriously; no one had to know! I thought it was foolish that some church was going to tell me what I could drink.
Mill Avenue Block Party – December 31, 2008
Mill Avenue in Tempe – February 6, 2010
In early 2012 I had discovered TED Talks, and I quickly found Brené Brown’s talk about vulnerability. I loved what she had to talk about, but it didn’t hit me at first. Then in May, 2012 I watched that same talk again. Then it hit me. About 15:00 into the talk she says this:
The problem is — and I learned this from the research — that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t say, here’s the bad stuff. Here’s vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. I’m going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. . . . You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then, we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.
It was there that I decided I was done. I didn’t want that crutch in my life. I wanted to experience all that life had to offer me. I had decided I could no longer have fun if I couldn’t remember the night before. I didn’t do this because I had some church leader telling me I needed to do this. This is 100% all me. I made this decision on my own, and I couldn’t imagine myself ever going back. Ever. Except for two times where I unknowingly consumed small amounts of alcohol, I haven’t touched it since. I didn’t have anything to worry about when it came time for me to be baptized. Being free from that drug, even though I never really had an addiction to it, is such a liberating feeling!
Thank you for reading!