I’ve talked quite a bit about my own drinking habits. I decided sometime when I was younger that I wouldn’t drink until I was of age and I stuck to that decision. There wasn’t even an opportunity to drink when I was underage. And I don’t see that I missed anything. For years I rarely drank and even less frequently went to bars. I was often the one in the group who didn’t drink at all or only a little. On the other hand, it was easy not to drink when I didn’t have many friends to go to bars with at one point. At some point I started drinking more and more often. It happened gradually.

Those who remember me from the years when I drank less may not even know that at some point I drank more. A lot of money was spent on alcohol in 2018-2019. Especially since I often went to bars in those days. Usually during the evening I drank more than basic beer. Economic reasons were indeed one incentive to reduce drinking, although certainly not the only reason.

My tolerance was really high at one point. I noticed it at the point where I needed at least two or three drinks before the alcohol even started to go to my head. Not to mention, after many drinks, I was really groggy. I think it was often close to ten drinks during the evening, and that’s a lot for a woman. I admit that I didn’t know how to stop in time at some point. Not to mention hangovers.

A few drinks in 2018-2019
A few alcoholic drinks in 2018-2019

The effect of reducing alcohol on my life

I realized at the end of 2019 that I hadn’t even gone a month without drinking for a long time. That’s when I started to change my drinking habits. I realized that I don’t even really like being drunk. A few now and then is still okay, but constant binge drinking is not for me. I don’t know how much cutting down on drinking has affected my mood. The health effects of not drinking weigh quite a lot these days, when I try to live a healthy life anyway.

I really haven’t given up alcohol completely. I try to pay attention to the reasons and ways, i.e. why and how much I drink alcohol. I still like to taste microbrewery and specialty beers, and I think I get more out of that too when I drink less at once and in general. This year I’ve had an average of once a month and usually no more than two drinks at a time. I’ve been in Känn twice, and after the second time I realized why I should drink less. I know I could drink even less often, but I don’t take pressure from how often I drink either. The main thing is that I drink less at a time.

A few of this year’s drinks

It’s probably a bit amusing that these days I’m the one who goes (walking) jogging while others are drinking somewhere. Last New Year I went for a run at night and realized it for the first time. I used to be amused by people at the gym near one of the bars when I went to the bar. Nowadays, I’d rather choose not to drink alcohol and feel good (e.g. that run) than the next day’s hangover.

I’ve had the misconception that beer has to contain alcohol. Last summer I tasted alcohol-free beer for the first time. I’ve had non-alcoholic beer a few times in a bar since then. However, I rarely go to bars at the moment because of the current world situation and also because I can’t stand drunk people.

A non-alcoholic beer from this summer

Alcohol consumption is normalized in our society

Somehow it feels strange to write about drinking habits openly. This thing still seems to be taboo. Everyone seems to drink and those who don’t are somehow strange in the eyes of others. It’s easier to choose that beer at a party or bar than a non-alcoholic drink. I’ve been the annoying guy who has asked why someone doesn’t drink or almost forced someone to drink. On the other hand, I’ve never really been the party type. I like talking more than dancing.

I would hope that in our society in the future it would be normal not to drink alcohol without being asked for reasons or almost being forced to drink. After all, everyone chooses whether to drink or not. It’s good to talk about these things openly, but with respect for the other person. Not everyone wants to talk about their own drinking habits or is even ready for it.

I have been thinking about this for a long time and have concluded that I can choose a golden middle ground when it comes to drinking alcohol. I can drink, but basically try to avoid the state of being drunk. It’s not either or either. I don’t see myself missing out on anything if I drink less. On the other hand, I wouldn’t miss out on anything even if I stopped drinking completely. Actually, I don’t have to be accountable except to myself. This is my life and I get to decide what I drink. I encourage others who drink alcohol to examine their drinking habits from time to time.