I’ve seen people ask about drinking an alcohol substitute more times than I can count.
Should I drink alcohol-free beer?
Should I drink an alcohol substitute?
What’s your favorite AF drink?
I have personally never drank an alcohol substitute. Nor have I ever tried an alcohol-free drink. I never have and I never will. Ever.
I know that might sound a little bit hard to believe, but bear with me.
It will all make sense soon.
I want to explain why I don’t believe in drinking an alcohol substitute. And, I will also explain how drinking alcohol-free drinks and alcohol substitutes actually end up harming you.
Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some ex-problem-drinkers drink an alcohol substitute and they have stayed sober. Actually, I’ve seen some ex-problem-drinkers say that alcohol-free drinks have helped them get through “hard-times”.
However, it all boils down to the approach you take to stop drinking.
If you’re using nothing but will-power, an alcohol substitute is probably going to work.
But, I don’t use willpower. I don’t get cravings and my mindset around stopping drinking is the opposite of most people.
I’ve not had a single hard time during the past 2 years of stopping drinking. And, the reason why is because I don’t believe I’ve given anything up. I don’t feel like I’ve made a sacrifice at all.
When you understand there are zero benefits to drinking alcohol, you simply avoid any alcohol-free drinks or alcohol substitutes. They’re totally unnecessary.
This all might sound counter-intuitive to many – so you are probably going to want to read this whole blog post!
I just want to mention – if you drink alcohol-free drinks or you drink an alcohol substitute and you’ve taken a different approach to stop drinking, you might not even want to read this!
But, if you are like me – if you have tried everything from willpower to 12-step meetings and you’re still looking for a solution, then this post is for you!
1) It would make me feel like I’ve made a sacrifice
The first thing that drinking an alcohol substitute would do, is make me feel as though I’ve made a genuine sacrifice.
This is a problem that 99% of drinkers make when they are trying to stop drinking.
They believe that they are about to embark on something difficult. They think that stopping drinking is going to be a genuine sacrifice.
And, when they do this, they start their journeys with a sense of doom and gloom.
If I was to drink an alcohol substitute or an alcohol-free drink, the first thing I’d have to ask myself is “Why?”
Why would I need to drink one? There are plenty of other refreshing beverages that don’t mimic a bottle of alcohol or a cocktail.
The only reason someone drinks an alcohol substitute is that they feel like they have made a real sacrifice.
The problem with this isn’t necessarily drinking the alcohol-free drink. An alcohol-free drink, or an alcohol substitute, doesn’t have alcohol in it. It’s not going to cause any harm per se.
However, if I was to look at an alcohol-free drink and feel it necessary to drink, there’s a more sinister problem.
There would be a problem with my own mindset.
If I think I’ve made a genuine sacrifice, an alcohol substitute becomes necessary.
However, because I understand alcohol exactly for what it is, I don’t need to substitute it. I have zero desire to drink it. I know that alcohol is a fancy marketed poison. Nothing more, nothing less.
It’d be like trying to substitute rotting food with a different type of rotting food. You’d have to think I’m crazy to do something like that!
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How To Use First Principles Thinking To Get Control Of Your Drinking
2) It would make me feel as though I’m missing out on something
If I were to drink an alcohol substitute, I would feel like I’m missing out on something.
I’ll illustrate this through an example.
Let’s say I go to a BBQ and all of my friends are drinking a few drinks. If I felt the urge to drink alcohol and substituted it with an alcohol-free drink, it would be as though I’m missing out on something.
I’d feel as though they’re drinking beer and having a good time and because I’m not drinking poison, I’m not having a good time. Therefore, I should pretend to be having fun by holding an alcohol-free drink.
If I don’t have a drink, then surely I’m depriving myself.
Do you see how this ends up becoming counter-intuitive?
Because I have gone through the First Principles mental model and understood alcohol for what it is, I never feel like I’m depriving myself.
I feel totally free. I have zero desire to drink, I never get a craving and I’m fully in control.
There’s a big difference between feeling this way and gritting through a sober life with will-power.
If I was in a social situation and felt deprived because those around me are drinking and I’m not, there’s a problem in my mindset.
That problem needs addressing ASAP – and patching it over with an alcohol-free drink does nothing to get the root cause of your mindset around alcohol.
It does nothing to help you understand the truth about the drug.
This one might sound a bit strange – but if I drink an alcohol-free drink and everybody around me is drinking alcohol, I start to buy into the illusion.
If I’ve done First Principles thinking and understand alcohol for what it is, I’d realize that all of these people are falling for a trick.
They’re drinking poison and it’s doing nothing for them.
And, the only reason they’re drinking this poison is to feel how I feel all of the time. That’s the only reason any drinker drinks alcohol.
If I started drinking an alcohol-free drink, then I’d be thinking that these deluded drinkers are doing something normal. I’d be buying into it the illusion.
Listen to me – drinking poison is not normal.
We have been conditioned to think that it is. It is the definition of insanity.
We’ve been conditioned through sheer repetition to think that drinking alcohol is normal. That’s why 99% of people think that drinking poison is okay.
I have no issue with people that want to drink alcohol. It doesn’t take everybody to a dark place like it did to me.
But, at the same time, I don’t feel envy. I feel bad for them.
That drink is doing nothing for them, but they continue to drink it. And, that’s regardless of whether they have a drinking problem or not. There isn’t a single benefit to drinking alcohol.
If I start to drink an alcohol-free drink when all my friends are drinking, I’m buying into the argument that drinking poison is normal – that drinking poison is okay.
If I drank an alcohol substitute, there’d be a deep-rooted sense of envy that they could drink alcohol and I couldn’t.
But again, it all boils down to the approach the individual has used to stop drinking.
4) I’m happier than I’ve ever been without an alcohol substitute
Because I’ve taken the right approach to stop drinking – which is removing the conditioning through First Principles Thinking – I never feel like I’m missing out on something.
During the grueling 10-years of trying to find a solution to my drinking problem, I never once felt this way.
I always felt like I was missing out on something. I always started off any attempt to stop drinking with a negative mindset.
These days, I feel like I’ve been given a second shot on life. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I’ll never drink alcohol again.
Why would I feel the need to remind myself of an old way of life? Why would I want a reminder of drinking a drug that gave me nothing?
It just makes no sense whatsoever.
These days, I’m focused on building a better future. I’m not trying to revisit a dark period of my life. I’m focused on my business, my health, and my relationship.
If you drink alcohol-free drinks and you’re happy, then so be it!
However, if you feel the need to substitute alcohol with alcohol substitutes, you need to spend more time getting to the root cause of your problem.
Why do you still feel a need to substitute alcohol with something else?
Once you’ve understood the root cause of your thinking, that’s when you’ll realize you no longer need an alcohol substitute.
And that all starts with reasoning from First Principles.
I don’t drink alcohol substitutes. I never have, nor will I ever.
The reason why is because I don’t feel like I’ve made a genuine sacrifice, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out by choosing not to drink.
I don’t kid myself that drinking poison is normal, and life is going extremely well without drinking one!