Sober Curious and Alcohol Free: How a Fruit-Based Raw Vegan Diet Helped Me Stop DrinkingNov 10, 2022
I stopped drinking alcohol in 2018 when it became clear to me that drinking had no real place in my healing or my living optimally. But I previously, quite secretly I think, struggled for years with trying to limit and tame my regular, hyper-normalized, alcohol intake. Until one day I dropped it like nothing. Here I’ll talk about why I think that somewhat magical shift just sort of – poof – happened.
I never really considered myself a heavy drinker, an addicted drinker, or an emotional drinker, per se. That is, until I was able to stop drinking and look at everything from the rear-view mirror. Which really, if we were all to get radically honest with ourselves and our society, I don’t know that any one person has not used alcohol in a technically “abusive” manner, right?
We often think of an alcoholic as a sloshy, belligerent addict – but addiction and alcoholism is so much more nuanced than that. And the levels to which we normalize our addictions (around substances but especially around food) must ultimately be examined in ways that are not yet even socially acceptable (that’s a whole book).
Don't get me wrong, in retrospect, I’m not sure that I would label myself “an alcoholic”. But I might? Here’s what I do know, after two years of thriving without it and diving into some serious recollections:
I often, consciously or not (99% not), used alcohol to:
Numb my emotions (relax, unwind, etc.).
Fuel my self confidence to the max in social settings.
Boost my creativity or productivity (or so I thought?).
Support or glamorize certain “boring” activities.
Cope with past and current traumas and anxieties.
Reward myself, of course.
I am also what they would call an adult child of alcoholic parents, something that invariably, inevitably informed and informs my slightly complicated relationship with alcohol, and with myself and the world, in deeply intersecting and poignant ways.
So what allowed me to easily stop drinking?
I think it was a perfect storm of readiness factors, but primarily the catalyst-driven moment of diving head first into a high-fruit raw vegan diet and lifestyle for my own healing. That is what moved the needle.
Fruit-based living, and the physical healing that quickly resulted from it, helped me inherently address the psychology of my addictions immensely – almost automatically. It ushered in deep unlearning, slow self love, general presence of mind and the ability to finally be forthcoming and raw in identifying and addressing my past traumas. And in turn, finally inspired me to create dire boundaries for myself – for the first time in my life.
Addictions, at least mine, felt very rooted in seething self doubt, secret self hatred, a compulsion to self sabotage - which all seemed to stem from harbored emotional trauma that I stored in my body and brain over the years and decades of my life. I am not unique, this is the picture of addiction, the ills of the human condition and also a strong piece of what creates the internal environment for unfortunate disease.
I’m not sure that I ever truly “tried” or even ever wanted to stop drinking before. In the back of my young, social mind – I believe it just wasn’t an option. I would sometimes set up strong parameters and conditions in my head for how I would allow myself to use alcohol in more healthy ways, or go more time without it, or only have X amount of drinks, only have red wine or beer, etc.
But I do know that between 2015-2018 alcohol was making me feel very sick. And each drinking session, even if it was one fun bevvy, felt progressively worse and exacerbated my chronic illness symptoms. Drinking was no longer fun. Maybe it hadn’t been for a while.
But even in the midst of my worst days with illness, although I managed to drink less and less, I still gravitated towards alcohol as a social reward and a badge of normalcy. As if I had somehow earned it with my “sad sick self”. That was the victim mentality I was drowning in. So I did indeed struggle with giving up on something that was poisoning me.
Until I found fruit and a raw vegan lifestyle.
How did fruit help me almost effortlessly ditch alcohol?
I believe this is quite simple and really two-fold (with a lot of introspective details and domino layers of meaning and unlearning in between these two points):
It led me into clear, authentic acceptance and love for myself and “the now” (allowing me to finally address the social, psychological and self-harm components of my likely alcohol dependency).
It repaired some obvious glucose and carbohydrate deficiencies / adrenal issues that had been contributing to my classic addictive behaviors and/or cravings for alcohol (addressing the physical component of my likely alcohol dependency).
To expand on number two a bit more:
The impetus for initially tackling my “fruit fear” that I held for years while I ran through the gamut of decades of low-carb life, was Anthony William’s book, Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal - Medical Medium.
He has an entire chapter, titled Fruit Fear, that led me to question my low-carb antics and start eating fruit in more abundance. This was totally foreign and almost felt wrong to me at the time. In (and outside of) that book though, he also references why we so desperately need glucose and how this plays into addictive behavior.
Whether the Medical Medium generally resonates with you or not, the section below always struck a firm chord with me and what I personally experienced when I finally started eating about 95% fruits and veggies, and it seems to paint a painfully accurate, sensical picture of society too.
“...there are two different deep roots behind addictions: adrenaline surge dependency and glucose deficiency. Other factors can certainly play a part too, including life stressors, immense pressure, and abuse. Nonetheless, adrenaline dependency and glucose deficiency - or a combination of the two - are nearly always involved.
Glucose is a sugar found in fruits, starchy vegetables… Every single cell in our body runs off glucose for fuel. The brain needs critical levels of glucose to function optimally. When we're deprived of glucose, we'll become obsessed with getting it from a different source because it's critical for our survival. If you've ever found yourself desperate for a sugary treat, a chocolate bar, a glass of wine or any kind of white bread or pasta, that's your body longing for glucose from fruits and vegetables.
When glucose levels in our body and brain are depleted, we open the door to a multitude of addictions, such as processed sugar addiction and alcohol addiction, and we set ourselves up for the second root cause of addictions: adrenaline addiction.
If you struggle with an alcohol addiction, your brain is likely desperate for glucose… A glucose deficit in the brain may be the problem behind as much as 90% of addictions. That's why eating plenty of fruits, leafy greens and vegetables is critical for breaking any kind of addiction.”
You can read more from him on Understanding Addictions here:
Some things that are notably better in my life since I stopped drinking (in which the high fruit, raw-vegan lifestyle also plays a crucial, primary role):
My sleep cycle is more regulated. I remember years of somewhat unsatisfying sleep and having a really hard time falling asleep at night in general.
I have significantly less anxiety in all facets of my life.
I feel a heightened confidence and authentic assurance in myself in social settings.
I no longer lose time to alcohol or hangovers. Every day is mine.
I have a beautiful, cyclical, evolutionary self-love loop.
I began to connect to my soul for the first time ever.
Self trust and love is settled deep in my life.
My relationship with my partner is stronger.
There’s much more to spill on this topic, it is a deep one. I believe addiction, specifically alcohol addiction, is so much more multilayered, biochemical and holistic than just learning how to stop drinking.
I’ll leave you with this: if you struggle with substance or alcohol abuse and are looking to level up around true self care and love, you owe it to yourself to look into these lifestyle changes that are quantitatively known to help facilitate the systemic, chemical and soul changes needed to fully heal from the root causes of addiction and self abuse.
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