“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.” Charles Baudelaire
“Is it normal that I can only drink half a glass of wine now?”
It’s a question I’ve been asked many times by clients after a month or two of daily Energy Relaxation. “I don’t even want any more than that,” they go on to say.
Yes, it’s normal. When you have more energy you will tend to drink less alcohol (also smoke less, take less medication, drink less coffee). This is quite natural.
We use all the addictive substances to give us a quick connection to an aspect of energy. It might be relaxation, lack of inhibition, inner ease, connectedness with other people, a buzz, healing – and there are many more.
When you have more energy you feel more relaxed, less inhibited, more at ease, more connected, more buzz and you heal naturally. You literally don’t need the substitute because you’re getting the real thing. Essentially you become more sensitive to alcohol when you have more energy. You’ve cleaned out your system so anything you put into your body acts more directly and quickly.
There’s one thing to watch out for here, especially if you come from a strong culture of drinking (or any other addiction). When you were younger it may have been part of your identity to be able to hold your alcohol, drink without it appearing to affect you, drink without getting aggressive or you may have experienced that drinking made you more fun. You probably developed an attitude towards it that got hard-wired into your sense of who you were.
This old identity often survives long after you start to learn about energy, spirituality or go into any deeper personal discovery process. Then a conflict arises. There’s a deep, subconscious self identity that says that drinking is cool, gives you kudos, makes you more fun or is something to be proud of. At the same time you’re far more sensitive to alcohol than you were in your younger drinking times and a little goes a very long way. You may in fact not be able to hold it in the way you used to – which is great. It means you’re a lot healthier and cleaner than you were. You may not be more fun after a few drinks any more – in fact you may become rather boring, sleepy, aggressive or whatever your thing is, which is not fun for anyone else (although you may not notice this).
The point is that when you start to develop your energy you need to change your self identity and let go of the old patterns. Otherwise it can lead to some strange internal conflicts which are expensive. You work hard to meditate every day, get healthy, be disciplined and become happier and more relaxed. Then you mindlessly forget all of that for a few hours and regress to the harder version of your younger self and fill up your body with something it’s rejecting because it doesn’t need it or want it. But your sense of identity overrides all your subtle senses and takes you back to the drinking glory of your youth and your poor body then needs a good few days, if not weeks, to clean it all out again.
It would be a lot easier to develop a new sense of identity around being an energetic, healthy, relaxed person who’s at ease in any situation and able to enjoy yourself socially without needing external help. Someone who’s not afraid to be seen with a soft drink or half a glass of wine because you know who you are and what you want and you no longer need to prove yourself to anyone, least of all yourself, by your drinking habits.
And in case you feel sensitive about this subject, please be aware that what I’m talking about is your subconscious. It’s not something that’s happening intentionally. The conflict is genuine, very subtle and very powerful. That’s why it’s so hard to change unless you become conscious of it – which is why I’m writing about it.