My first year of sobriety was different than the last 2 years of my sobriety. Because my sobriety journey started 2 years before I took my last drink the triggering effect of being around alcohol or the temptation of alcohol was quickly lost. Seriously, maybe 2 months and I could care less about drinking alcohol.
However, I did have a lot of emotional issues. For a time I thought I was better than all of the people that drank. I carried around a heavy burden of needing to be an example to all of the people that now knew I was the “sober” guy. Looking back it seems like a normal progression but as a 52 year old man, I am embarrassed to admit those feelings.
I was sitting in a local pub, my wife still drinks, watching a baseball game and the bartender who knew I stopped drinking had ordered some Non Alcoholic beer for me. He opened one and presented it to me before I could say yes or no.
I sat and stared at it for a while.
I was consumed what other people would think of me if I drank it. What if my wife posted a picture of me on Instagram and my sober community saw me drinking a NA beer. Since it has a small amount of alcohol in it - would I break my sobriety? Would they be disappointed in me?
Seriously, this is what I was worried about. Not a thought given to if I would enjoy this beer or if it would trigger me. No was the answer to both of those questions. I was not triggered and it was “OK”. Frankly I was enjoying my sparkling water with lime a lot more.
As time moved on, I found a couple of craft breweries that only brew non alcoholic beer. Athletic Brewing is by far my personal favorite.
I drink a couple of beers a week. Some weeks I drink zero. The time I find that I enjoy them is when I do an activity fishing or yard work and I want to sit and let the sun hit my face. Then I enjoy the flavor the most. Maybe it is an echo of my drinking days but mostly I enjoy the flavor.
For your Consideration
For me I do not not drink more than 2 in a sitting where when I drank beer - hell I could drink 12. So for me these do not trigger me.
For you it might be different. You need to seriously think about this if you are sober. Only you can answer this question for yourself.
Wishing you the best and remember always move towards healing.