After my mother died of alcoholism, I stopped drinking. Just stopped. The stopping surprised me.
i had considered taking the 5th precept, “refraining from intoxicants,” for a few years, but I couldn’t see my way clear to actually refraining altogether. I had given up hard liquor–that was not hard; I didn’t like the taste. I had given up wine because I couldn’t remember the names; I knew if I liked what I was drinking, I would remember its naThat only beer remained on my menu, and I definitely remembered those names.
Now I’m am on a yoga vacation in the Yucatan and Mexican beer and tequila are enjoyed by most. I’m drinking guava juice and agua con gas. Fresh juice is such a treat.
I’m stymied by the difference between being a prude and being prudent. I know that even before intoxication, ta little alcohol loosens the grip, not only on social anxiety, but also on the other 4 precepts. Speaking truthfully and helpfully (especially to one’s self) can be the first to slip, followed closely by “doing no harm.”
“Oh, a little drink never hurt anybody,” my mother slurred.