Sunday, February 3, 2013

NA Beer article


A fellow member of mmabsers shared this article the other day and I loved it, but what I found even more interesting was to go to the original site and read the attacks on the attacks on the author.  There's still a lot of people swimming in that big ol' river of Denial.

Here's the link to the original article:


Why Non-Alcoholic Beer Is the Best Kind

I haven’t had any alcohol for a year. I’m not sure I can recommend sobriety for everybody, but it did OK things for me. I don’t blame my problems on other people as much. I can finish a higher percentage of the things I start. If I don’t like something, I generally don’t do it. I go to bed early. I read books.
My life is less “fun.” That’s OK. Fun is people yelling boring stuff at each other more often than not. Fun is pretending there’s no such thing as death, or even human-scale consequences. Fun is a lie. Fun is overrated. Fun is a gaggle of 14 year olds on a 3 AM trip to Walmart daring each other to wear the Super Mario pajamas and the Barbie tiara to the checkout line and “acting casual” about it with their loudest most gratingly desperate uncasual voices while your credit card is declined and Ivan the checkout clerk with the lazy eye is sighing through his nose. Fun is waking up the next morning covered in clown makeup and wondering who you are and how bad it is.
Why did I quit drinking? I had my reasons. The reasons involved doing horrible things to nice people, and being on the receiving end of unfunny wisecracks in the back of a police car, and having concerned family members show up to kick my skull in. Not to be melodramatic or anything. My biggest reason for not drinking was to kill off the drunk version of myself. I built him up too big and let him start making decisions for me because I’m a chickenshit, and he repaid me with an appropriate degree of contempt for my personhood. OK, but I’m stubborn and contrarian enough to insist on the last word. So it’s the dry life for me, and that grinning whiskey-filled malicious bastard can hang.
I am learning things.
Like do you know what’s great? Non-alcoholic beer. It’s such a fantastic invention. You can drink it and drink it and drink it and you won’t feel a THING. It’s like drinking beer’s lawyer. Instead of getting all drunk you just need to pee a lot and then you start yawning and you realize that all alcohol usually does for you is allow you to sit in the same place jabbering about nothing for four hours with people you’re not even sure you like (one of them is you). As far as I’m concerned, it’s a recipe for a perfect night.
Imagine this scenario: you meet up with people, drink something that signifies “beer” just enough for you to relax and be social, converse for an hour or two without saying anything particularly mean or funny or interesting, and then once your ass gets sore and you realize you’ve had about enough of the human experience for one night, you leave and go home and read a book in bed until you fall asleep at 11 PM, one day closer to the sweet release of death, substituting for contentment with the momentary relief of not having fucked anything up too badly for anybody today. Repeat forever. It’s not bad, you guys. Not bad at all.
My current favorite beer is Clausthaler. It tastes like sand-flavored soda. I love it so much I could drink like four of them in a week. Any more than that and I get a headache. As sensory experiences go, there’s nothing better in the world than opening up an ice cold Clausthaler, taking that first big swig, realizing this is the price you’re paying for being an actual human being, and choking half to death on regret and loss.
I recommend it to somebody. I recommend it to myself. That’s enough. And I would probably also recommend it to anybody currently coming unglued without knowing it. You don’t want to know it, guys. It sucks to know it.


  1. Oof, those comments are tough to read. This is why I am grateful for other sober people. So so grateful.

  2. Color me stupid but I can't figure out the gist of your blog entry. Are you advocating NA beer? Were you or are you advocating moderate management or permanent abstinence? I have been reading your blog for a long time and have commented once or twice I think but I have yet to figure out your opposition to just giving in and going to AA and enjoying a lasting and mostly peaceful sobriety.


  3. Hi Sally,
    I'm not a fan of NA beer, I never drank beer for the taste, if other people want to include it in their sobriety, I see no harm in it.

    I published the article because of the comparisons it made to drinking and not drinking. I have been sober 511 days but I do still participate on the Moderation Management email list because I do believe that some people can learn to moderate, but I also believe that, for most of us, if we've reached the point we're searching the internet for solutions to our drinking problem, then we've probably gone too far to go back to moderation. But a lot of people, myself included, need to answer the question for themselves of whether they can moderate or not in order to embrace sobriety and be at peace with the decision. I stay active on the list to remind those people that are struggling with moderation that there is an alternative and it's not so bad, in fact it's pretty darn good.

    I am also active on the mmabsers list which is a sub-group of MM made up of members that have decided to perm abs. There is no one support method that is promoted, we pretty much support whatever works for each of us.

    I am extremely happy and content in my sobriety and I don't feel the need to go to AA. I post daily on the lists, I share my story with newbies, I host the chatroom, so I do feel I am "giving it away" as AA promotes. I also spend a lot of time volunteering down here in Mexico and a lot of time getting closer with my Co-writer.

    I'm satisfied with my recovery.

  4. We are all satisfied with our recovery after we finally get it, or at least that has been my observation. The jury is still out on NA beer because of the small amount of alcohol in it and the association with beer drinking so it's probably good that you don't drink it. I don't.

    Take care and enjoy your recovery.


  5. I really enjoyed this post. I found it heartbreaking. And, in a way, that was a relief to read.

    I am 27 days sober at 38 years old and I am not going to go through AA. I'm an atheist, for one. Any concept of higher power gives me the skeevies. For two, I don't feel like I would be a good fit. I plan to drink again on my 85th birthday, see. At least, that's what I tell myself when I think about NEVER DRINKING AGAIN.

    Also, for me, drinking wasn't just about getting drunk. It was an entire sensory experience. The sound of glasses clinking, of liquid pouring, the acrid smell of drink, the cool feel of glass in my hand, the actual physical act of drinking.

    In the past 27 days I've found that a super ice cold Diet Barritt's Ginger Beer (don't let that name fool you, it's just soda) gives me that sensory experience. It's a true ginger beer with a lot of bite, which I like.

    I've even made my own homemade ginger beer. Of course, homemade soda involves 24 hour fermentation of 2 cups of sugar with some yeast and the result is about the same amount of alcohol as in NA beer. The POINT of fermenting homemade soda is to carbonate it. Fermenting sugar water in a container under anaerobic conditions causes it to carbonate but the by-product is tiny amount of alcohol, about 0.5% by volume, just like near beer.

    That led me to Googling around, which led me, ultimately, here.

    AA would not approve of my homemade soda. Despite the fact it's not me "pretending to drink". It's me trying to reprogram one of my strongest sensory experiences.

    Anyway, I will be following your blog now. I need to follow non-AA people, especially this early in my recovery.