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Don’t get too caught up in the uncomfortably inappropriate traditional approach to alcohol reduction.

The approach that changing your relationship with alcohol is apparently more ‘advanced’ or ‘unique’ or ‘scary’ than changing your relationship with something like sugar or soft drink or chocolate or hot chips or… you get the point.

Changing your relationship with alcohol is no different than me looking at this coffee and sugar packet.

I want the sugar in there

I love the sugar in there

It sweetens the coffee

It alters my mood to another level and ultimately, to be honest, it does seem to make me feel like I can control or conquer more of the day and more of life.

In saying that, today, I choose not to have sugar.

Why? Because I’m working on reducing my sugar intake.

That’s all

No good or bad

No right or wrong

Like the days I ‘feel’ like a mouth-watering cold beer but choose otherwise.

Simply me choosing to reduce something I put into my body. And there’s a heap of shit I still put into my body that I probably ‘shouldn’t’ or could definitely do without.

But that’s not the point of this message.

The point is that traditionally speaking when it comes to reducing your alcohol intake, all red flags are raised.

Voices are softened

Blinds are shut and serious conversations bubble under the water like a crocodile waiting to take down its prey.

Wow – Imagine If the same approach was raised when you asked the doctor how to reduce your coffee intake or your sugar intake or your chocolate intake.

It doesn’t happen- Does it?

Nope

You see, socially, we have created this stigma relating to alcohol, and it’s beyond ridiculous.

The stigma that it’s a bigger problem than it is

The stigma that if you want to drink less alcohol then it’s only because you must drink too much or have a ‘real problem’ with it

The stigma that, although we (Australian drinking culture) champion you on to drink a lot, we won’t then champion you on to drink less.

The stigma that you’ll be treated like a wounded animal ‘needing’ support for having a problem that others don’t.

Gaaaaaawd doesn’t it sound awful?

No wonder why so many of us continue to drink at the levels we do.

Wait, did we just passionately move off track? Ah well, I hope you took value from it.

And just remember, saying no to your next glass of wine doesn’t have to be any different than saying no to an extra packet of sugar, a packet of chips, or a delicious caramel koala.

Here’s to challenging the social stigma toward alcohol reduction.

Here’s to Drinking Less & Feeling Fresh

Tom Cartwright

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