When I decided to stop drinking, I went through a phase where, every time I went out for a ride, I couldn’t stop. Even if I only intend to have one snack, it’s never one, I always “turn off the TV” and wake up the next day with no memory. I know I spend a lot of time on autopilot, exposing myself to dangerous situations not only physically, but socially as well. He makes me laugh, he makes me laugh in the whole world. The next day I felt a lot of guilt and shame, I don’t remember anything, it’s a bad feeling that I’m tired of living with and anyway, it doesn’t go away and it repeats itself every weekend, without failure. .
There were many dangerous situations in which I exposed myself; like waking up with men I don’t know next to me that I don’t remember if I slept with them or not, if I gave my consent, if I wanted to, without knowing if we took care of ourselves . I once went to a nightclub and came home without my wallet or anything in it. The next day I called to ask if they had seen it and they told me they found me sleeping, fine, next to the speaker, and they sent me home in a taxi. It was in Bellavista, a place where people were known to be drugged to rob or abuse them. I was very guilty of thinking that I was there, “given”, sleeping next to a speaker, completely vulnerable.
Important dates, like September 18, are crazy; very fast days, with many excesses and regrets. I once had to return earlier than planned from a beach I had been to for four days. I came alone, the day before, because I couldn’t bear the stress and the pain. That’s when I realized I couldn’t take it anymore, that I had a problem, and that quitting alcohol wasn’t something I could achieve alone.
I went to a psychologist to help me. I thought he was going to give me some kind of secret formula to reduce my consumption. But no. He told me that I had to stop drinking alcohol for three months, something that scared me, because until then I still did not consider myself an alcoholic person. He explained to me that he had to do this to lower the alcohol level. At first I was afraid that I couldn’t do it, but I remember that I stopped smoking for a while and I also stopped eating meat. How can I not stop drinking for three months?
The first weeks are the hardest. I recently planned to travel to Brazil. I remember being uncomfortable when other people drank in front of me because I felt so unfair that I couldn’t drink because there was a problem with my pompadour. While I was walking I heard that they were offering a caipirinha and I got more and more angry. That was the emotion I felt.
Then I remembered the first time I went to a sober club. It’s crazy because, because I’m always drunk, I don’t know how to move that space, I don’t even know how to dance. To tell the truth, dancing is like therapy, because I started to discover that I love doing it, that I am very “turned on” by dancing, and that I don’t need a pompadour to do it, because I have a good one. time to dance.
Dealing with new situations while being sane also presents a challenge. Like when I go to meetings at friends’ houses where there are people I don’t know and I have to start a conversation with them. This makes me anxious not knowing what to say or do. Before, a pompadour would reduce my anxiety, but now I have to face these fears. And although it was difficult, now I see that that exhibition allowed me to know myself better; I realized that I could be an outgoing, fun girl and have fun without alcohol, which was like a kind of mask I was hiding.
And then came another challenge, dealing with the culture that exists around drinking. When I quit drinking alcohol, I always felt judged. And in our society, if you don’t drink, you have to give all the reasons why you don’t. I have heard reactions to my sobriety such as “I don’t trust people who don’t drink”, “why do you come when you don’t drive” or “those who don’t drink are stupid”. There are even situations where I am ashamed to say that I don’t drink alcohol because I don’t want to explain myself.
So, little by little, I changed my life without alcohol. And this change was so powerful for me that I thought it was necessary for something to be born from this experience. And I created Barra Zero, which is a non-alcoholic bar. I have a mocktail bar that I use at weddings and events. I love that it helps normalize not drinking alcohol; that those who want to drink, not as a social pressure. And of course there are options for those who don’t like to drink, because that’s what happens, you party and if you don’t like to drink, the options are super limited.
Now I live completely without alcohol. Since I stopped having those terror rods, I have more time to make the most of it: I can go out and play sports the next day or go to the mountain. I also let go of the fear of feeling excluded by not drinking. And finally, people who love you are more helpful than others because they understand and always help you.