Oct 31 • 6M

Why I stopped drinking

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Loic Le Meur
Sharings from a technology entrepreneur learning ancient technologies from the Amazon forest and other spiritual knowledge and techniques. See also my newsletter at http://loiclemeur.substack.com
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Someone contacted me today writing a piece about entrepreneurs who stop drinking so I thought I would also share here some thoughts. It seems there is a bigger trend post covid…

First I want to say this isn’t an advice to anybody, this is just my humble experience, do as you wish and I am not saying you should.

Alcohol consumption was for me culture conditioning from very early on

I grew up in France, I am French, and I love many things about French culture. I started drinking when I was 15 or something. My father (who died at 53 from lung cancer, also a smoker) was drinking about a bottle of wine and some aperitifs daily. I got into it because my father was drinking wine so I started, because everyone was drinking wine around me and because when I was young everyone was drinking at any party I would go to. In fact, nobody was not drinking. It kept going in my business life where at the time it was normal in Paris to drink two or three glasses of wine during a business lunch and more at dinner.

I had my free will of course, but did not have any consciousness practice at the time or examples that I should not. I was just doing like everybody else was, this is what I call conditioning from culture or from society.

I did not see any problem with it apart from the rare reminders of an health questionnaire or a visit to a doctor asking me how much I was drinking. I even convinced myself that “wine was good for me”, like many people still say, especially in France.

The idea that alcohol could be a problem came only when I turned 40 and started meditating, 10 years ago.

I did my first meditation retreat, vipassana. There were talks recorded on tapes every night by S.N. Goenka and I remember he had one of the night talks about stopping drinking. We were allowed to ask one question to the monk present and I remember asking “Why should I stop drinking and just not reduce it?”. He said the obvious, it’s much easier to stop entirely than slowing down.

I did not stop then but the idea on my mind.

I then started going to the Amazon forest, worked with plants and did many “dietas” there, periods of 1-3 months isolated in the jungle. Alcohol is strictly forbidden in the village I went, the sacred village of the Yawanawà.

I started seeing more and more that it was just bad for me and stopped two years ago. At the beginning I still had about a glass or two of wine per month then entirely stopped.

About 3 years ago I also lost a friend by saying stupid things that cost me the friendship so I knew I had to stop entirely that day.

Why I stopped drinking entirely and the benefits I see

It’s easier for me to stop entirely than to have a few glasses now and then. I lost probably 10kgs (20 lbs) just by stopping alcohol.

At the beginning when I was with friends that drink I was still questioning myself but a conversation with another friend who told me it was poison, including wine, finished convincing me. Now I just see a glass of alcohol as a glass of poison that makes it very easy for me to not even think about wanting it. It’s pretty well documented that “drinking small amounts of alcohol will do no harm is a myth”.

I am now working daily at being more conscious, alcohol just does the opposite. I pay attention to what I say, what I feel and what I do and want to be in control of myself at all times, so alcohol has no place in that.

Many friends have also stopped entirely, like Martin Varsavsky who just tweeted about it…

What is your experience with alcohol? Have you stopped? Are you considering it? Are you drinking just a bit of wine from now and then?

P.S.
-Dom Varley of Green Token spoke at Pawa Paris and is offering early supporters who truly want to support a community of global sustainability an airdrop of Green Tokens. The tokens are on-chain rewards for taking meaningful climate action. Once the project is live, $GREEN will allow you to vote on community proposals, redeem for sustainably produced goods, attend events, and support great startups that will change the world and help fight climate change.  Here is the airdrop page dedicated to PAWA participants. I am writing it here which makes it broader than PAWA only but I am sure if you are interested and did not make it to PAWA it can only be good for them.

-I’m more and more interested in Substack, if you are interested in the rebirth of newsletters, do not miss this interesting podcast and video from Lenny’s Newsletter featuring Sachin Monga product manager of Substack

-Photo: I stopped “Paté”too, featured in this very french “casse croute” I used to have sometimes working on my computer… I am on a no meat for one year diet, among other food restrictions…

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