Why This Schizoaffective Chooses Not to Drink

February 17, 2022 Elizabeth Caudy

A week ago today, I had a beer. It was the first time I’d had an alcoholic beverage in years. It made me feel good, and I toyed with the idea of occasionally imbibing, but I decided not to. Here’s why this schizoaffective won't be drinking.

Why This Schizoaffective Decided Not to Drink

I got buzzed from the beer, and that felt good. But then I remembered the reason I stopped drinking in the first place: the buzz gives way to schizoaffective depression. That’s why I’d stopped drinking so many years ago.

My husband Tom drinks, so we have alcohol around the house. After that first beer, I was tempted to drink more, but I didn’t. Because I was tempted, I toyed with the idea of joining Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) even after just one beer and even though I never drank much. I don’t think I’m going to.

But I even felt bad while I was having the drink. I’m on a lot of medication for my schizoaffective disorder and my generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and I was afraid the beer would make me hear schizoaffective voices. About nine months ago, I stopped hearing voices because of a medication change, and I don’t want a beer or any drink to ruin that. Still, for some reason, I kept drinking it. What can I say? It made me feel good, and it tasted good. I remembered that from when I was regularly drinking that it’s all good times at first until it starts making me depressed.

This Schizoaffective Feels Guilty About Having Had a Drink

So, I had one beer. I can’t help but, in some way, feel that I’ve failed you, my readers. I’m supposed to be a mental health advocate, and I can’t even act in ways that advocate for myself. I do realize it was just one beer after several years dry.

And the temptation to drink again has gone away. It mainly went away when I told my therapist I was tempted to drink to “manage” my anxiety, and she said that wasn’t a very good way to manage my anxiety. Well, duh, Elizabeth.

So, I choose not to drink because of my medication and because drinking is not a healthy coping skill. And it was just one beer, so I shouldn’t beat myself up too much, though that’s something I tend to do. I would feel really bad had I have had a cigarette.

I have a Pandora bracelet that I call my smoke-free bracelet. It has charms on it that remind me why I quit smoking. For Valentine’s Day, Tom gave me a bracelet with a Cheshire Cat clasp. I’ve decided that’s going to be my sobriety bracelet. No, I don’t plan on getting charm bracelets for all my vices (Is over-accessorizing a vice?), but I’ll be really happy to wear my sobriety bracelet as a reminder that if I drink, it makes me feel bad on so many levels, period.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2022, February 17). Why This Schizoaffective Chooses Not to Drink, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 19 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

Jim Moore
March, 2 2023 at 9:37 am

Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for sharing. Alcohol in itself is a medication but not prescribed. Elizabeth, I've learned to not use mental health terms as a noun and rather see the terms used like this: I'm a person living with schizoaffective disorder.

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