I first remember feeling the temptation to drink when I went away to college. The fraternities there aggressively courted me and other freshman with beer drinking parties and contests. Fortunately, I never developed a taste for beer, and while that pretty much excluded me from fraternity life, I didn’t really mind.
After I graduated, however, I did develop a taste for alcohol—this time for martinis and other mixed drinks. I enjoyed going out after work for a drink with my friends, or having them over to my apartment for “cocktail hour.” I rarely drank to excess, but over time developed an affinity for the whole culture of drinking, an attraction that grew with time.
But I never really considered it a problem. After all, I would sometimes go two or three weeks without a drink, never even thinking about it. I told myself that I drank only because I liked the taste of alcohol, not its effects. Yet while I had tried to quit outright several times, sooner or later I would always drift back into my familiar pattern of casual drinking.