Bio/Brain/Body Hacking to grow out of alcohol use
I'm posting this to find ways to grow out of my last vestiges of needing alcohol to enjoy life. I'm not an alcoholic and not dependent on it to any clinical degree. Probably some dependence in my early 20's but that's about 15 years ago.
I'm tired of alcohol and want to grow beyond needing it for enjoyment for two main reasons: 1. I struggle with IBS-C and alcohol is a major trigger. I have as little as one drink and I don't digest for days and it takes several more to get back on track.
2. I don't enjoy it like I used to when I was a young socially anxious kid that needed a way of getting out of my head and anxieties as I'm not a kid anymore and it's no longer amazing or feels fun.
The problem is that there's this neurological need for that very particular experience that only alcohol seems to yield. That state of that razor's edge between dopamine stimulation and GABA, where you feel a somatic letting go and that sense that anything is possible as the prefrontal cortex among other things shuts down (those particular qualities to alcohol that make it much much more than a simple downer.)
When I was a socially phobic, depressed and neurotic 17 year old (I'm 36 now), drinking was like a spiritual experience as my subjective experience was like a frozen inner hell.
I've grown into a completely different person, unrecognizable from back then. But this old belief remained that nothing is ever that good or that exciting without alcohol. That alcohol is required for life to feel rewarding and even in my best times and moments there's still a craving for that very particular feeling to be there.
I'm getting close. I'm a long time meditator, have practiced every somatic and breath work technique under the sun at one point, and many other things as bio/psychological hacking has always come naturally to me.
Recently I've discovered Chinese tonic herbs and Ayurvedic supplements. Things like Shilajit, Holy Basil, Maca and so on, especially the Shen herbs in Chinese herbalism seem to be filling in some neurological gap that craving alcohol used to.
I'm wondering if anyone else here has any ideas or supplements/practices that help to cultivate that dopamine/GABA and unself-conscious state that alcohol used to, in a sober way?
Thanks for any guidance.