Dearest lovely readers,
As mentioned in my previous post I would write a word on alcohol in our society. Now, I would like to note this is not representative of everyone’s view on alcohol. These are just some things I have noticed and felt that alcohol can be an impactful factor on well-being.
There is something important I have learned on my journey through sobriety, and that is the varying forms alcoholism. Being an “alcoholic” or someone who misuses alcohol is definitely not always what we see on TV.
We use alcohol not only to socialise, but for special occasions, celebrations, we give it as gifts, meals, to relax, to taste, to binge on, to let off steam, it’s on banners and cards to give others. You can go into stores and there is always a selection of wines, ciders, ales, beers, spirits, then mixers and alcopops. The SGS Handbook makes a poignant question: if all alcohol was packaged as cigarettes currently are, all the same and bland, would it be as popular?
We so often forget that alcohol is a drug, a depressant which can slow down brain functions whilst also inducing lesser inhibition (1).
Alcohol can easily and quickly become addictive, or used as a crutch regularly. The reduction on inhibition can lead to impulsive and dangerous situations much like other substances. I myself have ended up in unsavoury situations and positions. Often having episodes of anything bad happened. Alcohol can also leave you feeling low for days on end as a come down because of its depressant activity.
Alcoholism is related to 5% of worldwide deaths and is the fourth most preventable disease in the world (2). The result of alcoholism is a weakened immune system, poor health (both mental and physical), poorer relationships. Alcohol works as stereotypical illegal drugs in gaining tolerance and having to drink more and more to get the same feeling, and it can start from the first drink for people.
The NHS details many more risks and long term complications around alcohol use and helps to give help if needed (3).
Can alcohol be enjoyable? Absolutely. But should it be as celebrated as it is? To me, knowing what I know now, not really.
I am proud of being sober, and as someone who was told by a GP on their 21st birthday that they’d die if they kept up the drinking of alcohol, I wish I had learned sobriety long ago.