Meals out, parties, even carol services; alcohol is ubiquitous, you can’t avoid it. When something is so widespread it can create the impresssion that it must be OK. Well it isn’t. When I grew up, smoking was everywhere, it must be OK, it wasn’t. The ubiquity of alcohol creates its own pressure to conform.
It’s everywhere, that means it must be OK, everyone uses it, don’t be a minority party pooper, join in have a drink, lighten up.
In the face of that, those of that have made a choice not to drink for whatever reason need to ocassionally shore up our defenses against the constant waves of alcohol consumption pressure. For me it’s the health aspects. I want to live a long, healthy life. I want to continue learning, loving and interacting, being physically active and energised. Alcohol works against all of these. It depletes, damages and diminishes.
Alcohol is a recognized toxin as are its byproducts. Acetaldehyde one of the by byproducts created after drinking alcohol is a known carcinogen so can anyone explain how a substance that causes cancer and shrinks the brain can also be recommended in moderation. It also damages the kidneys, liver and affects sleep adversely. Some research says moderate alcohol helps the heart. I think if we are looking for something that can help the heart, perhaps diet and exercise should be looked at.
When I now go to social events I see the initial euphoric effects of alcohol. The first drink and dopamine release occurs, the drinkers are momentarily relaxed, happy and I feel deprived. My AF beer does not cause dopamine release. But then I watch because hardly anyone stops at one (and they are still going to get the byproduct damage of Acetaldehyde) and at that point the depressant nature of alcohol kicks in. The conversation deteriorates, expressions change, potential hangovers develop like mini pregnancies and my dopamine levels start to rise as get the thrill of not needing this poison to enjoy myself.
So Jim, if you feel a bit left out this Christmas, re read this and remind yourself that you have given your brain, body, future self the best present you could possibly ever give. The gift of being alcohol free. That’s got to be worth celebrating……mine’s a Seedlip and tonic please!