Reminder to Self about Why I Now Don’t Drink

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!

24 thoughts on “Reminder to Self about Why I Now Don’t Drink

  1. nomorebeer2019

    YES YES YES !!! wow Jim, although I quit smoking, I never made the analogy like you just did, and this really lit up a little light bulb in my mind: “When I grew up, smoking was everywhere, it must be OK, it wasn’t”. I always thought giving up the booze would mean being “excluded” from mainstream enjoyment for life. But who’s to say that in a few years (which we might witness if this AF journey does indeed help us live longer, LOL) alcohol will not be officially declared a health hazard like cigarettes were? After all it’s the same lobbying/marketing strategy stuff going on with booze than what happened in the good old days of the Marlboro cowboy. Maybe we’re not a bunch of isolated diseased crazy people but people who chose not to keep partaking in something really destructive that might gradually be acknowledged to be so, and MAYBE others will join until WE become the mainstream 🙂 And our e-juice vaping grandchildren with their Google brain chips will ask us “Grandpa Jiiiim, is it true that people used to pour ethanol down their throats back in the ooooolden days? Who knows what the future holds ! 🙂 xxx Anne

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      I do think it’s already happening this change in our perception of alcohol. The rates of alcohol consumption are down amongst young people and more AF alternatives are springing up. It’s a slow process but tangible. We are the stormtroopers, the vanguard! March on sister! Jim x

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  2. Untipsyteacher

    Well said! I’ve noticed the same thing. In fact, I’ve noticed one of my good friends gets a bit mean after she’s had more than enough wine.
    Every morning I wake up I am so happy I didn’t drink the night before!
    xo
    Wendy

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  3. Lovie Price

    i have never been one to do many holiday parties thank goodness, and my family rarely ever has had alcohol at ours..so that’s one good thing. However, being in the artist community , it’s a given everywhere , all the time.. i hibernate these days unless it’s a kid friendly event ( even though my kids are grown) because i at least know there won’t be any around..or smoking for that matter..i would like to get out more but maybe after i have a year in ( january 18th). Sometimes , of course i do get the euphoric recall of my drunken days, but after about 30 seconds the fear kicks in, then nausea …i don’t even want to SMELL any of it..lol

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      You’ve done brilliantly to be at nearly a year mark but I know what you mean about the artistic community. I hope you feel you can come out of hibernation soon. You might find that others will see what you’ve done and want to follow your lead. The tide is turning. Hope you have a good Christmas and New Year. Jim x

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  4. Addy

    I remember once doing a post about Christmas and the abundance of booze. So many TV and newspaper adverts pushing alcohol, pyramids of bottles and cans in the supermarkets, pictures showing celebrating families round the Christmas table. It must be so hard for alcoholics or those trying to abstain. Not to mention New Year! Glad you are still doing well and have such a positive attitude.

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Hi Addy
      Sometimes it’s hard but it’s also quite annoying when you stand back and see that social pressure of good times= alcohol. It does create the impression that NOT drinking equates to some form of social deviancy and that quite frankly pees me off.
      Have a great Christmas Addy. Jim x

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  5. Jim Simmonds Post author

    Hopefully one where not drinking alcohol is not seen as odd, maybe even cool. During my time I’ve seen smoking move from cool activity to something dirty, smelly and pretty uncool. So who knows 😉 Jim x

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  6. drgettingsober

    Thanks for articulating this so well Jim! I’m beginning after 8 months to get the slow dopamine hit you describe when I realise I’m actually enjoying myself without a drink – have to be picky about my occasions though. I agree attitudes are changing but in both directions – more sober people and more acceptance of getting wasted too so don’t know what to make of that? Xx

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  7. Jim Simmonds Post author

    Thanks for your comment. I now get the hit every time I wake up without a hangover, like today. Feels great. How many days have I wasted just recovering from the night before though? Yes I sometimes miss the drink but I never want to go back to feeling like shit for one two days a week! Well done you on 8 months. It’s an exciting journey. Jim x

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