I start with a quote from Belle (www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com)
isn’t regular alcohol consumption supposed to be ‘good’ for you?
from The Solstice Guy (day 255):
“My biggest worry about being long term sober: is it healthy? I know this sounds crazy, but there have been many studies that say that alcohol in moderation is a good thing—especially for the heart. What if, years down the road, my doctor says, ‘It might have been better for you had you drank alcohol in moderation. Your cholesterol is high and alcohol would have helped maintain that.’ I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. But you DID ask what’s my biggest worry, and that’s my biggest worry!”
me: I hate these kinds of studies because I feel like they leave out important things. They are looking at alcohol as a plus/minus—what are the benefits with or without. But they don’t look at what comes with alcohol.
If there was a mythical one glass of wine, then what comes with that? While it might improve heart health, with that glass of wine would come the following: skipping your after dinner work out, eating more generously, extra empty calories for no reason, and the likelihood of more alcohol later.
If you remove the alcohol, and you lose some tiny heart benefit, there are easier ways to improve your health with no downsides. Like exercise, and a reduced cholesterol diet.
So what I’m saying is that you can’t look at alcohol as one thing. It’s a whole murky package of things that don’t quite add up.
I hear that cod liver oil is good for digestion, too.
I hear that toothpaste gives you cancer.
I hear that over-drinking for you and me is a bad idea, because it affects every other fucking part of our life—not just our heart. It affects our souls.
What Belle says to end the conversation really struck me. It affects our souls. I felt this all the time. Alcohol starts jolly, starts fun, starts warm, starts me ”fitting in”, starts relaxing, starts hilarious.
It carries on touchy, oversensitive, know-it-all, dogmatic, weird, detached, rude, punchy, easily offended. I know this from first hand experience. It does something deep inside us, to our souls.
And let us not even go there with the morning after, when the soul is so rusted up and ill-at-ease that bedtime is the only possibility that looks vaguely hopeful.
Regular over-drinking RUSTS our souls. Well it RUSTED mine.
I can see the character change on a deeper level in those I know and love. It little switch flicks in their personality. They become more sentimental, very easily offended, more ”something” I cannot put my finger on. And yet all the time more difficult to talk to rationally. I will not engage. I cannot. There is an irrational person who thinks for that moment that they are the sanest more rational person on the planet. So I just do not engage – if possible.
I am relieved to have realised that. Relieved I say? Well that is a gigantic understatement!! Perhaps it does not rust everyone’s soul. But there sure seem to be a heck of a lot of people whose souls it does.
I do not, ever, judge an over drinker. It took years of courage, years of trying to manage before I could begin to broach stopping for good. I know how hard it is to definitely close the curtain on it.
And that is what it is. When someone says ”is this for good?” Why do we take it to mean forever?!! I have just noticed that. But in my case it is for absolute best. Not just for good, but for fabulous.
Yes, I am out of the circle slightly. Yes, people are suspicious of me. Yes, people think I judge them. But really…. I could not go back. I have literally been freed.