How is it, that we live in a world where it’s frowned upon when a person chooses not to drink?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a mormon. I like the taste of wine (the cheap stuff, preferably) and nowadays I’ll have a glass from time to time. But I won’t drink more than one glass and I don’t drink every week, let alone multiple days per week. Most of all, I prefer not to drink for health reasons. But the older (& wiser?) I get, the more I start to dislike this whole culture of binge-drinking just for the hell of it. The more I see it, the less I feel the need to drink myself.
Let’s start with why alcohol is so bad for ya. There’s so many reasons, I’ll just have to pick my ‘favorites’. Alcohol is broken down in the body to simple sugars in a matter of minutes, especially on an empty stomach. Simple sugars make our blood sugar spike & crash. Plus, it’s a boatload of nasty, empty calories. But if only that were the worst of it. Alcohol gets a VIP treatment from your liver, it is granted treatment before food and even before drugs! (Hint: your liver is your primary detoxifying organ, alcohol having all privilages goes to shoes exactly how bad alcohol is for your system). The consequences are that your food get’s digested much slower if at all, nutrient absorption decreases and more energy is stored as fat. Last (but certainly not least): alcohol is very acidic. And we all know by now acidic environments can cause anything from leaching calcium from your bones to giving you headaches and making you feel fatigued often. It makes the bad bacteria in your gut flourish and take over, making you more susceptible to illness & disease.
But what I find even more frightening (yes, more frightening than what I described above!) is the whole attitude surrounding alcohol. Alcohol is not just socially accepted, it is socially expected. We don’t find it odd if the person next to us chooses not to smoke, or chooses not to scarf down a hamburger 5 times a week, do we? But I have found, time and time again, that people are really, really surprised, when you throw them the phrase “no thanks, I don’t drink”. Even though I don’t don’t drink anymore, I still use the phrase from time to time a) because it’s easier to explain why I don’t drink at that particular instant and b) because I like to mildly provoke. It feeds my need for exploring the human brain and sociology. The number of times I have gotten a positive and affirmative response (ah I envy you, that’s so healthy) I can count on one hand. The ‘WHY?!????!!1ONE’s on the other hand, are countless.
Like I said before, I ain’t no saint. I really enjoy having one glass of (cheap-ass) wine from time to time and really savor it. Not to use as a social lubricant, or because I’m thirsty. The thing is, I do get why people drink (smoke, pop drugs, binge on sugar, shop till they drop), I was exactly the same (and that goes for the full list, yes). It is because we think it’s essential for letting go and enjoying life and not be too stringent on yourself. Well guess what, if you drink for the effects of it, or because it’s a habit, you are not enjoying it. You are dependent on it. Cutting all crap out of your diet & life and then re-introducing them slowly, making the drugs (I am talking all drugs; alcohol, pills, cookies, shopping) an occasional treat, then you can genuinly say you are enjoying these substances, and with it, life. I guarantee you, the level of pleasure you derive from life will be much greater without the crutches of alcohol & the like. I speak from experience.
Tell me: what’s your opinion? Do you drink and how/why?
Ps. nowadays when I get the infamous ‘WHY???!1!!?’ I simply reply with: “why don’t you do drugs?”. Seems to do the trick.