“Is it too early to drink?” – Novice Drinker
“It’s Five O’Clock somewhere!”- Intermediate Drinker
“Today is a day-drinking kind of day.”- Advanced Drinker
“Is it Five O’Clock, yet?” – Employed Drinker
“Liquor is like a good collection of shoes; if you know what you have in your closet, you can find something to go with any occasion.” -Philosophical Drinker
“Write Drunk. Edit Sober” -Ernest Hemingway (Productive Drinker who sets boundaries?)
Let’s face it. With the chemical action of liquor, even some of the most mundane activities can seem extra fun. I know I enjoy family gatherings a bit more with a beer in hand.
But what does one do, when they have spent every day, looking forward to that next beer or drink, and you take drinking out of the equation?
I am a full time, in home care taker for my grandma… I don’t have a bunch of wonderful things I look forward to on a daily basis. It’s like being a mom, but your kid isn’t growing more capable; and an eventual end is inevitable. Alcohol has been my place holder for new experiences while I deal with the day to day, mundane tasks like laundry; dishes,vacuuming,dusting,picking up dog poop, cleaning up dog vomit, and making dinner .
I tell myself; “With alcohol I can over-ride how much I dislike these unending tasks, and laugh at myself and my life decisions. I can see the humor in the craziness of it all.”
I don’t know why I’ve led myself to believe that I need to be drinking in order to get to that place in my own mental attitude. And this is where I realize where I have suppressed and stunted my own development.
I remember someone telling me; that the age a person first gets drunk, will be the mental attitude they return to every time they get drunk there after. And through the years I have tried to test this theory out, by asking people how old they were the first time they got drunk, and then observing them when they do get drunk. I would venture to say, the theory holds pretty strong.
I’ve met a lot of people who started partying when they were twelve and thirteen years old. Those ages are hormonal/ emotional roller coasters. Men that I have met, who started drinking that young, tend to be more destructive or mischievous when they get drunk. Women, tend to get kind of high and giggly and/or highly emotional. I think the influence of how vulnerable that age is, plays into the brain physiology long term.
“One aspect of brain functioning that is commonly studied in youths as well as older adults is neuropsychological performance,1 which includes memory function, attention, visuospatial skills, and executive functioning (e.g., planning, abstract reasoning, and goal-directed behavior). (1 The term “neuropsychological performance” refers to performance on standardized tests of thinking and memory skills.) Several studies have suggested that heavy alcohol use in young people appears to be associated with potentially long-term deleterious effects on neuropsychological functioning.” -National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
I am wondering if cultural standards and norms regarding alcohol consumption, that differ in other countries, effect the epigenetics of their people; which in turn is going to relate to neuropsychological performance of those people on some level.
For instance, children are allowed to drink in many European countries. Does the acceptance of that practice lead to better boundaries around alcohol? Is the society more relaxed about alcohol, and therefore use it in a different manner (more or less respect)? Do European countries have a higher addiction rate than the US, whose laws are different in regard to the age of consumption; or are American funded Studies, speaking for the whole world when they say to abstain from alcohol until (American) legal adulthood, (also known as “when the brain is fully developed)?
We’ve seen what can happen to society when alcohol is forcefully taken away. Alcohol has existed in many forms for centuries. It is ingrained in almost every nook and cranny of culture. Creating alcohol, in it’s easiest form, can be unintentional.
I remember cleaning out my locker, my senior year. And at the bottom of everything, there was a glass bottle of apple juice I had taken a couple of drinks out of, at the beginning of the school year, re-capped it, and put it in my locker. Experimental and curious, I opened the bottle and as I did the liquid began to frantically fizz, and the whole hallway began to smell like hard cider… oops!
All it takes to make some alcohol, is sugar, yeast, water and time.
It might be time to look at alcohol in a completely new way. I am not sure what that looks like yet.
I think this blog post has inspired some creativity for me… You will have to stay tuned to see how all that pans out.
If you learned something new from this post, give it a like, a comment and a share!
And if you just stumbled in for the first time, and want to read more about my Dry July experiences and revelations, click the links below!
Cheers, and have a lovely day!