An interesting read of new research which has identified areas of the brain that cause alcohol addiction.
Here is an interesting article from The Guardian newspaper about the effect that alcohol and hangovers have on the brain, particularly in reference to anxiety.
“I am done looking for love where it doesn’t exist. I am done coughing up dust in attempts to drink from dry wells.”
― Maggie Young
They say that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and certainly when it comes to alcohol, this seems to be the case.
Growing up, both of my parents were alcohol and drug dependent. Besides the alcohol, my father would smoke super-strength cannabis resin which, to me, resembled a large brown bar of soap. Consequently, he was a violent, arrogant ‘man’ who despite being in a relationship with my mother would also sleep with other women behind her back. In the end, their tumultuous relationship came to an end and this spiralled my mother on her own path with both drink and drugs. Unlike my father, her drug of choice was the strong sleeping pill Tempazepam.
I’ll touch on this some more as I become more comfortable with blogging but their addictions were the major foundations of my childhood. I hate to admit it, but in some ways I have followed their path, especially when it comes to alcohol. Since I took my first drink around thirteen, I don’t think I have ever had a sustained abstinence from it. I use alcohol to lean on, to hide behind, for encouragement and self-confidence. I drink to celebrate. I drink to commiserate. I drink for fun. I drink for the sake of it. I drink, sometimes, even when I don’t feel like it. Quietly, alcohol became my long-time friend. I always thought it could do no wrong, until recently when I was sat alone, in darkness, in a hotel room in Barcelona having ran to the Spanish city on a whim to deal with some of the personal issues I was experiencing. My health was in a bad way, my confidence was non-existent, I’d quit my masters degree at university and it all came down to one thing to varying extent: alcohol. Alcohol was affecting my physical health, my mental health and my overall wellbeing. So I said to myself on that day in Barcelona – January 18, 2019 – that I was going to stop drinking forever. This has yet to happen though…
I never refer to myself as an alcoholic, although being truthful, I probably am. Instead, I refer to myself as a problematic drinker. My drinking pattern is inconsistent. Sometimes I can drink 100 plus units in a week and sometimes I may not drink for a month. But when I do, its always done to the extreme. Too frequently in the past, I’ve been so drunk I’ve blacked out completely with no recollection of where I had been or what I had done. I’d been beaten up and robbed and again, I had no memory of it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have woken in the police cells gaining petty convictions. At least for the past ten years liver function tests have come back as abnormally high indicating that the liver is becoming damaged due to alcohol. So what on Earth will it take for me to realise that life is better without it? Why can I not just say enough is enough? Whilst I may not like to refer to myself as an alcoholic, this is certainly behaviour typical of dependency.
That’s where the blog comes in as I hope I can use it as a resource to overcome my demons and addiction to alcohol. I hope it may connect me with other people in a similar situation to share experiences and encourage each other to spend a future without alcohol.