If drinking is good for my health then why do I feel like shit after I drink?
If drinking relaxes me, then why do I feel crippling anxiety after a night of drinking?
Well friends, I hate to tell you, but your beloved bottle of wine is doing more harm than good.
You know this from your own experience, and not because I am telling you.
It's not that hard to find a research study that suggests drinking in moderation is good for the heart. You can easily find some research that implies drinking helps you to live longer.
Believe me, when I say, as a drinker, nothing comforted me more than hearing science was on my side, and drinking was good for my health.
The bad news is, these studies are often funded by alcohol companies.
The outcomes are often based on factors other than alcohol.
In all the studies key word is moderation, which typically means one 5 oz glass of wine per day.
We would all like to think we are just moderate drinkers, but having one glass a day equals 7 glasses a week.
In many cases, 7 drinks a week qualifies as heavy drinking.
Heavy drinking is always categorized as risky, so these numbers don't add up.
You don’t need a documented study to tell you what the effects of alcohol are on your body and your health.
How does it make you feel?
Anyone that has experienced a hangover, knows that alcohol is a form of poison.
If you, like me, used alcohol as a coping tool to ease feelings of anxiety, you know the boomerang effect it has.
A sip of wine does temporarily calm you and then comes back twofold, usually sometime around 3 am.
In my own life, I have had classmates die from drinking and driving, a neighbor’s Grandpa died from falling down the stairs drunk, and a friend die in her 40’s, after numerous warnings about drinking, drank herself to literal death.
Alcohol is not good for your health. It is the third preventable cause of death in the US.
I personally know the negative effects alcohol use disorder has on a person, because I experienced them myself.
I used alcohol to self medicate my own uncomfortable emotions.
Over time, a glass of wine a day turned into a bottle a day, for me to experience the same relief.
I was becoming anxious, depressed, and so bloated that didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.
I felt like I was sinking faster and faster into the quicksand of addiction.
I was desperately seeking out the very thing I knew was hurting me, and I couldn't stop.
I broke many promises to myself.
It was a struggle to get out.
Alcohol was the poison and the cure, which created a vicious cycle of dependence and addiction.
Anyone who becomes dependent on a substance knows how it feels to start to feel out of control, when you are doing something that you don't want to be doing.
Eventually, I needed a drink, not for a buzz, but to starve off the feeling of withdrawal.
Like anything, you can find a study that supports what you want to hear.
If you want to hear alcohol is helping you live a happy and healthy life, you can believe it a study that says so.
If reading this study is providing relief to you, it may be because you know better.
You know you are drinking too much and it is hurting you.
You don't need a doctor or scientist to tell you how you feel, when you already know.
The fact is, alcohol is an addictive substance and it affects people differently.
You don’t need a quiz on the internet to tell you if its hurting you or not.
You only need to ask yourself, are my drinking habits getting me closer or farther away from my goals and dreams?
For me, being “not that bad” kept me from being my best for far too long.
Now, 2 years alcohol free, I can say I was definitely drinking “too much”, because of how good I feel without it.
Removing alcohol improved every area of my life.
You can take a break and see for yourself how you feel.
You don’t have to worry about whether you should quit for good or figure out how to moderate.
Just remove alcohol for a period of time and observe how you feel.
Most people concerned about their drinking want to figure out a way to keep drinking, but stop the negative consequences from drinking.
I get it.
So did I.
In my experience, the only way to to evaluate your relationship with alcohol is to take a break from it.
You can’t decide what you want your ideal relationship to alcohol to be when you are drinking.
Alcohol affects your brain and decision making skills.
You must take a break from alcohol to explore how you feel without it and then decide how to move forward.
For me, a 100 day sober experiment planted the seeds of confidence and change that would ultimately lead me to gladly choosing an alcohol free life.
It took 3 years from my first sober experiment to my final Day 1 without alcohol.
Everyone’s story is different, but I don’t know anyone that wishes they drank more.
I only know people who have had the courage to question their drinking habits.
I know most people are scared to start.
I was terrified of a life without alcohol.
I was afraid I would be bored, lose friends, and feel sadness and longing all the time.
None of those fears came true.
I am healthier, happier, and I have more friends since ditching the drink.
If you’d like to give it a try, I’d love to help!