alcohol is the world’s most addictive and most dangerous drug
Alcohol kills more people each year than all the other drugs combined ~ world-wide some three-million people a year will die from alcohol related causes. Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, meth, prescription drugs, tobacco…. all added together don’t kill as many people as booze. One third of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol. Booze will cause alcoholic poisoning, malnutrition, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, cancers, a fatal coma, liver failure, pancreatitis, pneumonia, multiple organ failure, fatal accidents, suicides….. And when you end up in the emergency room the doctors and nurses will treat you like shit.
Yet drinking booze is socially acceptable, in fact if you don’t drink most people will think you are rather strange. And, if you used to be a boozer, and stop, and then go out with your old circle of friends, they will pressure you to take a drink and indulge all of your other addictions. And these are supposed to be your friends?
If you drink, then over time your drinking will get worse and worse until it kills you. Before the booze kills you, you will know physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual suffering.
Of all those people who try to stop drinking, only 2.5% will make it to 90 days sober. Of that 2.5%, only 2.5% will make it to 2 years, that’s 2.5 people out of every 1,000 who will be sober 2 years after they made the decision to stop drinking. Be one of the 0.25% who succeed. You have a better chance of success if you get help.
Those who tell themselves that they want to control their drinking, or stop all together, may try some futile and self-destructive strategies;
- lying to themselves about how much they are drinking ~ denial is dangerous
- switching from spirits to wine to beer, drinking only organic booze
- limiting the number of drinks they have ~ that never, ever works
- resigning their job and moving from where they are to somewhere different ~ this is called doing a geographical
- religion, counselling, hypnosis, psychotherapy, doctors, taking anti-drinking medication ~ I have seen people on antibuse drink a hell of a lot in a session
- drinking in different bars where nobody knows them
- switching to a different addiction; smoking, gambling, unsafe casual sex, using other drugs, stealing, impulsive spending ~ although the chances are that real boozers were doing all those things at the same time they were drinking
- joining a gym, sports club, walking club, doing yoga, meditation classes…..
None of the above really works because most boozers are liars and cheats. You will drink again if you don’t do something radically different. Take a long hard look at yourself and accept that nobody and nothing is responsible for your drinking except you, and what’s going on with you. And if you are brutally honest with yourself, then you will probably be confused because you have no idea why you drink. The brutal honesty is good ~ stay with that
Don’t worry about the confusion for now ~ for now, just stay away from that next first drink. Next, stay away from everywhere you used to drink, and all those toxic false friends you used to drink with. Give up on all your other addictions. Now find yourself some support; Alcoholics Anonymous, counselling, hypnosis, psychotherapy, doctors, the church, sober friends, YouTube…..
And over the next 90 days find out the truth of why you drink, and deal with that. In my case I was drinking because I have Borderline Personality Disorder, and now I am dealing with that.
Some say that you are just a worthless alcoholic, and will never think that you are anything else. And some say that they never want to see you again. All I know is that everyone has the angel of recovery inside them.
single malt scotch was my drug of choice
Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness. ~ Seneca
There’s a 1945 film noir called The Lost Weekend, starring Ray Milland, which explores the really bad side of drinking far too much. The lead character literally loses an entire weekend ~ and then tries to kill himself over the things he learns when all the misery and pain start to come back to him.
Alcohol and suicide go together like ham and eggs.
As it goes, any booze at all counts as drinking far too much for me. I have no tolerance for alcohol whatsoever. Most people can take a couple of drinks in safety; nothing really bad happens to them. These days I can’t even smell strong drink without something bad happening to me.
Ignorance is a lot like alcohol: the more you have of it, the less you are able to see its effect on you. ~ Jay Bylsma.
I took a couple of drinks on April 13th, and didn’t really come around again until April 19th ~ that’s very bad. I lost a whole week out of my life, and for what? I don’t even enjoy the best wines anymore
Night Sweats, Night Terrors, Nightmares, Sleep Terrors.
Night Terrors are not Nightmares ~ typically a nightmare happens when you’re in deep dream sleep, whereas night terrors wake you up, so the experience of a night terror is one of wakefulness. Night terrors are also different from Sleep Terrors, because a night terror will wake you up, whereas with a sleep terror you will have all the symptoms of extreme fear, but you will stay asleep. If you are awake, or partially awake, and terrified in the night, then the chances are you are suffering from night terrors, (which are a recognised psychological disorder).
Nightmares usually occur in the early morning during REM sleep when our dreams are at their most vivid. More often than not we can remember all the cinematographic details of a long, scary nightmarish dream when we first wake. On the other hand, night terrors usually happen during the first part of the night, aren’t part of REM sleep, and we won’t remember anything much other than waking up / being awake in a terrified state.
Typically, night terrors are caused by a previous psychological trauma, (such as an abusive childhood), or by stress, or by substance abuse, (such as drinking too much just before bedtime). However, as one of the causes of drinking too much before bedtime is a mental illness like Borderline Personality Disorder, which is itself probably caused by a previous psychological trauma, it’s fair to say that if you suffer from night terrors you’re probably drinking too much and suffered some severe disturbance / abuse / trauma in your past. Chances are if you’re in that situation you’re also feeling very pressured right now, and suffering from the symptoms of undue stress. It’s an illogical Catch-22 situation.
If you suffer from night terrors it’s likely that you wake very suddenly with an intense fear of something unknown / a nameless dread. Your heart will be beating fast, you will be breathing hard and fast, your blood pressure will be elevated, your eyes will be wide and staring, and you will be sweating. This is different from night sweats, which is severe and excessive sweating, without the associated terror. The common causes of night sweats are medical, and some of them are very nasty, such as cancer. However, one other cause of night sweats is drinking too much.
What night terrors will do to you is prevent you from getting the 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep that most adults need every night. As well as making you feel tired, lethargic, and irritable, not getting enough sleep can cause lots of nasty illnesses such as; high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease.
The most likely advice if you have night terrors when you get beyond your teens is that you should see a doctor. Good luck with that one, because the only real cure for night terrors is to treat the underlying problem(s). That will mean doing something about the effects of any psychological trauma in your past, and cutting out whatever drug you’re taking too much of late at night ~ including coffee, booze, prescription drugs, street drugs…
There are some very common-sense things you can do if you suffer from night terrors, sleep terror, nightmares, and / or night sweats ~ without resorting to medication and a long period of talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. None of these are easy, or likely to give you a quick fix, but you should consider;
- Giving up booze completely, or cutting down a lot, and never drinking late at night.
- Quitting smoking ~ and if you smoke do not have a cigarette last thing at night.
- Stop using street drugs, and talk to your doctor about any prescription medication you are on.
- Late at night don’t drink coffee, and don’t eat a meal within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime.
- Stay hydrated. The average person needs 3 litres / 6 pints of water a day ~ but tea, coffee, wine, and beer don’t really help you to stay properly hydrated.
- Do not take a nap during the day, especially don’t take an afternoon nap.
- Go to bed at the same reasonable time every night, (if you need to be up at 7 am you need to be in bed at 10 pm), and get up at the same reasonable time each morning. Stick to this sleep schedule, even at weekends. Changing the time you go to bed, and the time you get out of bed, wrecks your internal body clock.
- Wind down in the evenings. Don’t use social media late at night or first thing in the morning. Instead practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as meditation and listening to relaxing, classical music.
- During the day get at least an hour of fresh air and moderate / vigorous / strenuous exercise.
- Make sure your bedroom is right for sleep. Your bedroom should be clean, tidy, quiet, very dark, still, and fairly cool, (between 60 and 67 degrees F). You really do need to sleep in total darkness and quiet.
- Make certain your mattress and pillows are comfortable for you. If your mattress is good quality it should last 10 years, after that, get a new one.
- Keep a sleep diary.
An episode of night terror can be brought on by worry, stress, emotional tension, fatigue, conflict, and especially too much alcohol late at night, (or more likely a combination of factors, including booze). How much is too much alcohol? Actually, too much booze is however many drinks puts your health and well-being at risk. For me, one drink is one too many.
After suffering night terrors you are likely to be utterly inconsolable, grown women, (and men), may cry, and the event may be so disturbing that your mind will wipe most of it from your memory. The next morning you won’t be able to remember what terrified you.
In adults, it is most likely that night terrors, sleep terrors, and nightmares have an underlying cause of previous severe stress, trauma, mental and / or physical abuse, and subsequent mental disorders and generalised anxiety. In fact, the underlying causes of sleep problems can be very similar to the underlying causes of addiction.
Not getting enough good quality sleep is a serious matter. The consequences are severe, up to and including death. If you’re suffering from night terrors, sleep terrors, nightmares, night sweats, then you really do need to take action right away. Start with the tips I’ve given above, but if you have to, go and see your doctor.
You are your own biggest asset.
A week or so ago I was at the dentist to have a bad tooth extracted. This should be a simple procedure, but most of this tooth had already broken off and the young dentist didn’t think he tould extract it by normal methods. So, he used a probe and tried to lever / pull it out. Then he used the probe, a lot of strength, and a small hammer. That mostly didn’t work. All that happened was that more and more of the tooth got broken off.
So, he took some more X-rays and referred me to the local dental hospital for surgery.
My first consultation is in a month’s time.
In the meantime I have some pain, I’m taking antibiotics, and strong pain medication. For a couple of days I tried adding booze to that mixture, which was a stupidly disastrous idea.
I can’t eat, can’t sleep, struggle to drink anything, struggle to talk, and thinking is a problem. It’s going to take weeks to sort this out. In this condition I could not safely work. Even in England, the cost of dentistry / medical bills / travel will be high. My immediate personal plans are up in the air.
This is all my own fault for putting off routine dentistry, and allowing dentists to do what they wanted to do, (cosmetic work), instead of what was really important. I did not take responsibility for my own health.
Without good health your financial situation is uncertain.
We should look after our own health;
- Don’t smoke, drink excessively, or abuse drugs.
- Take sensible exercise, eat properly, and get plenty of sleep.
- Don’t neglect routine healthcare.
But, most importantly, we should take full responsibility for our own health, and don’t just accept everything the ‘professionals’ tell us. The healthcare system doesn’t have as much invested in our own health as we do.
In one way or another poor health will cost you a fortune and destroy the quality of your life.
Coffee ~ I am giving up coffee for a month.
Just lately, I’ve noticed that around mid morning I’ve been feeling anxious and jittery, as though something bad was going to happen. Now it may well be that I’m prescient, and something really bad is about to happen to me, or to someone I care for. But, thinking about it, the more likely explanation for my endogenous anxiety is that I’m drinking too much coffee. Therefore, I have decided to be abstinent from coffee for one month from today ~ Thursday June 9th.
Giving up coffee for a while could also:
- improve my general health
- stop the jitters I get from time to time
- help with my quest to lower my blood pressure
- alleviate my terrible insomnia
- cure the constant headache I’ve had since March 23rd this year
- mean that I’m not always on the lookout for a bathroom
I thought about drinking decaffeinated coffee instead, but I’ve tried it and it’s as horribly pointless as alcohol-free beer. As I’m also abstinent from alcohol, I found a better alternative to booze in sparkling water, (club soda). For the next month, my better alternative to coffee is going to be green tea.
Allegedly, green tea has its own range of benefits.
Abstinence is giving up something you find pleasurable. So, as well as booze and coffee, I’m also giving up
- refined sugar
- wheat ~ it seems wheat is very bad for you, so no bread, nor cake
- eating foods full of preservatives, (which means buying organic produce)
- eating any pre-prepared or take-out food, which are always full of salt, sugar, and preservatives
- watching tv for more than 1 hour a day ~ take more exercise instead
- perfectionism ~ I am too much the all or nothing man, and far too judgemental
Giving up perfectionism may not happen, but I’ll try.
I will let you know how successful I’ve been on Monday July 11th.
Wish me luck.
Lent is a Christian Festival ~ sometimes I don’t feel filled with Christian charity, and I will remedy that. For Lent this year I am giving up some of my most cherished character defects.
Between February 10th and March 24th I will not inflict my dangerously negative feelings upon anyone.
Among the things I will not be doing during Lent are that I will not be;
(Please feel free to tell me of any other unpleasant defects of character you would like a less than perfect man to lose.)
Only an inherently evil man like Mr.Hyde, (or an unreconstructed alcoholic), would be pleased to give free rein to actions which stem from those negative character traits. If I feel any of these vile and malevolent emotions and impulses, I will work very hard at not letting them show.
Actually, I am not going to do anything about those nasty, abusive, and negative character defects.
Instead, I am going to be positive and affirmative, calm and peaceful, honest and honourable. I shall walk softly and speak kindly. I will strive to become the perfect English Gentleman.
Also, I shall stay off the booze.