7:41 AM 

I have a very special relationship with alcohol, but this post is not about my experience, my taste, and my story, but it's a little educational post which shall connect us closer. 
Maybe our current situation makes me write this, or maybe the rebel inside of me wants to show and educate you on how much you put inside of you matters on your whole being.
 

I guess everybody knows what alcohol is and again, I am not here to ruin your fun, but I am writing this post today with a concern and a little open discussion for everybody. 


Let's be honest, with or without the current pandemic, alcohol is a very important part of our daily life. This doesn't mean that everybody is drinking alcohol and everybody depends on some glasses everyday, but the majority of people enjoy alcohol and own a lot of it in their homes. 

Thinking about alcohol, the taste, and the feeling, many only drink to create a certain vibe to relax to or to connect closer with the people they are with - it's a sociable drink.
For many it only brings positive attributes along. For others, it's heavyly connected with negative attributes. But how did this all start? 

Hundrets of years ago, it was more than normal to consume alcohol and people even believed in healing properties when drinking alcohol. Even monks in the monestry were drinking and producing their own alcohol... it must have been something good.  A first change came with the sixteenth century, when an abstinence movement started and people realized that too much alcohol isn't good for the body. Alcoholics were even punished with hard penalties. With the industrialization coming, it even got a bit worse. The lower working class was escaping from working so many hours a day by drinking. Even worse, the companies supported the drinking habits of their employees and paid many of them with hard liquor, which was actually a big warning which was only seen from a little number of people, such as the industrial union. In medical terms, doctors studied more and more about alcohol, its effects, and benefits, defining if alcohol is whether a threat or not. In Germany, it was pronounced as being a disease around the late 1960s... interesting. 

Society is full of free-thinkers, inspiring minds, and opinions - alcohol has been in debates forever. Many are in favor of alcohol, others don't need it, some try to consume less, and others have serious problems with it. There is no real right or wrong - it's just about the how and why mostly. 

Just think about your own story with alcohol. Even if you are not drinking, even if you only drink on certain happenings. How was alcohol approached to you? Did your family drink and enjoy it a lot? Did you grow up with friends enjoying life a lot? Thinking about the role of alcohol, it's funny that today it is added to any celebration and moments that matter. We drink on birthdays, weddings, we cheer into the new year with alcohol, any kind of party is accompanied by alcohol - basically anything screams for alcoholic fun.


It is like we are designed to take alcohol to any event that matters to us to simply function. It is a society thing. It must be. Being conform and decent during our daily makes many of us break free when celebrating a big moment. Alcohol has been an outlet to let loose, just relax, and let go of anything that stresses us. 


Many of us imitate parents, trying to understand what they put inside their bodies and if we enjoy the same things they enjoy. I did this with my parent's coffee consume... ever since I was little, I was so intrigued to drink coffee, because I loved how my parents would gather with friends and family and just have a good time with their cups of coffee and plenty of laughter. That's cool, I want the same. This is how alcohol introduction works as well. 

Alcohol is such a complex thing to discover and I guess on every continent it is a very popular legal "drug" that you can get. Even without having a first sip of alcohol, we learn early that alcohol is a way to achieve calm and a moment of relaxation for the brain and body. This is inviting to anyone. All of a sudden we get more social, we might put down our guards, and the wildest stories can happen. Can.... it's not a must.

I guess everyone makes their own experiences and we all develop a certain taste on what we continue to consume and what drinks become our favorites. In those numbers, we also find many people who actually develop a healthy attitude and decide to go against alcohol, because drinking it might give them headaches, dizziness, and nausea. I bet everyone knows someone who regularly passed out on alcohol and maybe vomitted. There are so many levels on how much alcohol can play tricks with our bodies. Some accept this, others say no to it. 

Well, this is the first point I'd like to underline here. The effect of alcohol on human beings is always different. Always. It depends on the person who is consuming the drink, not the people you find yourself with. Just because friend A drinks 3 beers and a half bottle of vodka, doesn't mean that friend B will be drinking the same stuff feeling the same way. Friend A might be drunk already - Friend B might be feeling nothing or maybe a little headache - the feeling and the effects always differ! And that is why we are not allowed to judge on a: how much a person decides to drink when being open for alcohol and b: if a person directly says no to alcohol, because of these reasons


How alcohol makes you feel depends on: 

  • how healthy you are 
  • how much you weigh
  • how regularly you are consuming alcohol
  • the mood you are in today!!!
  • and whom you are drinking with (many people don't want to drink by themselves and love to motivate their friends to "share the pain of hangovers etc." - again, drinking is a social event)


aha, that means drinking in a group is actually silly, because everyone will have their own experience... yeah.

For any grown-up person, this makes sense, and many of us know the rules of drinking, because we've made certain experiences. But how can a child or a teenager approach to this? Especially the under 18 year olds take alcohol as a social event and party booster. Nothing else. 



Let's focus on Germany for a second. The first alcoholic consume starts with 13,8 years and asking 16-17 year olds, you will find over 90% who already experienced drinking. Nothing new.

 

No matter what your position is, I hope you choose with the right thoughts in mind. Alcohol is not bad... but we need to understand the effects and the general usage of alcohol. 

More importantly, we need to dig in deeper what alcohol means to us. 
Why is there always a pro alcohol side which is accepted, but a non-alcoholic side is being laughed about... It brings a lot of tension. 

This tension is actually getting so bad that in times of Corona, I am getting worried about my fellow people who love to spend their lockdowns drinking and getting lost in their own four walls. 

Yes, you might read through the lines that I am not drinking anymore. I am not shaming anyone who likes to drink. I used to drink, too, I just decided to eliminate alcohol out of my life, because of my health. Period. 

As you all, I experience a lockdown, our 3rd already, as well. I feel weird about it, too. I feel lost sometimes, I feel alone a lot, and I miss normality. I might bake and cook this stress away, others decide to drink more alcohol. Alright. 

We need to understand that alcohol is a drug. It is addictive. Okay. 


When we believe that alcohol is the only option that can give a special meaning or sense to our day, then we should sit down for a second and rethink our habit. 


In the newspaper, I've read that in Germany, the sale of chocolate santas went back and the number of alcohol sale went higher. Again - we all have habits and this current situation is doing a lot with our mental health right now, so we all reach to things that make us happy. The difference is that alcohol can make us forget for a moment, it can make us relax, it can make us giggle and feel free, but this state can last a bit longer in turning into headaches, a lot of body complaints, and you might feel worse than before. Just think about the habit you can create with consuming too much alcohol. Being addicted to alcohol is something totally different than being addicted to Cheetos. Dumb example, but you get the point. 


I am not saying that our society, especially the under 40 year olds become addicts, but I am saying that our habits are getting a bit more serious and a trend is definitely showing us that we trust our alcohol more than ever. Is our daily life so fucked up that alcohol seems to be the best solution? 


Well, let me tell you, since we are dealing with a lot of anxiety right now (admit it or not), it is not making sense to fight anxiety with something that can actually increase anxiety. Again, kids, folks, people, friends. Alcohol is a drug and being an addict to something that harms the body is not a positive thing. We do destroy cells in our brain and we bring a lot of damage to our bodies - you're welcome. 

Alcohol changes the chemical makeup in the brain which alters in mood, energy levels, sleepting patterns, general concentration, and also your memory. Basically, your whole routine will be messed up... Others also experience an increase in aggression, many more also turn to self-harm and suicide. This circle is more than dangerous. Again..what was this for again? You get my point. 

What's even more paradox, is the fact that consuming regularly a lot of alcohol will have such a big impact on your body that you don't even know how to cope with tough times anymore. You basically unlearn a lot of patterns which matter so much... and then you escape through alcohol again? This can't be working. In times were we need to learn how to cope and how to stay focused and strong, alcohol should be the least best friend of us. Think about the long run...

If you try to cure your anxiety through alcohol, you might see some benefits the first time you are drinkig alcohol, because you can finally relax, but what does your body interpret in that? Well, it means I can only be a certain way when I consume.... okay, then let's have a drink everytime I want to feel relaxed. Let's have a drink when I want to breathe for a second. One glass... just one. And maybe a second one. 


To reduce stress or anxiety without alcohol, try exercise or relaxation methods, such as meditation or yoga. Or try breathing techniques when you feel worried or anxious. Talking to somebody you know about how you’re feeling is also a positive thing to do and it feels sexier than a glass of wine or whatever you like to drink. 


Again, and again: I don't want you to throw away all of your alcohol and destroy your beautifully arranged mini bar. I want us to focus on what matters right now: health. Recovering, healing, and especially surving this pandemic in the best way we can. Please don't adopt patterns now which are hard to get rid of again. 

A study from my beautiful hometown showed that during the lockdown, 3000 people were asked about their alcohol consume and the result was an increase of 37%. Okay. 

We need to find balance, yo.


Mental health is something we need to fix with mind work and a lot of ressources that can't get along with any drug. We need to stay sober to be happy. Period. 


Don't forbid yourself to treat yourself - juuust be mindful. We need to learn to adapt healthy habits. Knowing your body, knowing your limits. Know yourself. Be good to yourself. Don't mess up your mental health with toxic stuff. 

*don't watch too much YouTube, where people film "get ready with me while being drunk or getting drunk". What the actual fuck. Sorry, this is no entertainment at all and there is no message no nothing. People don't even warn younger viewers... this is all about clicks and propaganda. Yes, I'm a party pooper here, you're welcome. This really disgusts me. 


Just remember, when drinking, drink mindful. When drinking, think about the rule that women should only drink one glass a day, men are allowed to drink up to two glasses. 
At least two days during a week should be spent without alcohol at all, before you create a permanent habit. 

Having so much time off right now, we might all sit down and rethink our habits - not only alcoholic habits. The holiday season was a big season with alcohol and a lot of over-treating ourselves which might have gotten a little out of control. That's why in January, many people advocate for "Dry January" - 4 weeks without a drop of alcohol, a movement, many want to join, because they want to start as clean as possible into the new year. 

A good thing if you ask me. 

With this, I want to show you that the world of alcohol is complex. We still find ourselves in a society that promotes the sale of alcohol. We are seeing alcohol as a very important part of social gathering. And then, we also stress the fact to take a break from it as well. But what is happening in between? People who decide to not drink still face a lot of judgement and there are way too many opinions on abstinence. Shaming, guilt, peer pressure - alcohol should be taken seriously at any age, because these mind games can do a lot with our mental health and general happiness. 

So what will the future of alcohol be like? Talking for myself, I hope that society will be stop asking me questions about why I don't drink. I wish to be respected just as much as a pregnant woman who is not allowed to drink. I want people to stop asking me if I am actually having fun in life, since I stopped drinking. I want to live a life without explaining myself and position. Just as much as we have a free taste on food and movies, I want alcohol to be a free topic without rules and judgement. But I want to emphasize alcohol education. In school, we learn a lot about smoking and how bad it is, but somehow, alcohol always finds a way to be in a very cool and positive spotlight. The entertainment and media industry might be a big part of that, too. 

Since mental health is getting more and more attention, we might find ourselves talking about these issues and topics more in the near future. Why not? We want to live a good life. A fulfilled life. Why not knowing about every little thing that helps us bloom and thrive? Sharing is caring and an education on things like this matter, because this is what ends the cycle of living a good life. 


You can live a very happy life with or without alcohol. Be free in testing, be free in exploring, be free to say no. But be mindful about your mental health and your problems. Alcohol is definitely not the solution - to anything. 

Cheers. 



If you find yourself in a serious situation, here's some help and support for you:

Germany: 

Kenn Dein Limit 
Sucht & Drogen Hotline 

English speaking support:

Alcohol Abuse Hotline
American Addiction Center 
Teen Addiction Hotline