Published On: July 2, 20211553 words7.8 min read

 

Which do you choose?

People who drink do not see the disconnect in alcohol. People who quit drinking see the connect in people. The thing is, we are living with an evil demon called Covid now. That has changed the world a lot. And it has changed the way we think.

One of the most rapidly changing thoughts is the one about alcohol. Drink more, drink less, stop drinking altogether. The Covid demon has, on the one side, created worse addiction and psychological disorder globally than ever before. And on the other hand, it has kick-started a movement towards health and deeper knowing or spirituality.

Ditching the Drink and Changing Patterns

I know a lot of people who have ditched the drink because they have come to terms with their own addiction problems. They have taken the Covid year to sort their stuff out. They now make a point of sitting in therapeutic Zoom meetings most of the day. Just to connect with others. Just to talk and share.

All this during the past 20 months when the world was struck by a pandemic. So much has happened during this time, and so much has not happened. Sitting alone at home during unnatural lockdowns has created worse addiction on the one hand, and deeper intuition and the will to survive on the other.

I mean, what DO you do during lockdown in your country? Crack open another beer? Stash the 5l wine casks under the stairs? The Forces that Be tell you: you may not go out, you may not work, you may not visit your family, you may not drink alcohol and you MUST wear a mask.

How does that make you feel?

Many a drinker has said, “F*ck that, I will drink. I will find alcohol on the black market.” And then they sit alone at home and drink. They disconnect. They brood. They forget to eat, or they eat too much. They cannot exercise and they prefer not to shower or change or clean the place. Drinking is so much easier.

Get the picture?

Many a non-drinker has said,” Sigh, OK I will do my daily yoga classes, I will read my self-help blogs and listen to my podcasts. I will call friends and have lots of online meetings with those I care about.” Many a non-drinker used to be a drinker. And only decided to make The Change in 2020 when the pandemic forced unnatural change in their lives.

Being Out of Control is Scary

To be in control. Is that not what we want? Being out of control is scary. I personally like to feel in control. Of my life, my emotions, my daily routines, my work and my home with all its messiness and noise. Suddenly, someone pulled the rug out from under us. Many of us fell, hard. Others staggered, grabbed a support and continued on a different tack.

I believe that the Coronavirus Pandemic has changed the way many people think about alcohol – and connection. Sure, many people are drinking more than ever before. Their drinking crept up on them and they are now stuck in a several glasses a day habit where before they only dabbled in drinking on the weekends. But many people have started to think deeper.

WHY is the coronavirus here? HOW can I avoid getting the virus? There is still retrenchment, no money, boredom, frustration and anger as we all sit at home twiddling our thumbs and stressing.  Andy Palmer was watching how the lockdown recently eased in the UK. He asks:

“Has drinking crept up on you, nudged its way into areas of your life where it wasn’t before? Now that we can see what looks like a glimmer of hope that things are getting back to normal, maybe you’re considering your relationship with alcohol and how it should fit into your life….  Many people will feel the draw of heading straight to the pub to socialise with their friends, as that’s one of the things that’s been sorely missing. But think about whether you really want to, and whether you could opt for a hot drink in a beer garden instead.”

The situation in the UK reflects that in South Africa: “A lot of people drink to deal with problems like stress, bereavement or money concerns. Unemployment is at a record high, which can’t be helping.”

How can You Deal with Stress in a Healthy Way?

Are there other ways to deal with these stresses? How can you change your relationship with alcohol today? How can you protect yourself and your families from the coronavirus and a compromised immune system?

A 2015 issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews (ARCR) summarizes the evidence that alcohol disrupts immune pathways in complex and seemingly paradoxical ways. These disruptions can impair the body’s ability to defend against infection, contribute to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption, and impede recovery from tissue injury.”

The article notes that research has found a link between heavy drinking and a weakened immune system, to the point of being susceptible to pneumonia. This lung condition is one of the harsh symptoms of Covid too.  In fact, scientists are saying that heavy drinking is linked to “a greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and certain cancers; a higher incidence of postoperative complications; and slower and less complete recovery from infection and physical trauma, including poor wound healing.”

So that means that drinking also makes you more susceptible to Covid 19. And you will be really ill if you get the dreaded virus. Covid has had a massive psychological effect on millions of people globally, all ages. Getting supremely healthy and mentally able is the goal for more people as the world changes rapidly before our very eyes.

If you too drank more these past 36 months, consider joining the ranks of the many Americans who are stopping drinking. And research emerges about the evils of alcohol and the lies about how much is good for you are quelled, the basic truth is that alcohol is poison.

Protect Your Immune System

The bottom line is that not only does alcohol compromise the immune system, but so too does alcohol cause cancer and many other dis-eases. The American National Cancer Institute notes that “the more alcohol a person drinks—particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time—the higher his or her risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer. Even light drinkers (those who have no more than one drink per day) and binge drinkers have a modestly increased risk of some cancers …a recent study… concluded that the optimal number of drinks to consume per day to minimize the overall risk to health is zero…”

Welcome to the rise of the sober curious movement. What will I feel like if I am sober? How will my life improve? These are questions drinkers are asking and they fall in line with dry spells that extend into months and then years. Online recovery coaching is big now as are Alcohol Free drinks and craft fake gins and wines. This movement is fighting the advertising campaigns that lie that booze is sexy and needed. Being sober during the world’s problems is seen as heroic. Taking to the bottle is self-defeating and meaningless.

You can run but you cannot hide. Covid is here to stay, in all its mutations and permutations. Humans must learn to live with it. So, we need to boost our immune systems. That means avoid any substance that weakens our bodies. Alcohol weakens both body and mind.

Alcohol is the big disconnect. People crave connection. One huge fallout from Covid is the loneliness epidemic that has hit the world. Satellites buzz around in space transmitting literally millions and zillions of Zoom and other online meetings every second of every minute. Connection on a screen is better than nothing. Connection in the flesh in the real winner. Boost all your happy hormones the connection way, not the addiction way.

Loneliness is a Health Hazard

Did you know that loneliness also causes inflammation? The same way that too much eating, too much drinking and ill-health cause inflammation? Being lonely is a health hazard. Turning to the wine only makes you lonelier. In an article in the Harvard Gazette, Jeremy Noble said, “Isolation is the objective state of being physically separate. Loneliness is the self-perceived gap between our social connectedness and that which we aspire to have.”

He added that loneliness is a risk factor for depression, suicide, and addiction. “He put its ill health effects on a par with smoking and obesity and said its physiological impacts include increased inflammation — which has been implicated in negative health consequences — and decreased immune response, both potentially important during pandemic times.”

Returning to my introduction: People who drink do not see the disconnect in alcohol. People who quit drinking see the connect in people. The thing is, we are living with an evil demon called Covid now. That has changed the world a lot. And it has changed the way we think.

What do YOU think? If you need to change your lifestyle then why not do the Sober July? Chat to Tribe Sober today! Join their Instagram page HERE.

 

 

 

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