I am making a start to alcohol awareness week wired up on coffee.
I am also reading on the front page of today's Times that more and more professional women are presenting with liver problems due to excessive drinking.
|Better stop committing crimes whilst drinking|
I am not even going looking for this stuff. It's everywhere. I consume the daily drip of news articles on alcohol (whilst bearing in mind most journalism on science is misleading and most medical studies have gaping flaws) and I look at our behaviour and I wonder. I really wonder.
Search the hashtag #alcoholawarenessweek and you get a barrage of frightening stats, advice and very well-meaning people desperately trying to stop you opening that extra beer or bottle of wine this weekend.
It is perhaps denialist and irresponsible to suggest an apparent level of hysteria. Health professionals and the emergency services see what alcohol is doing to too many people, daily.
|Unless the reason WHY is Because You Enjoy It|
a) you stop drinking
b) you die
Is it a risk worth taking? Well that's the million dollar question. When I think about the happiest times of my life, alcohol has been involved. Would they still be the happiest times of my life without alcohol? No. They wouldn't have happened.
Important, richer and more fulfilling experiences like watching your child being born and getting married don't make you happy in the way alcohol can - these are far more profound episodes that make you a better person and give you a deeper understanding of life. Booze is irrelevant to that.
|Still seems like a good deal|
This year has taught me many things about my relationship with alcohol and the nature of the drug itself. I haven't been afforded any particular insight into my own spiritual well being. There is no clarity. But it has allowed me to stop and see what a teetotal life entails: hard work, fewer smiles, with death lurking at the end of it. I would certainly be a wiser and better person, but I'm not sure I would be happy.
It's premature to come to any firm conclusions right now. It's what I take forward into next year, when I start drinking again, which will really measure how useful this exercise has been. Until then, happy Alcohol Awareness Week. Mine's a latte.
|The Joys of Drinking|