Do you have a tendency to drink when you’re happy and have something to celebrate?
Do you drink to drown your sorrows?
Perhaps you tend to reach for a drink after a hard day’s work or maybe you simply enjoy socialising with a nice glass of wine or bottle of cold beer.
On the face of it, there really doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with enjoying the odd glass here and there, but it might be useful to take a look at the exact nature of our relationship with alcohol.
Most people tend to drink to relieve stress or simply to alter their emotional state to one that they believe will make them feel better in the short term.
What we fail to realise though, is that alcohol is highly addictive and it can have a very negative impact on our lives both mentally and physically. It can destroy relationships, careers, health, finances and so on.
“I gasped when I suddenly realized that EVERY one of my hangovers was a small death–a little death, but a death all the same … we, as alcoholics, put ourselves through a death every single day, for months, years, decades. How cruel we are to ourselves! Our bodies, minds, and souls deserve so much more” – drunky drunk girl
It’s my view that alcohol can absolutely steal your personal power and prevent you from reaching your full potential and becoming the very best version of yourself.
The way I see it, personal power is the energy that we create within ourselves – it’s the vital energy that puts us on the path to becoming the best that we can be.
Alcohol can be the ultimate confidence trickster often deceiving us into believing that consuming it will be of benefit to us and somehow improve our ability to navigate the world.
At best the excessive consumption of alcohol will keep you living a very average life with your goals forever resigned to a place on your to do list while you exist on a very mundane and unfulfilling level.
At worst it will lead to a premature death!
Alcohol ( especially when consumed excessively) steals our personal power specifically by dumbing us down, making us feel numb and disrupting our energy in different areas of our lives.
“Alcohol is a make – you – stupid drug” – beverly a. potter & sebastian orfarli
The vital energies that it steals from us are mainly
- Hope – No matter what is happening in our lives, hope is the invisible force that inspires us to be optimistic and keep moving forward. Hope helps to pick us up when we’re down. Alcohol steals hope by numbing us and making us feel stuck. It prevents us from re-committing to future goals and from trying to repair broken relationships.
- Happiness and Joy – Its been said that when you drink alcohol you are simply borrowing happiness from tomorrow and I can definitely relate to that. For most people drinking alcohol always feels good in the moment. Those “feel good” chemicals that are released by the brain give us a nice buzz. However those “feel good” chemicals are subsequently followed by stress hormones which create in us an energy of anxiety which tends to last far longer than the initial buzz. So that’s how this trickster works – “Feel Good Now – Pay Later”. Some people develop a tolerance to alcohol and this tolerance simply creates an inner feeling of numbness and reduces our ability to experience joy and happiness on deep levels.
- Creativity – If you’re doing creative work and need to be in a creative zone then don’t drink because quite simply, alcohol will dumb down your brain and sabotage your creativity. When you’re feeling creative, alcohol can be very deceptive. It will promise to bring you fresh ideas and creativity but instead will make you feel lethargic, distracted and restless. In short drinking alcohol simply doesn’t provide a shortcut to creative ideas and will easily zap your creative motivation.
- Productivity- Despite the initial buzz and feeling of relaxation that we get from alcohol, alcohol is actually a depressant that lowers serotonin levels in the brain. This then leads to a diminished mood and increased levels of anxiety and depression. This is why we feel so “bluh”, lazy and unmotivated on the days after drinking.
- Connection to Inner/Higher Self – Well lets face it, most people either consciously or sub consciously drink booze as a way to help then drown out the noise of life and to numb their feelings. The problem with this is that it has the effect of also numbing our connection to our own inner being and drowning out the sound of our intuition.
- Confidence and Self Belief – When we drink, we tend to experience a temporary boost to our levels of confidence and self belief. The effects of alcohol temporarily reduce our feelings of fear and anxiety and lower our inhibitions. However these effects quickly wear off and are replaced with more negative feelings such as depression, anxiety, fear anger,reduced self confidence and minimal self belief.
- Good Health – It’s a documented fact that alcohol leads to all kinds of health complications including DNA and Cell damage.
- Other ways in which alcohol is stealing your power – are that you’ll find that: Your Workouts Suffer – Alcohol consumption is bad news for any fitness activity and can affect your body and brain for several days. Having alcohol in your system can slow your recovery and lead to endurance destroying dehydration. It can also break down the muscle in certain areas especially thighs and glutes . Do also bear in mind that any inflammation brought on by exercise will simply pile on top of the inflammation already caused by alcohol – It Increases Your Appetite and Consequently Your Weight – It Leaves You Fatigued and Zaps Your Brain Power – It Raises Your Blood Pressure – Ruins Your Sleep – Dehydrates you and is bad for your skin- Increases Your Risk of Death – Excessive alcohol use accounts for upto 10% of deaths for adults between 20 and 64 (according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention)
As a result of cultural standards most people don’t believe that their drinking habits are anything to worry about and silently struggle in what is known as the grey area of drinking.
The term “Grey area drinking” describes someone who drinks more than they should but is not considered an alcoholic.
Anyone who is unclear about whether their drinking is problematic will relate to the term “grey area drinking”
Society has us believing that we have to “hit rock bottom” before our drinking becomes a problem that has to be dealt with.
Some of the signs of grey area drinking include:
- The inability to socialize, be intimate,cook, relax or take part in any other ritual without drinking.
- Frequently having regrets about the amounts of alcohol consumed.
- Beginning to sense that alcohol is starting to impact your physical or mental well being
- Intentionally using alcohol to shift your mood and emotions.
- Having to hide your drinking , especially when drinking alone.
- Knowing that you can stop drinking but not being able to do so for long periods of time.
- Physical side effects including hangovers
So as you can see – Alcohol can absolutely steal your power and rob you of your spark and zest for life!
Some people spend so much time going round in circles, spending so much time, money and head space trying to figure out why they feel so numb and trying to regain their spark and zest for life when all they need really need to do, is re evaluate their relationship with alcohol.
Changing your relationship with alcohol may well be the most empowering thing you could ever do.
Understanding the impact that alcohol has on our lives begins with understanding the thoughts and emotions that we have around it. We should ask ourselves why we drink and evaluate the beliefs we hold about alcohol and where they come from.
“One key symptom of alcoholism is that the individual comes to need a drink for every mood–one to calm down, one to perk up, one to celebrate, one to deal with disappointment and so on” – phyllis a. balch
One of the best decisions that I’ve ever made was to drastically reduce my alcohol intake almost to the point of being teetotal except for very special occasions. Since my mid teens alcohol has played a big part of my life because society makes its consumption so acceptable unlike other drugs.
Alcohol was always a great ally for me because I could use it to get through social interactions and just switch off whenever life became challenging as it quite often did.
Luckily I’ve seen the light and understand just how deceptive and destructive alcohol can be. I refuse to let it steal my power and so should you.
Once you’re able to take back your power in this way then you’ll start to experience some remarkable things, namely:
- You have better control of your life
- You’ll be more productive
- You’ll have improved mental and physical health
- You will no longer be prone to letting yourself down hence you’ll have a deeper level of self confidence
- Never feeling hungover – Is 6 hours of drinking really worth 3 days of brain fog?
- You will be forced to deal with your unhealed traumas and unprocessed emotions
- You’ll have greater clarity on the things that bring you joy.