I think that it was the author Lucy Rocca who coined the term Wine Witch. Belle, who writes the blog Tired of Thinking about Drinking, came up with a malevolent wine o’clock voice named Wolfie. In the rational recovery program, the smiling assassin’s Drink Now voice is called The Feast Beast. And indeed, what I felt for years as I slipped further and further into alcohol addiction was an almost supernatural pull to keep repeating the same self-destructive behavior. It didn’t matter how much I understood of the health consequences of my dangerous drinking routine. It didn’t matter that I was high functioning in every other way. It didn’t matter that I was otherwise responsible and together. The inevitability of my nightly wine binge was like walking toward a flame. An enchantment. A spell.
When I was drinking routinely I worried about the health consequences of my nightly binge, but disturbing health-related articles like this, The Top 10 Health Risks of Alcohol for Women, According to an MD, or this, When it comes to cancer, how does alcohol compare to smoking?, did little to help me stop drinking.
Usually, those articles frightened me, which made me want to pour a glass of wine to relax. Cause and effect. Stress led to drinking, and no matter how clear my intention was to have just one glass, that one would often lead to an empty bottle, and more often than not, one bottle would lead to another
Books or articles about the health benefits of moderate drinking had a different effect on me. Articles like this, A Glass Of Red Wine Is The Equivalent To An Hour At The Gym, Says New Study encouraged me to try “moderation” one more time.
After reading the “benefits of moderate drinking” articles I would decide that as I was high functioning in every way I certainly should be able to control my drinking. I would pour a glass in hope rather than fear but the end result would be the same.
Whether driven by fear or hope, once I had that glass of wine in my hand I would feel safe. I would feel invincible. Even after five years happily sober I remember that feeling! It was quite literally me and my wine against the world and the result was such a nasty dichotomy. The Dichotomy of pleasure and pain. The difference between the safe, protected, invincible feeling that I had pouring the second big glass of wine, and the intense anxiety I felt on waking at 3 or 4 in the morning with a dry mouth and hot head not remembering if I’d finished the second bottle ….was an exhausting endless hamster wheel.
What I didn’t understand when I was trapped on the wine o’clock hamster wheel, is that aside from all of those health issues mentioned in that first article above, what alcohol does to you’re brain makes it almost impossible to get a rational hold on the situation and just stop drinking. Alcohol poisons your mind against you. The chemical, the neurological effect, is parasitic.
If you are a woman especially and wondering why you are having trouble stopping or staying stopped, it’s because of this parasitic effect on your brain that is described so well here.
In chronic alcohol use, the brain shrinks faster in women compared with men. The parts of the brain that shrink the most are the cingulate gyrus (part of the limbic system—involved in emotion formation, processing, and motivation) and insula (involved in homeostasis or balance, and also emotion, including compassion, empathy, perception, self-awareness, some cognition and motor control, and interpersonal experience).
Fortunately, sobriety helps you regain lost brain volume. Unfortunately, temporary sobriety and relapse yields no benefit.
Reading that quote is most likely more depressing than inspiring and will most likely make you want a drink, but please stop and think, reach out, start talking about what’s going on, even if you feel like a broken record.
On the plus side, when you stop drinking and stay stopped these brain issues begin to heal. Some heal quickly and some over a couple of years. I experienced it and I have been amazed really. I never expected my brain to become more resilient in sobriety than it was before I started binge drinking but it is. According to Marc Lewis in his book The Biology of Desire our brains not only recover, but they also develop new grey matter in the frontal lobe as we work through recovery. We become better, more creative problem solvers than we were before we became addicted.
Oh and here is the recent research on why no amount of alcohol is good for you
The study referenced in that article will be debated and contradicted by other studies that are funded by people hoping to make a profit off your sinking into the abyss. I’m not interested much in debates anymore. I’ve found my truth. And my truth is that life without alcohol is truly living. Finally Free!
And the truth of all of those studies on the health benefits of alcohol ? Well the in-validity of that is becoming increasing apparent in statistics like these – Alcohol-related deaths double in 20 years
Don’t become a statistic.
Know that we understand. Know that we have been there. Most of us who contribute to the Boozemusings Community blog and are members of BOOM Retink the Drink, have been in that place where our emotions are out of whack and we feel no motivation to change, where we feel like the world is out to get us and the only safe place is the bottle we just cursed for tricking us once again.
Alcohol is not like a parasite. It doesn’t just suck out your soul. It sucks out your soul and replaces it with poison. Alcohol is a vampire.
More Reading From our Boozemusings Community Blog on Loving Life Alcohol Free
You don’t HAVE to drink.
Sobriety is Clarity, Creativity , Freedom
Community connection is the first step.
Talk to Us , Rethink the Drink !
If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.
We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using
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