My Alcohol Experiment: Day 10

Day 10 of The Alcohol Experiment: a cultural shift and deconstructing the happiness myth.

Today’s entry made me feel both hopeful and introspective. Just as I have felt alone in my dependence on “mommy juice,” I have also felt alone in wanting to ditch it. Despite everything I’ve read I still sometimes feel like all of the people around me – especially my peers, moms of young kids in my community – seem to have a perfectly “healthy” relationship with alcohol. I find myself lamenting that I can’t be a happy, “normal” drinker like everyone else. I’m either off the sauce or guzzling a bottle in one sitting.

Annie’s Day 10 essay gives me so much hope, not only for me and anyone who is considering the possibility of a life beyond (or at least a lot less dependent on) alcohol, but also for my kids and future generations. Apparently the cool kids these days aren’t drinking. Let’s hope this trend continues!

In the meantime… does drinking make you happy? I have sure thought so in the past. But Annie Grace systematically breaks down this myth and I’m looking forward to my subconscious kissing this belief goodbye.

Because, HELLO, alcohol is a depressant! It LITERALLY DOES NOT make you happy. In fact, consuming alcohol ultimately makes you feel worse than you felt before you started drinking. Yes, you get a 30-60 minute boost during that first drink, and shorter but similar boosts for each successive drink you consume. But then what? For those few hours spent drinking, you can expect several times as many hours spent feeling like total crapola.

And total crapola is a far cry from the ten most positive emotions which together create the feeling of happiness:

Joy

Gratitude

Serenity

Interest

Hope

Pride

Amusement

Inspiration

Awe

Love

I love this list. I wrote it on a notecard and have it sitting here at my computer. I am going to keep it in the Notes app in my phone. I might write it out again and tape it to the inside of my medicine cabinet or in my closet. Or both.

Because one look at this list and I realize how much I value ALL of these things above drinking wine. And I now also understand that alcohol cannot give me any of these things. That, in fact, alcohol takes these things away.

Annie concludes with, “True happiness, for me, means being comfortable, peaceful, confident, proud of myself, at peace in the world. It means not having any more internal fighting. It means being physically healthy and mentally balanced.”

I certainly couldn’t have said it better. On to Day 11!

[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information: www.alcoholexperiment.com.]

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