Day 27 of The Alcohol Experiment: a no-holds-barred look at booze.
“Chemically, you’re fighting a losing battle. Maybe it’s actually a winning battle because your brain will do everything in its power to keep you from dying.”
– Annie Grace, The Alcohol Experiment Day 27
This is one of those essays where Annie layeth the smacketh down. No holding back, no holding hands. She lays bare what alcohol really is [spoiler alert: it’s ethanol, the only consumable type of alcohol, so toxic you’d barf it right up if you took even one tiny straight sip!], and what it really does to our bodies. She writes with a clarity that makes it easy to understand and impossible to unlearn. And that is a good thing.
Those of us who have read This Naked Mind and who have come this far or completed The Alcohol Experiment have read much of this information before. This is purposeful. The more we ingest the truth about alcohol, the less alcohol we will want to ingest.
Here’s the deal, yo:
The booze we drink is made of the same type of alcohol as the gasoline in our cars (or swagger wagon in my case). Ew.
Alcohol is a depressant, and forces our brains to release stimulants to maintain homeostasis, a downward-spiraling cycle in which we never achieve the same level of perceived pleasure that we get from the first few sips of our first drink.
The harder we try to get back to that original buzz, the higher we build up our tolerance. Tolerance is our brains’ preparatory defense against the onslaught of alcohol. We start to drink, and our brains unleash the stimulant dose that we have trained it to create through habitual drinking. It’s a preemptive counter-attack that negates the possibility of achieving that initial moment of chillaxation.
And finally, there’s acetaldehyde, which is as toxic as it sounds – more toxic than alcohol! – and is, believe it or not, what our bodies produce to DE-toxify from the alcohol we drink. Let’s have another moment here: the chemical that our bodies produce to detox from the alcohol we ingest is actually MORE toxic than the alcohol. That’s a LOT of toxicity circulating through our bodies.
And for what? For the lesson that we are teaching our children, that we rely on booze to cope with them? For the empty calories, the wasted SmartPoints, the booze-bloated belly? For the night sweats? The dry mouth? For the shame, self-loathing, and regret?
Nope. Not for me, thanks.
We know this now. We can’t un-know it. But this knowledge is not a bummer. This knowledge is power.
And a quick FYI: the video in this lesson is aimed at those for whom The Alcohol Experiment was not a magic bullet. If you are looking for more help, please watch this video and be proud of your continued proactive efforts!
[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.]