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Alcohol and the individual


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I have been a semi heavy drinker since i was about 17. I quit recently and have been sober from alcohol for about 8 months. Haven't felt better in my life. The reason for this post is to discuss the health and cause of affect that this has on people. I know it's widely studied but a more in depth spiritual explanation would help a lot with anyone's situation. I'm not here to tell you what to do obviously, you do you , I personally have found the substance to be one of the most boring, and destructive things in my life which is why I chose to quit. I feel it slowly takes your soul which is why they call the drug alcohol, "spirits". It very much feels to me like a frog in a pot slowly starting to boil as it takes time for these problems to surface.

Next is why do some people respond to the drug differently, is it the chemical makeup in the brain? Is it their personality? Is it their life situation that makes them an angry drunk? Addiction plays a huge role in this development, once you do an action and put that action on repeat, you are programming your brain to keep doing this particular action. Hence addiction develops and you don't know how you got there. You thought you can be like everybody else and drink socially, but is not the case.

What makes someone be put into an addiction box? Outside stress and influences? I'm curious as to find what everyone's ideas are on this as I cannot drink. Nor do I wish to return to the habit. Its not good for the body, my inner world and my being. Its the one substance that wrecked my life. Psycedellics, weed, even oxycotton i never got addicted to. I wonder why alcahol is so strong, is it because its legal? Legal means ok? What are your thoughts

Thanks guys! Have a great one today(y)
Its definitely different for everyone.
I had a conversation about something similar not too long ago, this person found in alcohol a way to open more, others found a way to disconnect from their daily inner struggles, others just want to get laid, others let themselves follow that path without seeming personal desires or intentions, others find some sort of happiness... the list goes on I suppose.
Seems like most are aware of the destructive side.

Why did you drink?

I kinda feel like it can be ego distonic/sintonic, some people actually vibe with the lifestyle, some dont, and everything in between.
I would say that, at its core, there must be some sort of wound though, a hole that gets filled, albeit temporarily.
I like the analogy of alcohol destroying your soul, hence it being called spirits. Technically, the term comes from the Latin "spiritus" (essence), as back in the day it was thought that the extracted alcohol contains the essence of that which it was extracted from.

In terms of why some people are worse drunks than other, I firmly believe it has everything to do with the life conditions of the one who's drinking, as well as any and all internal issues and trauma they might be carrying. That being said, there is a scientific differentiation between people in terms of the degree to which the functioning of the prefrontal cortex and the top-down inhibition mechanism are diminished, leading to increased expression of impulsive behavior with less regard of the appropriateness of said behavior.

Science has proven that even drinking once a week has long-lasting effects expressed in a statistically significant reduction in the number of synapses in the areas of the brain which control impulsive behavior. This translates not only to being a bad drunk, but also a more irritable and impulsive person while you are sober. Fortunately, most people that stop drinking for 4-6 months experience neurogenesis in those areas of the brain thanks to neuroplasticity, and this decrease in top-down inhibition is repaired, unless you have been drinking heavily for years, then it's an irreversible process for the most part.

On top of that, there's ample evidence that the ingestion of even small amounts of alcohol greatly disrupts the architecture of the sleep. Matthew Walker, a Harvard and UC Berkeley neuroscientist and leading expert on sleep, has proven that time and again with numerous experiments. When your sleep is damaged, there is an unstoppable avalanche of negative effects that follow.

There's a lot that can be said about alcohol, but I think the reason why it's the most destructive drug in our society is the fact that it's so widely available and pushed in our hands by governments everywhere. The potential for profit and their desire to worsen our health so they can sell us other drugs as well results in the situation we're in.

You can only do yourself a good favor by leaving alcohol in the past.

If you want to learn more about the neuroscience and biology behind the effects of alcohol, you can check Huberman's fantastic episode on it:
Booze is like liquid CTE in a bottle.
Its one of the most harmful drugs on the planet.
Something like 1 in 20 deaths is related to its use, in terms of human death on this planet.
In terms of medical harm it rates worse than meth, which is notoriously harmful to the user.
Everyone is an individual and there are various causes or pathways to becoming addicted or having an addictive personality. I think a lot of it starts with needs not being met in childhood.

Alcohol and caffeine and even still to a certain extent, tobacco (in particular vapes) is heavily social sanctioned. Terence McKenna pointed out that union and other employment contracts allot time out for ONE sanctioned drug on the worksite and that is coffee.

Alcohol is viewed as a social lubricant, as a catalyst to having a good time by a lot of people. As you pointed out what starts as social drinking can in fact evolve into dependency.

There is also the fact that alcohol radically enhances food, both as an accompaniment but even more importantly as a base ingredient.

From our culture's viewpoint, alcohol has a lot going for it. SInce the culture is toxic and sick it simply does not matter that alcohol is a poison, kills livers, ruins childhoods, breaks families and makes the roads much more dangerous than they should be. Nor does it matter that it's a crappy high.

What is this crappy high? When you REALLY dig deep and think about it, it is a euphoric depressant with anesthetic properties at higher doses. That is some strong stuff. We are into serious hard drug territory here. But, hey it's socially sanctioned, so let's go party!

Personally, I had been enjoying a glass of wine with dinner a couple nights a week. That is until I returned to DMT use last year. DMT told me in no uncertain words to put the wine glass down. So I did. I haven't missed it much and my small collection of expensive wines continues to grow in value.

I am glad you were able to quit. It is such a strong drug. I would hope that all who choose to indulge treat it as such.
It's a crappy high indeed. I almost never drink alcohol, but when i do i always have to remind myself that the alcohol high is at it's best, the moment that you are júst starting to feel the effects of it. When something makes you feel good, it is an almost instinctive impulse to take more of it, but with alcohol, taking more will only make you feel crappier.

For me it is something to do only once in a while, and enjoying the drink itself is at least 50% of the whole experience. I personally do like good belgian beers like trappist or abbeybeer that can only get that label if it has actually been brewed by monks within the walls of an abbey.
A lot can be said about chicha and the role of plant additives to traditional brews. This is one of the areas that Christian Rätsch's work stands out. His consideration of brewing additives is commendable.

In the ancient world, one without awareness of molecules, enzymes and medical science, the idea that water could be used to create psychoactive drinks appears to be the origin of the concept of potions. Ingredients could transform the water into magical potions able to elicit pronounced effects ranging from stimulation and sedation to psychedelic effects and even death itself. Brewing and fermentation of plant substances seems to form the working basis of mankind's concepts of religion for thousands of years, if not far longer, beyond the reach of recorded history. In this alcohol and fermentation play primary roles in the history of our use of psychoactive plants. In the ancient way of thinking the act of adding things to water and fermenting it was profound and even miraculous. Historically there has also been an association of alcohol with Christianity, which traditionally even uses a fermented beverage for the sacrament. This association plays a strong role in the dominance of alcohol in our society today.

I think brewing is a well respected art form for a reason, but I also dislike the facilitation and exploitation of addictions which can kill those addicted merely from withdrawal alone.
It's a crappy high indeed. I almost never drink alcohol, but when i do i always have to remind myself that the alcohol high is at it's best, the moment that you are júst starting to feel the effects of it. When something makes you feel good, it is an almost instinctive impulse to take more of it, but with alcohol, taking more will only make you feel crappier.
This is so true, Dragonrider. I also feel like most people experience social anxiety in one way or another. It can be a subtle thing. Alcohol is great at loosening or suppressing that feeling.

I haven't had a drink in over 5 years and it was the easiest thing to give up. A deep meditation practice and alcohol just don't mix. Life has opened up so much since then, including the nature of my psychedelic experiences.
My drinking was problematic but well managed. Three or four drinks a night with days off here and there and then the odd binge come the weekend. I quit drinking a little over a year ago. It felt like waking up from a dream. For me, while I was drinking I was prone to complete identification with my thinking, stuck in a kind of cycle or karma of my mind with moments of awareness of that process but nothing sustained. Once I quit I feel that I am aware and can observe my thoughts with greater clarity and frequency. Alcohol (or my addiction to it) somehow commanded my consciousness in a very sneaky way.

Even when I knew I was addicted and wanted to stop, my thoughts would then turn to self destruction. My ego, the addiction, a phantom of my own devising began to stop at nothing to make me feel pain so I would turn to relief.

Unlike many stories I hear, even though I’ve been sober for over a year I don’t feel amazing. I feel a whole lot, more! Which I’m told is good but if I’m honest I feel like I’m still untangling this strange sense of self I built while drinking every day for the first half of my life and identifying with my thoughts is still my de facto state of being. I must pull out of my thoughts a good fifty times throughout the day. Hopefully with practice and more awareness this gets easier.

I have surmised that the real damage from alcohol is this deepening of the self, it becomes stronger and binds your consciousness to it and life becomes problematic.
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What's the old expression, "No one likes a quitter.". Sometimes I think the people most disposed to be an addictive personality are also the ones who can really get into something they decide to do and excel at it. So, the "addictive personality" when channeled and managed can be a plus. "Greatness or madness" and all that.
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