Work life balance choices

Someone posted in the Facebook group recently saying she was frustrated and angry from looking at her friends on social media posting pictures of the meals and drinks they were having. She saw the falseness of it all but she wanted to be able to buy into that again. She just wanted to go back to when she could drink and enjoy herself, back to before she had to quit and miss out on it all. It’s kind of easy to sympathise with her, but it’s worthwhile deconstructing this and analysing it.

Would those people who were enjoying their meal and drinks, enjoy their meal if they knew the chef had dropped it on the floor where there were rat droppings, and that they would get food poisoning from it and have a really bad night’s sleep and feel tired and lethargic and rubbish all the next day? I’m not talking about being really sick, I’m talking about just being ill enough to have a bad night and to feel tired and washed out the next day. Would they enjoy that meal? Probably not.

But what if the food had gone on the floor and had been poisoned, but they didn’t know that had happened. Would they still enjoy their meal then? Presumably so. In fact, in that situation, they might not even associate that bad night’s sleep and the feeling of tiredness the next day with the meal at all, after all, there are lots of reasons we might have a bad night’s sleep and feel tired.

woman holding her head in discomfort

If you had the choice would you rather eat that poisoned meal in ignorance, or know the truth and have the decision to not have it?

I know which I’d choose.

That is how I see drinking. Most people do not make their decision to drink based on facts, they base it on misinformation and lies. They drink because it eases their anxiety, because it helps them sleep, because it’s sociable, because it helps them relax, because it boosts their confidence, because it’s healthy, because it helps them cope with and enjoy life. Would they drink if they knew it caused their anxiety, stopped them from sleeping, prevented them from properly enjoying social occasions, stopped them from relaxing, eroded their confidence and resilience, was a carcinogen and a major cause of cardiovascular disease with absolutely no health benefits at all, and stopped them being able to cope with and enjoy life?

It’s all about knowledge of consequences. It is about deciding to do something with a full complete understanding and knowledge of all the outcomes. This is what ‘normal’ drinkers are as far as I am concerned; they are people who drink without knowledge of the consequences of their drinking. Unfortunately, this is normal; this ignorance is the norm. And this ignorance is the reason the vast majority of people drink.

This is another reason why I don’t envy ‘normal drinkers’, and it’s exactly the same reason I wouldn’t envy someone having a nice meal if I knew that meal was poisoned. Why would I envy someone for making a bad decision through ignorance?



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8 Responses

  1. Great post – from one who lives alone, I can sympathise with this woman, especially being confined to home at this time. of lockdown. Their ignorance is bliss, but let’s hope those friends don’t become alcohol dependent… ?

  2. Perfect. I wouldn’t want to drink after reading that .
    Thanks for the continued reminders of why I made the choice to not drink. ?

    1. So true. Once I knew I couldn’t go back. I occasionally wish I could but I can’t, knowing what I know now. Why should I allow alcohol to run the show? Why is it even so important that I have to ingest small amounts of poison to have it? I stick to this at all times, but reading this has just made it a bit easier. So thank you.

  3. I feel the key is how you stop. If you use the traditional will power way then it will always be a struggle. But if you stop by using positive psychology in that you identify with the benefits of not drinking then this is much more sustainable. I have drink in the house, I entertain and we have wine, I go to the pubs with my mates and have long weekends in Dublin for the rugby. All these events are great fun the only difference is I stick to alcohol free drinks. Yes, it can be hard at times but when I see my friends hungover the next day it reminds me why I stopped.

  4. I’ve been a vegan much longer that being alcohol-free (10 months for the latter), and I would also see animal and processed foods in the same unhealthy bucket at the alcohol. Learning the science behind these, as you have so well explained, helps keep me on track. And these days, it’s more important than ever. Thanks!!

  5. Great post, really well put. I have occasionally walked past a pub on a Saturday afternoon and been envious when I saw people drinking in the garden.
    My mind I knew deep down was playing tricks with me, I had forgotten how rubbish I felt at the end of the day and also bored I was after a while. Not to mention all the food I ate to soak it up. It all looks and sounds better than it is. This whole drinking thing is smoke and mirrors. I am so much happier since I stopped.

  6. This is one of your best posts.
    It’s a real clarifier.
    I also enjoyed Johns reply
    Thats what this ol mind needs
    Thank you again

  7. What are your views on alcohol free drinks? Beers, wines etc. I sometimes feel its cheating the whole no alcohol thing, even though it makes it so much easier?

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William Porter

William wrote Alcohol Explained to share his approach on recovering from alcohol dependency.

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