There's a doctor who writes a weekly column in my local paper, and in this week's one he's writing all about alcohol and all the ill effects it has on people and our society.
It's full of lines like; "I doubt that alcohol would ever be allowed to be licensed for use if an application were to be made now" and "It has been estimated that a sixth of all adults are drinking excessively to the point of having physical and mental negative effects" and "there are definite links between alcohol and bowel cancer in men and women" and "alcohol has a significant effect on our cultural behaviour: driving, unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide and all manner of injuries and deaths". You can read the full article here. There's not a lot of light with his shade.
He also says; "it has been said that young people should not touch alcohol at all before the age of 18 because their brains are still maturing and damage can occur."Well holy shit-balls I started boozing enthusiastically at 15... maybe that's why I didn't get an A+ for my thesis!!
My lovely nurse friend down country also sent me an article written on a doctors website where this rural doctor writes about how he asks all his patients how much they drink and says "It is the sheer volume of daily consumption that some ordinary patients regard as normal (and by implication, harmless) that has staggered me." A bottle of wine a night, he says, is what a lot of people drink regularly and consider totally fine. It's not. Women should not have any more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than two in any one day. Men should have no more than 15 standard drinks in a week and in any one session no more than three drinks (so says the doctor).
And check your pours.. I was gobsmacked when I measured out the official 'one standard drink' and poured that into my wine glass. What I thought was one wine was actually more like 2 1/2.
I just can't get my head around this world of ours awash with boozers and can't for the life of me imagine this big boozy ship turning itself around. Are we doomed, this human race, of always glug glug glugging our way through life..? Or will there actually be a monumental shift in attitude towards alcohol like their has been towards smoking? It just seems such a widespread and entrenched problem.. and such a murky area (when does normal healthy drinking turn into dysfunctional unhealthy drinking?) that frankly my brain aches.
Perhaps I should stop worrying about all the boozers in the world and just focus on my own sobriety.
On a lighter note we're off on holiday today to our home town. A lovely week spending time with tons of friends and family. My non-drinking is pretty accepted now and my lovely mother-in-law even emailed to check about using alcohol in cooking (she's planning a delicious prawns with fried rice meal for tonight). How great is that! I said use away, it's fine so long as it's cooked down.
Back in a week.
Love, Mrs D xxx