Today, I just wanted to talk about some of the ways that we hide beneath that emperor’s new clothes thing.
All of us as drinkers.
All of us and I’m including myself here, because I did it for thirty, thirty-five years.
Longer than that if you think about the times before I actually drank alcohol and was still thinking about drinking.
What I’m talking about here are the terms that we use, the attitudes that we use, the way that we try and big ourselves up as drinkers.
Regardless of what you say about alcohol, regardless of what place it has in your life.
This is a drug.
It’s a drug that has devastating effects on the individual, on their own small family units, their communities and in the world It has massively devastating effects.
It kills three and a half million people every year.
It is the direct cause of over two hundred different conditions.
When you are talking about people drinking alcohol.
We are slowly killing ourselves and trying to make light of the matter.
We’re trying to hide from that and trying to bring some – what they call – cognitive dissonance.
And that means that we justify things, we rationalise things, in our own minds.
We give it different names in order that we don’t look stupid, that we don’t look like dumb assess
We have people who say – “well you’re a binge drinker, you’re an alcoholic.”
To differentiate themselves from the people, who they say, are drinking a lot more, than they are.
So we’re talking about somebody who would call themselves a connoisseur, when they’re drinking a wine that costs thirty or forty euros a bottle.
Thirty to forty dollars a bottle.
Fifty dollars a bottle.
One thousand dollars a bottle – and you can keep going up if you want.
They don’t want to be associated with the people who are drinking swamp piss.
You know? The stuff that costs 2.99 a bottle or the stuff that comes in a carton.
Think of all the names that you can think of, either derogatory, on one hand, to sort of separate that group out from us.
You go into to a posh restaurant and you’ll have a guy called a Sommelier.
His basic job is to come over to your table and recommend a certain wine and say:
“well you know you are eating this food, Sir. What you should have is this wine. This wine goes well; it very complements the subtle flavour of your chicken. This one is for your beef. You can have this full-bodied, red wine which will very complement your beef bourguignon, Sir.”
And people love it, they lap it up.
Now think about this bullshit thing where, they come over to your table, they with big flourishes open the bottle, uncork the wine that’s been sitting on the shelf perfectly, in the correct angle, on the shelf, with all the other wines.
It’s dusty. They never wipe the dust of it and they come to the table with this wine.
“This is the 1972 Chateau Neuf monsieur. It is a very good vintage year. It was a year when things happened in the world. It was a year for good crap.”
They uncork the wine; they pop it open.
First, they give you the wine cork to smell.
Then they pour a little drop out into the glass and they swirl it around and give it to you to smell.
And you grab hold of the wine glass by its stem, so that you don’t heat up the wine.
And you swirl it around.
You stick your nose into it.
You sniff the contents.
You take a sip and you swirl it around your mouth.
And then invariably you are going to say – “that’s really good!”
Unless it tastes like shite and then you’re going to say “Jees, I can’t drink that fucking stuff!”
Think about it, you know?
Alcohol is a drug
If we were taking heroin.
If the drug of choice was heroin.
I don’t think it ever would be because when you start taking heroin – I think there’s a big difference between drinking a couple of glasses of wine and feeling a bit tipsy, but you can still get on with things.
And when somebody takes heroin.
It’s a different story, they can’t do anything, they’re sort of stuck in this nether world.
So let’s say for argument’s sake that it was heroin and that heroin didn’t cause this much damage.
Say another drug like cocaine or something like that.
If it was cocaine that we were taking.
Then we would also have this diverse categorisation of people.
These are the people who are the real drug users.
These are the people who are the scum.
These are the people who are the elite – the connoisseurs.
These are the people who enjoy the wine and they don’t care about the buzz.
They only care about the taste.
The depth of and the richness of the bouquet.
The fact that it was created in oak smoked barrels for donkey’s years’.
So it’s bullshit!
It’s bullshit to hide the fact that we’re drug users
That we need this drug.
That we’re dependent on a drug.
The fact is in western society, most people drink alcohol – most people who drink, drink alcohol – as if it’s a daily thing.
It’s just another commodity that we’re consuming as a part of daily life.
And because alcohol is a drug, people, they get to the stage where they cannot do without it.
They become dependent.
If you don’t think you are dependent, then ask yourself – “can you do a month without it?”
If you think you can, then go for it!
Prove it to yourself that you’re not dependent on this drug.
Can you go a week without it?
Some people can’t even go a day without it.
When I was drinking, that was the case for me.
I could go for a day without it, but it was always in the back of my mind.
It was always something that I wanted to do.
That I thought “yeah, I’m strong today.”
“I can go a day – no worries.”
“I can go two days – no worries.”
But we build such… what would you call it?
It’s like stories.
We’ve built stories to tell ourselves, to make ourselves feel that what we’re doing is logical
Nobody wants to be stupid.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re stupid or that they are doing something wrong to themselves.
So we invent things.
We invent terms like moderation.
We invent things like, as I say, connoisseur.
We invent things like all the other terms that we use to either big ourselves up and to extract our drug use out from all the rest of people that are doing it.
And to say what we’re doing is not drug use.
What we’re doing is different.
It’s a form of – we’re lifting ourselves up.
Whereas what they’re doing.
They’re the scumbags.
They’re the drug users.
They’re the people who ruin it for the rest of us.
In reality, it’s bullshit.
You’re all drug users.
Anybody who uses alcohol is a drug user.
There’s no two ways about it – alcohol is a drug.
I got a message the other day.
It’s a comment that said – it was one of the courses that I did.
And they said, “they liked the course but they didn’t like the fact that he/I, called alcohol a poison.”
And then this person went on to say “it’s a poison for some people and not a poison for others.”
Well, it’s either a poison or it’s not a fucking poison right?
You can’t have it both ways.
It’s either a toxin or it’s not.
It’s either a drug or it’s not.
You can’t have it and say “well no, my form of drinking is not a drug, but your form of drinking is.”
“My form of drinking is not scumbagish, but your form is.”
“My form is a connoisseur but yours is not. Why?”
“Because I pay more money for it, because I drink it in different circumstances than you.”
“I’m established on a different plane.”
“I inhabit a different plane than you do.”
Like I say –
If you’ve got dependence
If you can’t go a week without this drug.
If you can’t go to a dinner party without a drink in it.
And deliberately doing it.
Not because you have to drive or not and not because you have to take medication and you can’t drink.
But deliberately do it and do that for a week and then take it or leave it.
If you can’t do that then you are an addict.
We don’t look at it like that.
We look at it… as soon as there is a claim on the television, or a newspaper, or a magazine, on the internet that says:
“Drinking in moderation is good for you or drinking in moderation is heart beneficial.”
Or this or that or the other and then we go.
“That’s me! That’s what I do. No, I only drink in moderation.”
If you drink in moderation, then it’s fine.
Again it boils down to it’s either a poison or it’s not a poison.
It’s either a toxin or it’s not a toxin.
It’s either a neurotoxin or it’s not.
You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t say “well, yeah, it is a toxin but only if you take it in moderation.”
It just doesn’t make fucking any sense.
You know, this is something which we’re taking inside of our bodies.
We are at the stage in our lives, in our cultures
In the cultural life of the human race.
Where we give a shit more, about what we look like on the outside.
We care more about our facial appearance.
How our face looks.
How fat our belly is.
How slim we look.
How our teeth look.
How much hair we’ve got on our heads.
How we coiffeur that hair – I don’t think that’s a word.
But we give a shit more about the outside than what’s going on in the inside.
We pour this stuff into our bodies and as long as it’s not outwardly causing us to look bad then we’re quite happy with that.
Because we can’t see what the damage is inside, to all of our organs.
Two hundred different medical conditions… are caused by drinking alcohol.
Three and a half million people die every single year.
25% off all our young deaths, between the age of 21, or 20 and 39.
25% – one quarter – of all those deaths are caused by alcohol.
But because we, can put this stuff into our mouths, and we can forget about what it’s actually doing to us.
And concentrate on what it’s doing to us, in that sense.
We don’t give a shit.
We put it out of our minds.
It’s only when, we start to feel something.
We start thinking “oh fuck in hell. Have I caused real damage to myself now?”
“I’ve got a pain in my liver.”
Or – how many different things do you need?
You get up in the morning and you can’t get up.
The hangover’s lasting four days.
You say something stupid or you do something stupid.
These are all outward signs then, so the inside starts to come outside.
What’s affecting you on the inside, starts to appear on the outside.
That’s when we start having the issues with things.
I’m going to leave it there.
If you have comments about this at all, leave them down below.
Until next time…
Keep the alcohol out of your mouth.
Think about the damage on the inside.
Think about what’s happening to yourself in the inside.
Onwards and Upwards!
The alcohol-as-a-toxin perspective is very helpful and absolutely true. Acetaldehyde is a carcinogen and a temporary by-product of alcohol metabolism. It inflames and can damage the liver, brain, and GI tract. This thought also occurred to me as I read today’s transcript: in the U.S., gasoline is diluted with ethanol made from corn. So ethanol, the same chemical in beer, wine, hard liquor, is also motor fuel. Let’s have another round!
Quite right. And we toast with “to your health”
I still havent been able to stay sober, and I know its killing me. But when I stop I cant seem to get out of my own head. I never really liked myself before I started drinking, and after being drunk for 14 years I’ve lost all my friends and became shunned and isolated from my family. I believe my problem lies largely with hating my life and wanting to block it out. I need to find value in myself so I can make a real life, but so far havent been able to view myself this way. My who cares anyway attitude is holding me back in a big way, and picking up the bottle is just to darn easy an escape route. Just keep trying I guess. I like the videos.
It’s a gradual process to get back on track, or to find a new life. I think the latter is more appropriate for most people who are quitting drinking alcohol. I think it’s a sort of their vicious circle. You drink, you feel bad about yourself… You feel bad about yourself, you drink. One feeds the other. It’s not easy in the beginning, but it’s well, well worth it. Take care, Kevin
A great video, I think most people know that alcohol is bad for them but I think they would also be shocked if they knew just how bad eg
Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day.
Now this is a fact, yet I have seen my very responsible and very nice friend give his 18 year old daughter wine. Expensive wine, posh wine, he thinks he is making her more cultured etc etc
As a newbie non drinker I so wanted to say something, but fear of looking like a some sort of fanatic stopped me. On a positive note I realise I am starting to pity drinkers, a short time ago I envied them.
I appreciate your videos sooooo much and look forward to watching them each day.
Your the man……
You’ve also inspired me to start walking again.