It’s one of those contentious areas – drinking alcohol and mental health. The general consensus is its on the side of naughty to drink alcohol when you are experiencing a visit from the Black Dog. But a lot of people, myself included, will flout that rule from time to time (just for clarity, I do know this is wrong and currently have Jennifer Saunders voice in my head shouting I know MumsNet*).

 

But, however wrong it is, alcohol has this amazing effect of numbing everything. If your brain will not shut up, the worry monster is in full blown tantrum and a session sat cross legged contemplating the meaning of OM while you try and float on a metaphysical cloud of zen does not work it’s very easy to pour a glass of wine and let the alternative zen relax you. In the short term it works wonders – and again, this is not something I recommend unless following your Doctors specific instructions (which will probably never happen so I feel safe giving that caveat).

 

And once that first glass has been poured, it’s very easy to pour another one to make sure the numbness continues. And in that instant, everything – at least in my mind, seems surmountable. The only problem is when you get to the next day…. and the delayed depressant nature of alcohol kicks in. So yes, while it works short term the long term effects are going to probably make you feel worse than you initially did – welcome to the universe and karma…..

 

I will hold my hand on my heart and say i can be very weak willed when I have had a tough day(s) and maybe reach for a drink too often but it is something I recognise I do, and I try and limit it. And the world around us does not help – when you have programs such as Cougar Town which seem to feature a glass of wine in every scene (don’t believe me.. go watch, if not for anything else than it’s a great tv show).

 

The only real worry I think should come when you notice alcohol comes to play a larger part in your life and a fixed element of your day, or others notice the same but you do not. Those are the times when I think help should be sought from an external source like your GP. This in my mind is the point when it has tipped from an occasional relief from the pain of life to being a problem.

 

As always, these are my views… you may disagree and that is the part of life we should all be embracing more. No two people are exactly the same – and this diversity is what makes us all special. We may disagree with certain views – but should respect that.

* For this reference to work you probably need to have listened to the audiobook of My Life In Laughs. If you have not, I apologise as it probably makes no sense whatsoever and the joke (if I made one) is lost.

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