So when does a nearly 50yr old single mum of three, a Nanna to one, a health professional of all things, a fun type some may say with a good sense of humour decide that enough is enough ??? I’ve know deep inside for a very long time that enough really is enough but have chosen to just ignore it and find a myriad of excuses to just keep on doing it “Nah -it’s OK”Well,actually it’s not OK and its about as far from OK as it gets ...... once upon a time it was fun but it stopped being fun a long time ago..... night after night it’s the same endless conversations in my head about maybe tonight I won’t have a drink - but of course I always do, and of course it never stops at a drink or two ...... I just lose track of how many eventually.So when a social evening with friends in a bar ends with me secretly vomiting in the toilet the sudden self realisation and acceptance that I’m not like anyone else has finally hit home .....I can’t just have a social drink and then STOP..... oh no I can’t help from keep tipping this alcohol stuff down my neck.... I have to keep going till I can barely stand ....keep going until a poor friend of mine yet again has to ‘rescue’ me....put me to bed to sleep it off ....Then I wake in the morning, or at 3am, with memory blanks of the night before and im left in a very dark and depressed embarrassed place having to endure hours of remorseful critical internal punishment. .So finally this Boozy Bird has accepted that Enough is Enough ...... I want to stop...The ride to sober starts this week ..... Let’s go x
I knew for a long time what happened if I didn’t drink in the evening… I wouldn’t sleep. But what I didn’t realise was that this only showed me one of several changes that had occurred in my brain and body as they adapted to a daily assault of alcohol.
What follows is a description of what happens to us when we drink heavily over an extended period and then suddenly stop.
Alcohol in the brain changes how we feel and it acts as a sedative. Alcohol changes our mood in two ways; we get happy and we become more socially confident. The happiness is caused by an increase in dopamine, and the social confidence comes from an increase in serotonin. The slowing down in the brain comes from changes in two other chemicals; GABA and glutamate. When we drink we get happy, and if we drink enough we will become so socially confident that we will dance on tables to show everyone what great dancers we are. Unfortunately, just when the alcohol is making us feel great it is also slowing down mental function… and we stop being able to do complicated things quickly enough to complete them successfully, things like maintaining balance and speaking clearly.
Anyone who drinks enough will experience these effects. But when we drink heavily AND regularly then some changes start to occur in our brain and our body, and it is these changes that cause us so much trouble.
The simplest change happens in our stomach and intestine. Alcohol is broken down there by an enzyme, and when we drink often then our body produces more of this enzyme. This means that our bodies process away alcohol more quickly, and we have to drink more to get the same effect. We drink more, and we drink more quickly. But it is the changes in our brain that cause the real trouble. Our brain recognises that it is getting more dopamine and serotonin than it ordered and it regulates down the amount of these. This makes us less happy and less socially engaged when we are sober. Our brain also reacts to the daily…[Read more]
Thank you for this post. This is a whole book condensed into one clear article. I found it particularly helpful to learn that some changes happen over the course of months. I was a fairly outgoing social person before I began regularly dousing my brain with liquid insanity. I do feel like I’m starting to regain some of my real self. Knowing that I’ll eventually heal is comforting. Thank you for taking the time to share this.
Hi @aprilsfool That is remarkably perceptive of you; yes, it is a synopsis of a part of a book. It is called “Alcoholism in a nutshell”. It is written so that people can understand the beast they are fighting and not be suddenly surprised by the challenges it throws at us: forewarned is forearmed. It is written to help people who are trying to stop drinking and anyone is most welcome to download a copy of the eBook from my blog, here: https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/links/
Oh my goodness DaveH your timing on posting this is spot on – you made me cry (from relief that someone gets how I’m feeling) ….I’m only day 4 today and I feel all of of the above …..I’ve had a crap nights sleep, my head feels like it’s in a vice and very foggy…… and emotional 😭. And I have to carry on today (family all coming round for an Easter dinner celebration) pretending to everyone around me life is good and hide this raging internal war that is going on inside . I think I will re read your post a hundred times today, thank you thank you 🙏
Thankyou @daveH for this informative post with such vital information. So importmant to be reminded of how our brain reacts to the onslaught of alcohol consumption!! How do I save this post for later reference anyone??
@Annie do you see the outline of a star under Dave’s profile picture in this post? Click on that and it will fill in. By doing that you will have saved the post to ‘my favourites’. Look under the text box at the top of the webpage where you can write a new post. You’ll see ‘all members’, ‘my favourites’ and ‘mentions’. Click on ‘my favourites’ and you should see Dave’s post saved.
Love this Dave! What I know now though is that when I was drinking daily (and a lot) I wasn’t sleeping. I was passing out. I would literally be gone in about 3 seconds. My husband was always amused at how quickly I could “fall asleep”…but then awaken suddenly 3-4 hours later and be wide awake for the next several hours. I’m finally sleeping at night. I am tired from the day and genuinely fall asleep. I don’t sleep well but I’m hoping it improves. Beats waking up with a hangover any day. ox