Choose Your Poison
I love to have a drink and should I drink too much my mood would be dependent on what I drink too much of or does it? My favourite tipple is whisky and coke. I also love red wine and may have a glass now and then at home. I am not however an everyday drinker. Sure, during a night out, I may have one too many but I am a happy drunk and normally the only side effect to my drunkenness are the munchies and thus I feel the need to eat. This entails stodgy unhealthy foods.
Friends find me funny once I’ve had one too many, and on many occasions, I have raided their kitchen cupboards looking for food. In addition to the munchies, I become very vocal and the filter between my brain and my mouth disappears. So, if you want to know my deepest darkest secrets and want to know what I really think about you, get me drunk!!!!
I believed my mood was determined based on the different alcohol beverages I would drink. I used to be a gin drinker; I loved my gin and tonic, unfortunately after one too many I became an unhappy drunk. I would be so miserable and on occasion cry.
Does our genetic makeup determine how different alcohols affect us or is it due to the ingredients in specific alcohol beverages, or is it simply a state of mind? If I drink because I’m feeling down and feeling miserable does alcohol enhance those feelings of doom and gloom?
A number of studies, have been carried out and I’m still none the wiser as to the correlation of alcohol and emotions. Some studies state that the concentration of alcohol in certain beverages does affect your moods. The higher the concentration the more aggressive we become.
Accordingly, to one study with approximately 30,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 31 it was determined that certain alcohol had different affects. Spirits such as gin, vodka and Whisky etc made people negative, wine on the other hand made people more positive. Many participants felt more relaxed after drinking a glass or two of wine.
Yet further results indicated that certain people who drank spirits felt more positive than if they drank wine or beer.
Is there a conclusion? I don’t think so. Can I after reading far too many studies determine whether there is a correlation with what I drink and my emotions, no.
However, they did find that men were more aggressive then woman after drinking spirits. Is this due to testosterone levels? The descriptions of emotions between these people studied, varied from feeling energised, relaxed, sexy, and confident, tired, aggressive, ill, restless and tearful.
Again, is this a state of mind? Alternatively, is this a combination of the mood we are in when we start drinking? I have also read that education levels, country of origin, gender and age played a big part. Younger people felt more confident after drinking compared to mature people.
Another argument is based on the ingredients in some spirits. The congeners used, this is the by-products of the fermentation and distillation process. Basically, the amount of acetone, acetaldehyde and esters. In addition, the other forms of alcohol in the beverage such as, ethanol could also play a part. Therefore, different forms of alcohol have different levels of congeners. So does that make us feel differently? Well people, I don’t know and clearly the experts are none the wiser. So, if I can’t spell it, I know it’s not good for me, plain and simple.
After wasting an hour of my time researching this, time I will never get back. I have come to one conclusion; the experts do not have a clue. Therefore, that leaves me with my conclusion and it is even simpler, if you are in a bad mood when you drink, it will only make you feel worse and vice versa.
I agree though that education levels, country of origin, and age plays a big part but not the conclusion the experts came to. I think the more educated you are the better quality of alcohol you can buy. This is based on the correlation between education and income. The same can be said for living in poorer countries and age. I also believe that if you had a bad experience with say gin during a period of your life, you will always associate it with that feeling of sadness and or aggression. Therefore, it is a state of mind.
Basically, people it’s all in your head. Your behaviour is determined by the social setting you are in when you choose to consume alcohol.
I love whisky, I love the smell of it, I feel comfort when I smell it on someone’s breath, why? Growing up my mother always had one shot of whisky while she cooked the evening meal. The smell of whisky on her breath as she cuddled and talked to me made me feel comfort. I grew up feeling loved and as an adult, I still have that association of that whisky smell with love and comfort. Again, is this all in the mind? Of course it is.
If your parents drink does that mean you will? Part of me says yes but my brother doesn’t and never has. If you have a parent or parents that are alcoholics, will that make you an alcoholic? Is it genetic? Honestly, I think it is a state of mind again. Let’s think about this, if growing up you are neglected due to your parent’s alcoholism this will make you miserable and you may grow up feeling depressed and in turn leads you to drink or makes you hate alcohol so much that you abstain. So yes, there is a correlation depending on your state of mind.
On a different note, the harmful effects of alcohol are numerous. I like alcohol, am I ready to stop? No, I enjoy a drink and I enjoy at times to have one too many. Am I an alcoholic absolutely, not? Would I recognise if I were? Probably not. But when I look into the faces of people who drink too much, I can see that look of alcoholism, I can see it in their eyes that they abuse alcohol to the extent that it has taken a toll on their faces.
A friend of mine who is 67 years old does not drink and interestingly her face glows, she looks so much younger than a 50 year old, who drinks far too much. Ladies, alcohol will diminish your looks if you abuse it.
Putting all these studies aside let’s think about how we look, analyse the state of your skin. Alcohol dehydrates thus making you look older and continually drinking in excess will make you stop looking in the mirror.
So, let’s stop with the whole gin makes me feel miserable thing. Enjoy a drink but not every day or you will find that you have low self-esteem, feel miserable or feel like you are not yourself without having a drink. If you enjoy a tipple, drink with friends when you are happy and enjoy raiding the kitchen cupboards.
Bottoms up!!!! Happy Valentine’s Day