|05-15-2007, 09:22 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
My views on Alcohol
This post is copy pasted from this thread: Alcohol - What's your stand? .
It turned out longer than I thought so I am posting it here as well to get it a bit more exposure.
I'm suprised by the viewpoints many posters took here regarding alcohol, both those supporting alcohol and those pushing it away. It almost seems as though there are two camps, the crowd that drinks regularily and has no intention to quit and the crowd that never (or rarely) drink and/or has a clear intention to quit. In a forum where the general consensus is understanding and resiliance to new viewpoints I find it strange how fiercefully people defend there views on this.
For me personally whenever I find something that hits my in my core being and it feels like its attacking my personal value's I KNOW that the criticism is probably CORRECT. If I get upset over something its my ego that's hurt not my character, this is not something spiritual at all. With core being I mean myself behind the thought patterns and habits that are partially controlling me (not necesarrily in a bad way). So if criticism hurts I ALWAYS examine it further.
I'm not saying that its the same for you, I'm just saying this is what its like for me and to be honest I've seen this pattern repeated quite a few times. If I used to critesize somebody they would get defensive and often even angry, as a outside spectator from my own reality (through my own lenses) they where wrong. Now I don't know who's right or wrong in this, perhaps I've got it all wrong. All I'm saying is take a good look at yourself if you feel hurt by critisism, it might not be what you initially though.
Now onto the subject because I've been derailed for long enough.
For me personally I'm in the process of quitting alcohol completely, I've never been a person who completely loosens up if I drink alcohol. Usually I feel MORE uptight about myself because I feel the need to control my actions and prevent doing something stupid. So what happens is that my vision on the world starts to go blurry and I do things I immediatley regret afterwords. If I drink enough alcohol eventually I start doing stupid things before I can stop myself without feeling regrets, certain emotions get amplified and others dwindle out of existence. When I am talking about my vision of the world getting blurry I don't mean the traditional sense of the word that the images move through eachother. What I mean is that I don't notice details and I am not absorbing the usuall amount of information, my actions are less coordinated and less focused on a positive outcome.
Now to me I am a very 'control my mind and actions' kind of person, I hate losing control over myself. So if I say or do stupid things before I can stop myself because of alcohol this is a HUGE disadvantage to me. The thing is I often don't realize it afterwords how stupid I've been acting, its in the little things that go wrong. The way you sit, act and the speed you respond to other people (both talking/body language/etc.).
There are also other disadvantages for me that became clear in the past month. In the past a lot of people would tell me and everybody else how alcohol has negative health effects on you, regardless of the amount of alcohol you take. Its a toxin and it affects your body in dramatic ways. The problem for me was I never really experienced it personally like that, the downside effects where quickly forgotten while the 'great' experiences of the night where rehearsed over and over again. So I never really 'got' the downsides even though I knew about them intellectually.
In the past few months I've been living a healthier life style through exersizing, eating healthy, enough sleep (but not to much) and a healthier mind. In the past my default state was being slightly sick all the time, it was very subtle but still noticable. A bit of a weird feeling in my stomach, a tiny headache or fuzzy feeling in my head. As I changed my life style I noticed that most of these feelings started to disappeard. It wasn't a immediate change but it was there.
During this time I also started noticing another interesting effect, the downside of alcohol became clearer. Now as I said before I've never drank a lot of alcohol in comparison to my peers so I never considered it a 'problem' or challenge to not drink a lot. However the more healthier my general life style became the more I would notice the negative side effects of alcohol. It was as though alcohol would instantly pull me back to my old state for a day or 2 and being able to see and feel how a healthy state feels that old state felt horrible.
I'm also noticing more clarity throughout the day if I don't drink alcohol at all ever, what I mean by this might be better illustrated by a little story:
Yesterday I played a bit of poker, those who followed my posts probably noticed this has been my passion for a while and I have massed a lot of knowledge about the subject. I've stopped playing poker for quite some time now because of various personal reasons. I still play with friends for relative low amounts of money (for me) and it usually includes some form of alcohol. The interesting part for me was that I always seemed to be very slow in understanding certain patterns in there behaviour during a hand. It was as though my perception was flawed. Now looking back its obviously because of the small amounts of alcohol, at the time though it wasn't that obvious. I was somehow looking at factors OUTSIDE of alcohol.
So yesterday I went to a friend to play some poker, he insisted I joined him and another one because he wanted to play me heads up. I guess he considers it a challenge to play against me. Usually we play during the weekends and alcohol is almost a normal part of the routine, however this is in a regular week so no alcohol appeared normal (and accepted by those present ).
The interesting thing that happened is that I got 'in the zone', do you know that feeling that everything comes natural and everything comes your way. Now I lost money that night BUT the big thing is that it felt like I played it very close to perfection. The mistakes I made where few, small and far in between. I had a few chrystal clear reads that where spot on and my friends commented on it how helpless they felt playing against me. They never got a good grip on my style and I always seemed to know what they had. Now this is obviously not correct because I'm NOT psychic haha, but because I was so tuned into the entire process I could notice small signals they where giving me completely subconscious. And with the things I recently learned both on these forums and several other places I decided to manipulate there memories of the events.
In the end it seemed as though I was the winner even though I was down 3 bucks and the other guy was up 8 bucks (nearly doubling up) because I was perceptive enough to pick up the clue's and oppertunity's to magnify my own excellent performance and pick holes in there's.
Now I'm not going to go into the exact way I did this since thats beyond the scope of this post (I'm once again losing the red line lol).
So what has this story got to do with alcohol?
Well before I was always feeling like I was running after the facts, like I wasn't controlling the cards but they where controlling me. Now this doesn't mean I didn't have a edge, I sure did. I nearly always win money if we play long enough. The thing is I didn't feel on top of the edge, I didn't feel I was utilizing my edge properly and completely. I was just running on my autopilot program and this alone was good enough to beat there 'top' game.
The difference between those two edges isn't very small either, I can't tell you how big it is because that would mean that I need to throw technical terms at you. To get an idea if you are playing against competent opponents who are aware of the basic 'rules' of the game its the difference between being a losing player and a decent winning player. Thats a HUGE edge difference. The problem for me was that I didn't REALIZE it and I fear its the same for many other area's alcohol affects. I don't REALIZE that it is affecting me so much.
My current situation is one where I only drink alcohol in the weekends and 4-6 drinks a night which is considered low-average among my peers. Many drink that during the week and 2 or 3 times as much in the weekends to give you an idea. So although my situation is much better compared to most of my peers I have decided to quit completely. Now I am not going cold turkey, this is not the way I wane of long lasting habits. Its more about changing the beliefs about it slowly over the course of a month or so (difficult but worthwhile process) to the point I don't even feel the slightest need to drink and will actually feel repulsed by it. Now this post is already redicilously long, it almost deserves a thread on its own.
|05-15-2007, 09:22 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
A quick recap
- Most people here and in the world have a very polarized view of alcohol, think carefully before you adopt this !
- Alcohol isn't good for your overall system BUT I don't judge anybody if they drink it. I will not try to force my opinion on them, I might tell them my own story if they think they will listen but I will never force my opinion or viewpoints (for all I know I'm completely wrong).
- Alcohol makes me lose control in the most subtle ways, be carefull of this !
- Alcohol affects my vision of the world in very unpleasant ways, I just gave that one example above but I have a ton of other equally unpleasant personal stories on how alcohol affected me.
So take this advice from a guy who;
- Who gets comments like; 'Wow your drinking [insert beverage here]? I didn't realize that, I thought I was talking to a guy who was sober as well' (happened frequintly lol).
- Has strong emotional control INSIDE me, I might act emotional on the outside but thats because it got out before I could catch it (working on changing my emotions in such a way that I don't have to stop them)
- Has always monitored his emotions and experiences ever since early childhood. This has a few VERY personal reasons I don't want to get into, lets just say I was 'forced' to 'hide' and 'monitor' my actions. I know nobody who has more control over his emotions than myself...
- Has friends, peers and family on all spectrums. From totally refraining from alcohol to binge drinkers to alcoholics. One family member in particular, his mind and body are literally destroyed. My grandma who's a VERY loving person has practically removed this son from the family, she's still in contact with him and will never tell anybody this directly but you can feel how devastated she is because of this. This hurts me deeply. She's very cool about it however, according to her its his choice and thats it. The emotional connection seems abolished because of this, she loves him because its her son but she can't stand his personality anymore.
So take from this what you want, all I hope that you seriously reconsider your points and pick them wisely. Everything might not exactly be as you think !
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