Alcohol-Free April: Raising Awareness for Alcoholism
I’m taking all of April off booze. Not for any personal health reason, or because I’ve stopped enjoying a good drink, but because April is alcoholism awareness month.
Alcohol addiction is something infrequently discussed in the booze blogging community. It’s sort of an “elephant in the room,” especially for a group of people who use apps to brag about how much beer we drink on a daily basis.
Truth is, alcoholism is a serious problem, and something the booze-evangelists (like myself) can get awfully close to with the amount we consume.
By some measures, drinking almost every day is a red flag for alcoholism. For most folks in the craft beer, wine or whisky communities, a drink after work is as natural as taking a shower. So what is alcoholism?
Simply put, it’s the addiction to alcohol. Not the “oh my god I’m ADDICTED to this new Netflix series,” more of the hiding empty bottles, sneaking shots into your morning coffee, losing passion for drinking as you increase its consumption type of addiction.
Then there’s the physical withdrawal. For the folks kicking their alcohol addiction, the pains, tremors and side effects of not drinking can be similar to (and in some cases worse than) heroin withdrawal. Hell — they can die from shock, just for trying to quit.
But even if they manage to battle through the symptoms of withdrawal, alcoholism’s spectre can continue to haunt them. Every birthday party, office event, festival, dinner party — they all have alcohol. Everywhere a recovering alcoholic goes will present a temptation, a trigger to resume drinking. I can only imagine having to face your demons on a daily basis.
April is alcoholism awareness month. And I’m going to try and shed some light on the struggles faced by alcoholics. Comparatively it will be easy, as I’m not addicted. But I have grown very accustomed to social drinking, and I am already dreading the events I’ll be attending stone sober. It’s not going to be easy for me as a passionate, but still rather casual drinker. Imagine how an addict feels every single day.
Here, on Sublime Imbibing, I’ll post updates about how this month goes, and try to think about how an alcoholic might experience the same things I go through. For those of you looking forward to booze-themed posts fear not — I have a backlog I’ll continue to post.
I encourage everyone who’s willing to join me for a short walk in someone else’s shoes, and take a month off drinking. If that’s not quite your speed, or perhaps you’d like to take a step further, feel free to make a donation to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and hopefully help someone get back on their feet.
Cheers, folks, and remember to feel passionate about what you imbibe. The minute that stops, take a pause to consider why.