Rejecting the Romantic Allure of the Drink
As a child, I was horrified by the idea of vampires. I loved to watch vampire movies but at night I slept with my sheets securely tucked up around my neck nervously protecting my flesh from any possibility of a sharp, painful bite. Vampires are usually stunningly romantic figures in movies. Sometimes the hypnotic monster’s victims are taken quickly and thrown aside like a limp rag and sometimes their victims are lovingly groomed to become great passionate conquests. The mate of the demon. Together they enter an eternal life of passion that isn’t life at all but a living death. To never see the sun again, to never taste or truly feel, to simply hunger for the blood of the living.
As an adult, my vampire found me. At first, he was a seductive, sophisticated, exciting and intimate companion. He chose me for his mate and we were beautiful together. But slowly as he fed me the venom that would bind us forever the allure began to fade. He became my nightmare rather than my dream.
Luckily I was able to step back and fight before he succeeded in feeding me death for life. My vampire was alcohol and he is the parasite that is feeding on many of my generation.
Alcohol is killing more people, and younger. The biggest increases are among women : USA Today Nov 19, 2018
Maybe you’re chuckling now? Maybe you think that goes too far?
As a biology major in college, the concept of parasite and host was a vital part of my course material. The best parasites were the ones that allow the host to live, only slowly replicating and draining the host―a little bit at a time. Anything that kills the host quickly is a poor parasite indeed.
“Often, the new host has no resistance… It is frequently not in the parasite’s best interest to kill the host quickly.”― Richard Preston
In our culture, alcohol has become parasitic. If alcohol killed quickly, we’d all see it for what it was and not gloss over the dangers of daily drinking.
“But if they’re so successful, why haven’t parasites taken over the world? The answer is simple: they have. We just haven’t noticed. That’s because successful parasites don’t kill us; they become part of us, making us perform all the work to keep them alive and help them reproduce.” ― Daniel Suarez, Daemon
Drinkers encourage others to drink. Alcohol companies benefit from spending millions of dollars marketing alcohol. Addiction takes hold; perhaps not in all of us―but in enough of us to count. The vicious cycle repeats itself in us. The parasitic culture digs in its claws and then spreads to others.
Yet our society accepts it and embraces it. The alcohol industry spends billions to make it look like a harmless and essential part of everyday life. They make drinking look like a beautiful thing.
Drinking is cosmopolitan, sexy, friendly and fun.
Drinking is wholesome, natural, comfortable and heartwarming.
Drinking is downright patriotic.
Drinking is seemingly endorsed by the most fundamental feel-good media as an all-day, everyday, normal activity.
Yet Alcohol Use Disorder kills 1 out of every 10 adults age 20 to 64, making alcoholism more deadly than automobile crashes, opioid abuse, and gun violence combined
Making alcoholism more deadly than automobile crashes, opioid abuse and gun violence combined…..
If alcohol killed quickly, we’d all see it for what it was and not gloss over the dangers of daily drinking.
We’d ignore the dire warnings of:
Binge drinking leads to episodes like this:
But, while we are drinking, we ignore these warnings. It’s all in good fun. It’s normal, natural and necessary. We are taught that it’s not the alcohol that’s the problem or the culture that sells it. We are taught that the problem with alcohol is the people who drink it. The problem is Alcoholics. The problem is Addicts.
We try to rationalize, minimize, moderate and generally prolong alcohol’s successful and very parasitic hold on our lives. All the while, it slowly takes our mind, our money, our time, our memory, our health, our relationships and our self-integrity. The key is–just like a good parasite–you probably don’t notice the little bit of harm done with every drink, perpetuating its existence.
What do you think? Has alcohol harmed you? Is it time to swat that parasite? Is it time to break the spell?
If you’re drinking too much too often and want to stop or slow down, come talk to us.
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking to much.
ReThink the Drink You can read more about us Here
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