Recently I was pondering on why I hate alcohol. I realised there were personal, societal and religious reasons for this hate and that they all stemmed from how much I love people and how much I hate the damage alcohol causes to individuals, families, organisations and society itself.
I hate alcohol because:
- When I used to drink alcohol, I turned into a completely different person – and I hated that person. I became loud, silly, often argumentative and sometimes even sexist.
- When I used to drink alcohol, I hated how I lost control of myself and gave in to having sex with men I hardly knew. I was even raped while I was under the influence of alcohol.
- Now that I no longer drink alcohol I hate the effect I can see, smell and feel that alcohol has on others. They become different people entirely and, although sometimes it can be funny watching others being as silly as I used to be, in reality it is not funny at all – it is very sad.
- I hate how alcohol detrimentally affects my relationship with my husband, whom I adore. I find it hard to be with him as he is not his normal gentle, tender self when he drinks alcohol. This affects my connection with him.
I love my alcohol free life now. It feels very different when I attend events – yes, even parties – where there is no alcohol. I had a gathering recently without alcohol and it was so joy-full being able to talk to people without the influence and interference of alcohol – everyone simply stayed themselves and so we had true and meaningful conversations and loving connections. Everyone said how much they had enjoyed it.
Similarly, with other gatherings or when I am with people where there is no alcohol present I have observed a much deeper level of conversation and discussions and everyone seems so much at ease with themselves and each other. I am therefore able to connect with people at a much deeper level and I love feeling their essence (who they truly are inside) and how we are all equal in our essence. Everything appears so simple and loving and time seems to slow down somehow.
I hate alcohol because:
- Alcohol is a big factor in why men and women are in prison, especially for violence charges. It is estimated that about 80-90% of crime occurs under the influence of alcohol and drugs or is committed to feed an addiction (1).
- Alcohol is a huge contributor to road accidents and the consequent clogging up of our hospitals and the endangering of others’ lives, including those of our medical personnel.
- Alcohol fuels domestic violence, which is largely against women and children – domestic violence is escalating in New Zealand, which has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the world, even though it is estimated 80% of incidents are not reported (2).
- Alcohol causes arguments, brawls and altercations, between friends, family members and strangers.
- Alcohol can be a big factor in marriage split-ups. It can cause financial strain and can lead to violence, bullying and neglect.
- Alcohol related issues cost the country one heck of a lot of money – would this money not be more wisely spent on health, education and reducing poverty?
- Alcohol causes many health issues including liver disease, heart disease and some cancers. The recent May 2018 expert report released by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research on the link between diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer found that there was strong evidence linking alcoholic drinks to an increased risk of breast, colorectal, stomach, mouth, pharynx, larynx and oesophageal cancers (3). As such, not only do these health issues cause much pain, grief and stress to sufferers and their families, and their employees/employers, they are also a huge strain on our health system.
Imagine what our society would be like if we didn’t have alcohol?
Many families would have more money to spend on essentials such as food, power, clothes and rent, which could improve their quality of life. Not as many school children would go to school hungry or be poorly dressed for the cold weather. We would have way less people in prison, which would not only mean more money in the national and regional budgets available for health, education and reducing poverty, but would also mean way less men, women and children detrimentally affected by being in prison. Not as many women and children would be injured, maimed or killed through beating and not as many people would be subject to psychological, emotional and verbal abuse. We would feel safer in our homes and on our streets. Our emergency medical staff would not be subjected to abuse by drunk people in hospital emergency departments, and our health budget would not need to include the huge amounts set aside to treat alcohol-related illnesses and diseases. Our police would not be put in as much danger, nor would they have to deal daily with drunken people or with domestic violence – one call every five minutes in New Zealand (2).
Without alcohol we would have more chance of returning to being who we truly are, living to our potential and with solid purpose in our lives. Our relationships could improve immensely without the influence of alcohol because they would be based on truth and love, without the damage caused by alcohol. We may even be more kind and loving to all we meet and our organisations would be more caring as a result.
In short, our societies would be far more loving, kinder, equal and inclusive of all, and our lives far more joyful.
I hate alcohol because:
- Drinking wine as part of communion in many churches is a bastardisation of the life and teachings of Yeshua (Jesus). After Yeshua commenced his teachings he would not have drunk any substance that was poisonous for his body. He loved himself and all of humanity too much.
- Drinking wine as part of communion in many churches is a bastardisation of the Last Supper, which symbolised the letting go of food and drink which does not honour and support our bodies.
- Because some institutionalised religions sanction drinking and some sects even manufacture alcohol, it normalises and enables the drinking of alcohol by their congregations.
Now I’m not perfect, so sometimes some reaction creeps in when I think about alcohol. But mostly I hate alcohol because I love humanity so much and I hate to see and feel the huge harm caused by alcohol.
You often hear the old “moderation in all things” argument as an excuse to keep drinking alcohol, i.e. “I only have one or two drinks a day – where is the harm in that?” The harm is that alcohol, a substance that is poisonous to the human body and to societies, becomes ‘normal.’ Children see their parents and other adults drink alcohol, so they drink it when they grow up. Indeed, many people believe they cannot ‘celebrate’ major milestones without it and so there is often a lot of pressure on everyone to drink to “help them celebrate.” So many end up drinking alcohol, not because they want to or because they like the taste (remember your first taste of alcohol? Yuk!): more so to ‘be social’ or to ‘fit in’ or to be “one of the boys.”
But… would you give a baby even a ‘moderate’ amount of alcohol? If not, why not? Let’s be absolutely honest: we all know deep down that alcohol is harming us and harming our societies.
Is it not time that we de-normalised the drinking of alcohol? There will come a time when the harm caused by alcohol will no longer be sustainable. A future without any alcohol is coming – how about we bring that time forward?
- co.nz. (2018). Qualified addiction counsellors not wanted in NZ prisons | Pundit. [online] Available at: https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/qualified-addiction-counsellors-not-wanted-in-nz-prisons [Accessed 10 Aug. 2018].
- Leask, A. (2016). Family violence incidents increasing. [online] NZ Herald. Available at: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11674698 [Accessed 10 Aug. 2018].
- org. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.wcrf.org/sites/default/files/Summary-third-expert-report.pdf [Accessed 10 Aug. 2018].