The next three BLOG posts will address the biggest fears most people have when the topic of taking sometime away from alcohol comes up. I have had this conversation repeatedly in the three years and many months I have been living alcohol-free. There is no judgement from me, especially as these were my exact fears at the time in my life I decided I needed to stop drinking so much, so often.
I WILL DIE
Well you won’t
The irony is if you keep knocking back wine the way you do on a casual Wednesday you might die sooner than anticipated. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a study back in the 80s, when you were rocking a side pony and a hyper colour tee-shirt, stating for the record alcohol is a Group 1 carcinogen. What does that mean? Well to be frank, it means alcohol is proven to cause cancer.
Not ‘might’, not ‘could’, not ‘with excessive consumption perhaps maybe’… alcohol causes cancer. Fact.
As much as you think it helps you get through the day or takes the edge off the stress in your world, facts are facts. Drinking alcohol, is not going to end well, for anyone. On the flip side and by using this logic, the moment you stop drinking, you chance of getting cancer decreases. Immediately.
“Alcohol causes at least seven types of cancer, but it kills more women from breast cancer than from any other.” The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that for every drink consumed daily, the risk of breast cancer goes up 7 percent. The research linking alcohol to breast cancer is deadly solid”
- From motherjones.com ‘Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer?’
Soz, were you expecting a light fluffy read with some hilarious set slightly too close to home sayings?
Now that we all know the truth about the mystery liquid that makes us dance on tables and flirt with strangers, we can call a spade a spade. Alcohol is carcinogenic, fact. Science says it so. Therefore, if you stop drinking today you decrease you risk of getting cancer, so you will likely live longer.
Still though, I know you what you really mean by, ‘I might die.’ You mean, socially, you will die. You’ll have to stop going out and socialising with friends because you don’t want to be that sober person. Or your friends will stop inviting you places. Or perhaps it means you’ll have to be present in your marriage, or worse, face yourself. Gasp! The fears associated with taking some time off drinking, are founded on the societal norm with which we care not to call into question. When you can take a step back from what you think you know about your social interactions, and find a good reason why you drink, then it should be similarly as easy to assess why you drink and decide not to for a period.
I stopped drinking over 3 years ago. Am I social outcast? Nope. Do I still attend and host events as I always have? Yep. I live in an empowered state where I am best able to decide which event I want to be at and at what time I want to leave. I don’t let other people dictate to me what is appropriate behaviour for me, or what to consume. That’s my job. I’m adult. It’s one of the perks of being an adult, is taking responsibility for your own actions. If you think you will die socially by taking a month off alcohol, you won’t. You might be MIA for a few weeks whilst you reconfigure your power around choices and then be back in the game armed with the incessant right to decide for you, what is right for you. And if that is a night, a month or a lifetime alcohol-free, then that’s your choice to make. So you won’t die. Unless you literally get hit by a bus and if that happens, I am so sorry but it had nothing to do with not drinking.