Anger is everywhere…
It is the predominant emotion these days.
Anger follows a fairly predictable pattern based upon one’s mood, the provocation, and one’s interpretation of that provocation, which is influenced by one’s mood.
I want to talk about the relationship between mood and alcohol. During periods of stress, anxiety, and anger many people reach for alcohol. I get it, I do too!
In the past, after a stressful day at work (such as seeing 28 patients a day) I would welcome a vodka soda drink. That was my daily ritual. It didn’t seem out of the ordinary for me.
Well, apparently my marriage counselor did not see it that way. After 20 years of marriage and 3 marriage counselors later we were doing better but still struggling along. There was still sooooo much anger. Jane (the counselor) laid down the law. No more alcohol for either of us. We did not drink for 6 weeks and that was during Thanksgiving and Xmas. It was so hard. We live in a culture wrapped up in alcohol. And I liked my vodka soda.
But we: ⁃ slept better ⁃ had less anxiety ⁃ worked through all our stuff ⁃ got rid of the anger
Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. In fact, you may feel more anxious after the alcohol wears off. Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for several hours, or even for an entire day after drinking
Alcohol -> dysbiosis & leaky gut -> chronic issues like headaches, bloating, reflux, belly pain, anxiety, autoimmune issues, cancer, and so on
Alcohol is a depressant! It also messes up your sleep. It might make you fall asleep faster, but the body breaks down the alcohol into sugar, causing night waking at 2-3 am and/or non restful sleep
Sleep deprivation -> anxiety & anger
Suggestion: if you are feeling anxious/angry no more alcohol. Not even red wine. Not even organic red wine. Alcohol is alcohol
Do I drink? Yes, on an occasional Saturday or if I visit Las Vegas
Do I feel deprived? No. In those 6 weeks I paid attention to how my body feels around alcohol. I feel better without it. If I really want a bev on a Wednesday then I have a bev on a Wednesday. No big deal.
Here are some ideas of what I did instead of alcohol:
- Both John and I abstained from alcohol together and held each other accountable
- I drank Kombucha in the evenings
- I had club soda with lime when going out or club soda with a splash of cranberry
- We both ordered virgin drinks at restaurants
- We went home early and watched movies instead of going out for more drinks
- We opted for more creative date nights rather than dinner and drinks