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What’s your relationship with alcohol?

Ben Halpern 🌱
Software developer by trade, founder of Forem. Former college athlete wanting to make fitness a lifelong pursuit.
・1 min read

I wanted to ask folks how often they drink, how it affects your mental and physical well-being, and how things have changed over your life.

Of course, only those comfortable responding. 🙂

Discussion (5)

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lee profile image
Lee Wynne

Good question. Personally I rarely consume alcohol, I have convinced myself that it’s because I don’t like the taste of it but I think it runs way deeper than that. I grew up in an area of Salford in the 80’s when drink and drugs were a huge problem, it decimated my family and I know so many other people that are close to me that have an unhealthy dependency on it.

I have an unbalanced view of it, as I have seen the worst side of it but it also affects my social life. If you choose not to drink, in lots of social scenarios it can make you feel a bit of an outcast, not drinking wine at dinner parties or beer down at the pub can make you feel a bit on the fringes of the conversation as the night progresses (bc the conversation can be influenced by alcohol consumption).

In terms of lifestyle, I feel good that alcohol isn’t a part of it so it’s never something that I need to get over to start the day right or get into the gym, but at the same time I often wonder if I’d be a bit more relaxed if I did have a glass of wine at night time.

I am not judgmental of anyone that does drink but I don’t find people get judgmental when I tell them that I don’t. That can be weird at times.

I guess not drinking for me has had more of an impact in my social life than anything health related 🤔

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ludwiczakpawel profile image
Paweł Ludwiczak

I have seen the worst side of it but it also affects my social life. If you choose not to drink, in lots of social scenarios it can make you feel a bit of an outcast, not drinking wine at dinner parties or beer down at the pub can make you feel a bit on the fringes of the conversation as the night progresses

That is extremely true! To be fair I see it less and less often when getting older. Maybe it's just me caring less about what other would think. But yes, I can definitely relate to this point.

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lee profile image
Lee Wynne

It’s weird when your kids become teens, as then you socialise without them, going to the local pub with friends and not having a drink still feels socially awkward. Much prefer cafes 😅

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ludwiczakpawel profile image
Paweł Ludwiczak • Edited

My chemistry teacher used to say that everything is for people but with right (appropriate) amounts. And it resonates with me.

I consume alcohol in limited amounts and I don't drink regularly. Sometimes there's a period of time when I don't drink at all and sometimes I can drink a glass of whiskey 2-3 times a week. I don't have a feeling that amount of alcohol I consume affects my health and physical well-being in any noticeable way - so I guess that's a good thing :P

I don't judge people whether they drink alcohol the same as I don't judge people whether they smoke cigarettes or weed. I don't like being judged as well but I also don't care anymore 🤷‍♂️

Quantity

When I drink whiskey or gin, my limit is usually 1 or 2 glasses. I found my body doesn't recover that well on the very next day comparing to when I was younger. After having more than 2 glasses I'd basically wake up with light hangover. And since I'm a father, hangover is the last thing I want to have as an addition to screaming and extremely engaging kid :D

When it comes to beer, on regular day I'd probably stop at 1 can of beer (or even less). It's simply not a tasty liquid, if you know what I mean... Beer also doesn't make much sense from practical point of view: if you want to get drunk you'd have to drink a lot of beers to do so. Even though it depends on alcohol voltage, it's probably more economically sensible to choose stronger alcohol when you wanna get drunk. On top of that, you'd have to pee more often. And one could say it's more healthy to stand up time to time and go to the restroom, but let's be honest: you've just had 5 beers - health is not your number 1 priority.

But beer is refreshing in hot days (in a way - read more below in "Type" section) so sometimes (rather rarely) I drink more than 1.

Type

During colder period of the year I prefer to have a glass of whiskey or gin. It's warming me up, sometimes sets me in a bit better mood. When I drink whiskey or gin, I always mix it with tonic or coke - otherwise I can't drink it (I hate the taste).

When it's hot outside, I like to have a cold beer, especially when working in the garden in a sunny day.

Special occasions

There are obviously some special occasions when I drink more than usual - when meeting with friends to watch a football game (ok, I don't remember the last time that happened) or having a BBQ...

Disclaimer

There're couple things that I think are worth mentioning:

  1. I'm from Poland which sometimes is considered as an eastern part of Europe in which stereotypically people drink a lot. Obviously that's a stereotype but it's also kinda true 🤷‍♂️
  2. I don't have any alcohol-addicted family member or friend.
  3. I was heavy drunk 3 times in my life. By heavy drunk I mean that I woke up in the morning almost without knowing what happened the night before.
    • First time that happened was basically when I was a teenager (ugh...).
    • Last time that happened was probably ~7-8 years ago.
  4. I'm a father. Sometimes I just need a drink 🤷‍♂️
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Lee Wynne

..... I woke up in the morning almost without knowing what happened the night before. < 😅😅😅😅

This is great btw!