Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast

Alcohol Induced Lows - This Will Change The Way You Look at Your First Drink of the Night Forever!

January 21, 2024 Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb Season 3 Episode 65
Alcohol Induced Lows - This Will Change The Way You Look at Your First Drink of the Night Forever!
Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
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Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
Alcohol Induced Lows - This Will Change The Way You Look at Your First Drink of the Night Forever!
Jan 21, 2024 Season 3 Episode 65
Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb

Have you ever raised a glass, seeking pleasure, only to find yourself in a less-than-sunny place once the buzz fades? That's the deceptive dance of alcohol that Annie Grace of "This Naked Mind" illuminates so well. The short-lived pleasure of alcohol only leads to more discomfort, a truth that's both harsh and liberating. By understanding the science of these alcohol-induced dysphorias, and how our bodies build defence mechanisms against this artificial euphoria, we can extinguish our desire to drink. 

On the lighter side of things, my co-host Meg and I are thrilled to roll out the red carpet for you, our vibrant community, to take the mic on our 'Not Drinking Today' series. Your questions and topics are the secret ingredients that spice up our episodes! We're geared up for a year chock-full of deep dives into all the challenges that come with alcohol and the fun that flows when we triumph over it. So, send those emails our way—your curiosity is the driving force behind our heart-to-heart chats, and we're all about walking this journey together, with plenty of smiles, sans the spirits.

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever raised a glass, seeking pleasure, only to find yourself in a less-than-sunny place once the buzz fades? That's the deceptive dance of alcohol that Annie Grace of "This Naked Mind" illuminates so well. The short-lived pleasure of alcohol only leads to more discomfort, a truth that's both harsh and liberating. By understanding the science of these alcohol-induced dysphorias, and how our bodies build defence mechanisms against this artificial euphoria, we can extinguish our desire to drink. 

On the lighter side of things, my co-host Meg and I are thrilled to roll out the red carpet for you, our vibrant community, to take the mic on our 'Not Drinking Today' series. Your questions and topics are the secret ingredients that spice up our episodes! We're geared up for a year chock-full of deep dives into all the challenges that come with alcohol and the fun that flows when we triumph over it. So, send those emails our way—your curiosity is the driving force behind our heart-to-heart chats, and we're all about walking this journey together, with plenty of smiles, sans the spirits.

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Speaker 1:

Hello everybody. It's Isabella here, going solo, and it's part of Meg and my initiative to really address some hot topics around alcohol and to answer some questions that listeners email into us. So this episode will be short and sharp, but it will change everything that you think about alcohol. It's going to change what you think you are gaining from it and it will have you questioning why it is you actually want to drink it. Well, it did for me anyway.

Speaker 1:

Today we are going to talk about alcohol induced lows, and I first heard this term from Annie Grace, the author of this Naked Mind, and it really altered my perspective around alcohol, took the desire away, and it's one of the things that I learnt from Annie that I still remember quite frequently, all the time, really, even now, four years on after giving up alcohol. So most pleasures in your life will lift you up from the status quo feeling that you have to a particular level of enjoyment, and all of this differs from person to person. Your own individual chemistry is going to be different, but these pleasures, after they've been filled, will then gently drop you back down to a normal level of happiness. So think a walk in nature, sitting in the sun, drinking a cup of tea. So here's another example. You're having a normal day, busy but not stressful. You're content. You might go out to a new restaurant or a movie with a friend and it's great. You have a really good time, you love it. You drive home and then you settle in front of the TV perhaps, then head to bed and you settle back into your new normal. You're feeling good, maybe not euphoric, but you're feeling content. You've had a good time and you don't want anything different. You're feeling those three C's that I tell clients is what you gain on the other side of alcohol Some content in control.

Speaker 1:

But alcohol works really differently At the beginning. You just usually experience the euphoria caused by that artificial stimulation of the brain's pleasure centre. That's when you receive a dopamine dump after that first drink. But it's an unnaturally high level of euphoria and that's the bait for the trap, because the euphoria fades and it fades quite quickly, quite brutally in a way, and you're not left with that content, pleasurable feeling. In fact, you feel worse than you did, than before the first drink, like something is missing. You're kind of feeling level of dysphoria, which is a state of feeling quite antsy, unhappy, uneasy or distressed. You feel this when your blood alcohol level starts to fade after the very first drink, when your body seeks to maintain homeostasis to counteract the imbalance caused by that dopamine dump, it releases dianorphine and stress hormones and that is what gives you the antsy restless feeling.

Speaker 1:

So at this point you have a few choices to make. So you've had your first drink, the good feelings worn off and you're left in that restless state. Well, you can let the empty, needy feeling hang and this makes you just feel quite unpleasant. You can use your willpower to not change the feeling and that's sort of exhausting. Or you can pour another drink and you'll knock it back and you'll get that intense relief from the inner struggle and a feeling of pleasure then takes hold. But Annie Grace talks about this like it's the pleasure you feel from taking your shoes off when you form the blister. The blister is painful. The memory absence of that pain is experienced as pleasure. So it's not the pleasure. You're actually feeling relief from removing the pain, returning you to the status quo. But you see, alcohol won't leave you in that status quo feeling. The empty feeling will return soon and you'll let the tension build up until you go out seeking another drink and the relief that comes from it.

Speaker 1:

So it's easy to see how it's a vicious cycle after that first drink, and it's not a cycle of pleasure, but it's a cycle of pain and relief, seeking relief from the restless feeling that alcohol caused in the first place. So your body is trying to, you see, protect itself from the poison that is contained in alcohol or ethanol. That's another way of putting it, and one of the ways that it does this is really to turn down the pleasure high that you are receiving and, as I mentioned previously, that's by the release of those stress hormones in anticipation of the first drink. Yes, this is what actually happens when you're a regular drinker. Your body anticipates that you're about to have your evening glass of wine or three, and it actually anticipates this by releasing the stress hormones to counter, react it, to protect itself. So you're not going to actually get that same level of high or relief, euphoria, that you're seeking from alcohol every day if you're a regular drinker.

Speaker 1:

So the next drink never feels as good as the first drink and over time alcohol won't bring you back up to that high anymore, but it actually brings you back a heck of a lot lower than what you were feeling before you had that first drink and the scariest part is that eventually, even an alcohol won't be able to bring you back up to that status quo feeling. Your body builds up a tolerance and it's releasing those stress hormones in anticipation of the alcohol and it's decreasing the euphoria. So if this is happening, if you're a regular drinker, by this stage you're quite addicted to the relief of the pain or the euphoria and you're wanting this, to seek relief from that craving, that craving that can get quite intense, particularly in that 5 to 8pm window, and you're actually trying to drink away the pain that alcohol caused in the first place. The only real cure I'm afraid to say, wait for it, surprise, surprise is really just to stop introducing alcohol into your system in the first place or significantly reduce it so that you're drinking quite rarely. So this is truly the main reason behind why I really do not want to drink that first glass anymore.

Speaker 1:

I know that after 20 minutes of feeling some sort of relief, I will start to feel antsy and restless. Look for that second glass, which will not feel as good as the first, and I will be plonked straight back into a feeling state that is worse than the feeling state that started immediately before I had that first glass. So is that 20 minutes worth it? No, your second glass will not get you back to the high of the first and you're really better off trying to sit and accept that sort of feeling, the status quo feeling that you might have before you got that feeling that you might seek out a glass of wine and then look for things that do work, and it's the old fashioned things family hugs, hikes, belly laughs, cooking, a good, nourishing meal, holidays, sunshine the healthy stuff. So thank you so much for tuning into this short, sharp episode on alcohol induced lows. I just know it will be so helpful to so many of you just to really hopefully help you to pause, to really get mindful before you have that glass and think why in 20 minutes do I want to be plonked back in a place that feels worse than what I'm feeling now?

Speaker 1:

Please send in any other hot topics that you would like Meg and I to address. Email some questions. We love it. We're really going to have some fun answering all of these questions in our Not Drinking Today podcast this year. See you later, everybody.

Alcohol Induced Lows and Seeking Relief
Not Drinking Today Podcast