I took my Christmas tree down today. The Christmas season is too short don’t you think? There is nothing wrong with leaving your tree up until the end of May, right? In my own defence, my tree is a very small one. Stands about 2 feet, on top of my microwave. I left it up because I was so drunk for most of the Christmas season that I couldn’t even appreciate the season, let alone the tree. So I left it up. I didn’t plan to leave it up this long, give me a break.
Indeed, I didn’t plan to leave it up for so long. The truth is, until last week, my alcoholism had sapped and sucked so much energy out of me that I barely even thought about taking my tree down for all of this time. The disturbing thing about this is that not only did the alcohol suck the energy out of me, it also sucked half my brains out. I didn’t even notice that. With only half a brain, I don’t think anyone would notice much. Ok, it didn’t literally suck my brains out, of course, but it did dumb me down, a lot, and did it without my even noticing.
Researchers have discovered that long term alcohol use does physically reduce—like, shrink our brains, through the loss of grey and white matter. Classical symptoms of this that get worse the longer that we drink include a worsening of our judgement and reasoning ability, a decrease in our ability to plan and prioritize, an increase of our impulsivity, and a decrease of our memory. Every drunk knows how the booze affects our memory, from blackouts to misplacing our damn keys or cellphones. But few know—few ever realize how much it actually affects our brains, however, especially with long-term abuse. That’s just what it does to our brains. It wreaks havoc on the rest of our body as well.
What really sucks is that alcohol is a master of disguise. Its bad health effects creep up on us and we don’t even notice it! That’s the nature of this beast! That’s how so many get so caught up in it without even knowing or realizing it! That’s why most alcoholics are in denial! We just don’t see it coming—and that’s because that’s exactly how the nature of the beast alcohol works. It’s an sneaky, insidious brain-sucking monster! A monster that sucks our brains out and will eventually KILL us, if we let it.
There is good news, however. Recent research has revealed that if we quit drinking, our brains can grow back a lot of the lost grey and white matter. A lot, but not all. That depends on how long we have been drinking. Long term alcohol use/abuse CAN cause permanent damage to our brains. The longer we drink, the less we can recover—but we can recover a lot, if we quit—NOW!
I’ll not drink to that!