Alcohol and drugs are so low on my radar that I actually forgot to include them in the 365 ways that I have stayed feeling young and fit. And if we are seeking to become Super-Agers, we will be wise to not poison ourselves by drinking alcohol in excess.
I discovered that I felt poisoned even when drinking moderately the four years I was married to an alcoholic. He wanted me to keep up with him drink for drink which I didn’t, couldn’t, and wouldn’t. We dined two or three times a week with his Irish-Scottish alcoholic family.
In retrospect, I felt poisoned the morning after I attempted to keep up with my husband and in-laws. I learned to nurse frozen daiquiris before, dinner, through dinner and after. I had numerous headaches the next morning after averaging two to three drinks to their six and usually more. Drinking did not help that family become Super-Agers. John, my ex-husband died at 62 and most of his immediate family died before 65.
During my few social drinking years in my 20’s I usually had daily headaches and I took aspirin to relieve them. Debilitating me with drinking began to seem more and more idiotic. Since that time, I have avoided overindulging in alcohol. For the next 30 years, my headaches were maybe one of two a month often from food additive “poisoning” and not alcohol. These last 20 years, I have a headache less than once a month. It just gets better and better as I learn how not to poison myself!
I’m not a teetotaler. However, my doctor and I go through the same litany every year for my senior wellness exam.
He asks the obligatory question, “Do you drink?”
“Two or three glasses of wine a month and maybe a couple of light beers.”
He grins mischievously, “Can we really call that drinking?”
I grin back, “Well, I do.”
We are told that alcoholism is a disease and a compulsion. I still consider most diseases self-inflicted or the result of bad karma–which is always a choice and self-inflicted. I now choose to go to Al-Anon for its therapeutic nature. The optional $1 a session fits everyone’s budget. Two of my oldest and dearest friends/students/colleagues assured me that they had had help from this group. And in the last few months that I have been going, I have realized that with an uncle and a great uncle as alcoholics there are still patterns playing in my head that are destructive and in need of cleansing. There is no obligation if you go, and of course, it is anonymous.
Obviously consuming large amounts of alcohol lessens our chance of becoming a Super-Ager!