Day 4 – Some of the physical effects

There are many negative side effects from consuming too much alcohol.  I’ve spent some time over the past couple of years looking up medical information about this because I was beginning to feel worried about the damage I was doing to my body.  It took me about two years to finally get to this more emotional and introspective point where I can stand back and look at this issue more objectively, detach myself from it a bit in order to begin to try and remove myself from it.  Trying to find my true self, my blueprint, again.

But I want to spend some time exploring the physical effects alcohol has had on me.  One of the main issues has been my stomach.  See, your stomach handles alcohol differently than it does foods and other liquids.  Alcohol travels through the lining of the stomach and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and other organs.  When your body receives alcohol and food at the same time, it has to prioritize and focus on digesting the alcohol and the food gets put on the backburner.  It can also erode your stomach lining.  I’ve experienced alot of acid reflux, indigestion, and upset stomach (the runs, the shits, liquid poo, diarrhea).  It sucks.  Then I have to take medicines to counteract these symptoms but the only thing that can even begin to counteract the damage is to stop taking in the damaging substance of alcohol.  It creates a really vicious cycle and it also mimics the lying and secrecy that comes along with dysfunctional drinking.  For example, “I’ll just have two glasses of wine with my folks and then continue drinking alone once I get back home.”  “I have to take some pepto today so I’m not running off to the bathroom every 20 minutes.” “I have to have some antacid this morning so I can drink my coffee and not have it coming up all morning.”  I’m so used to putting temporary bandages on things and it becomes such a habit that you begin to forget what it feels like to truly deal with an issue from the roots up.  If a tree is diseased and losing it’s leaves you can’t just tape on some paper leaves and think the tree will be okay!

So while I’m trying to deal with the effects and root causes of dysfunctional drinking, I’m also trying to repair my body, my stomach, my electrolytes and my vitamin levels.  I put so much effort into balancing out the damaging effects of alcohol – reading, research, buying supplies, and a consistent schedule of taking these things.  Between the hours I spend repairing the damage, the hours I spent drinking, and the hours I’ve spent keeping this a secret…..I can’t even begin to add this all up right now….it’s too much to think about.  I can’t believe I’ve been so unkind and disrespectful toward myself.

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5 thoughts on “Day 4 – Some of the physical effects

  1. umm (she says in a hushed voice), i can relate (shhh, be very quiet). i’m probably not the only one who didn’t take cold medicine – so i could drink. who didn’t take cough syrup – so i could drink. who avoided having blood work done, because i couldn’t get up early enough to meet the clinic hours. oh the things we’ve done to ourselves just so we could have “just one glass” … it’s quite grim, isn’t it…

    • i hear you, everytime I’ve had bloodwork done over the past few years I have been terrified to get the results. I can’t believe they always come back okay – but, my vitamin levels are often low. Duh, because alcohol steals all my vitamins.

  2. The human body has an amazing ability to get over shit. A bit of TLC and you’ll be good as new. But wiser. I haven’t had night sweats since I stopped drinking. So perhaps I don’t have lymphoma as one drunken evening I rationalized to myself as an excuse to keep drinking anyway. Crazy stuff. Good effort on day 4, keep up the good work, Paul.

    • I’ve often convinced myself of various conditions and medical reasons that I’ve gained weight over the past few years. Everytime I have a pain in my right side I think its my liver or my gall bladder about to burst because its so sick of having to work overtime to produce enough bile to help the stomach (or however those folks work together)! But its easier to ask my organs to forgive me than the people I’ve wronged. Its easy to have a decent sense of humor about it right now because its not currently scaring me and I”m not drunk and crying while researching it (which is a good think, I know!). jeez.

  3. I was diagnosed with IBS in my early 20s and i honestly thought i had it. Twenty years later the symptoms have stopped along with my alcohol intake (and of course i lied to the doctor back then when they asked me how much i drank… ‘oh, perhaps a few glasses a couple of times a week…”)
    It is astonishing how i factored booze into every life equation so i made sure i could drink it whenever i needed to.
    Loving reading your progress through this, you/we are doing so well! x

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