HeyDahls: Alcohol, Addiction & Connection

Q: Hi! So, I don’t know that I have a fully formed question, but I just read this essay about how  booze-saturated our lives are and how we use alcohol, etc to soften the edges and alter our natural responses… and it really hits home. So armed with awareness, do you have any practical advice on how to bring social / home alcohol use into moderation and establish balance that feels natural and sustainable?


A: Thank you for writing in and sharing this piece. Another friend actually sent this my way.  Lots of friends in fact have been reflecting on this recently… Our addictive habits. Our vices. Our fidgets.

Perhaps it’s a common conversation going on right now in health conscious communities.

How to we indulge every now and again and not get off track?  How do we connect with others when people do tend to gather over booze and poor food choices and substances?  We really have to be intentional about the company we keep, don’t we?

We live in an addictive culture. Not just booze and controlled substances. But sugar. Salt, Caffeine. Smartphones. Social Media. Cannabis. Porn. Anger. Gambling. Approval.

It’s the thrill, it’s the release..  A fidget to escape the stress of present reality. To avoid sitting in the moment without distraction.

Yes, addiction to substances and thrill-seeking behavior is chemical.  Dopamine releases, the stimulation of our brain’s pleasure centers, ultimately alter brain structure and function. Eventually our brains become hardwired for addiction.

So much about addiction however is people seeking out connection and meaning where otherwise it’s lacking.

We are much less likely to get into addictive cycles when we consistently feel connected with what inspires us.  To our communities. To nature. To spiritual life or cosmic perspective. To our creative power. Where we feel tapped into an awareness or state of being greater than ourselves.

It’s ultimately connection that offers vitality, and fuels healthy rhythm.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy indulgences. Cheese. Chocolate. Socializing…Even when I know there’s much to attend to in house and home. Cannabis.

And I believe that in programming my indulgences into a greater healthy rhythm, and deliberately attending to a state of greater mindfulness in my daily habits, I’m much more likely to keep a balanced path.

Maybe it’s a gut intuition thing in cultivating vitality and connection. How do we listen and respond to what our bodies are telling us? Are we energetic? Depleted? Content? Stressed? And what decisions do we make daily to nourish ourselves?

I obviously have a lot of thoughts on this… But I’m interested to hear thoughts from the tribe. And so I’m opening up the floor to you guys.

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