Down the Chute to Moderated Consumption

1024px-Big_chute_acansinoI am ruminating on the motivations to cut back on alcohol consumption.   Not just my own drinking, as despite being the primary blog man for this spot, I do occasionally drink.   But for anyone’s drinking.

I’ll guess when we feel the urge to change our deleterious behaviours, it comes from wisdom combined with a dose of vulnerability… or a sense of our own mortality.

I’ll give you a comparative.  When I was a younger man, we used to swim in a run-off channel that ran parallel to the Big Chute on the Severn River.  This secondary channel had been blasted out by dynamite. As such, it had several odd cliffs and high spots where one could leap off, plummet to the water, get swept into the current, and emerge, bobbing up 20 feet away.

Later, in my late 30’s I went to look at the channel, for nostalgic reasons…and gazed upon the perch where I had historically leapt for my life.  I was in shock.   I thought, ‘I must have been insane!’.  Truly, I thought if I had done it but one more time, I would have slain myself, the place being so perilous.

So now, I read this article in the Toronto Star about older folks being urged to reexamine their drinking habits.  Because:

  • As we age, we become more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, chemically, physically
  • We have less water content and less muscle mass in our bodies as we age, meaning alcohol takes longer to process
  • We need to work at little harder to remember, to concentrate on tasks like driving. Impairment makes things much harder
  • Our health on the whole can deteriorate, and alcohol can make things worse.

Now, I am not saying that having a drink is like jumping off tall rocks into a small pool of swift flowing water.  But what I am saying is that if we could look at our drinking from the outside, or with fresh eyes somehow, we might see that the choices of our youth might not match the needs and realities of our more mature selves.

Author: Doug Ironside RN

Doug is a Registered Nurse (PHN) with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

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