Snake oil


Dopamine is really interesting…its the promise of reward not the actual reward itself that keeps you drinking/drugging/spending/sexing…

A fellow blogger post this video over a year ago. I wanted to share this with you because we are approaching the festive season and everything around us is saying DRINK!

This little guy illustrates the drinking cycle perfectly. I feel so sad for him and I feel such empathy for everyone who is still stuck in this loop. Its just hell. The good news is that there is hope.

Please remember this video when you see the bottles and bottles of alcohol being shoved into your faces during the Christmas period. The stuff in the bottles is called ETHANOL not fucking wine!

Ethanol is used in toiletries, pharmaceuticals, and fuels, and it is used to sterilize hospital instruments.  It’s poison and its addictive. They can dress it up however they like its still the same rubbish.

The pomp and ceremony around the wine and champagne makes me laugh! Parading around the table with a £400 bottle of wine, pretending that its anything other that fermented fucking grapes that gets you drunk is just ludicrous.

At least I was never under the illusion that I drank for the taste, I knew I was drinking  for the effect.

DO NOT FALL FOR THE HYPE, SOBER PEEPS!!! Alcohol, like so many other ‘quick fixes’ is selling a lie. The dopamine lie to be more specific.

So when you are at the office party and a well meaning colleague tries to convince you how bloody marvellous her glass of Bolli tastes and “you simply MUST try one”… you just remember what’s in that glass…

Turn on your heels safe in the knowledge that you haven’t missed out on anything except a bullet.


25 thoughts on “Snake oil

  1. That video breaks my heart…and I get it. Thanks for sharing it; I needed it this morning. I woke up, put on my nice, cozy robe, started making breakfast, and suddenly thought, “A few shot of vodka would make things go better.” What?! I’m going on three years sober, and these thoughts still pop up. But thoughts are just thoughts, and that one went away after I ate and had a nice cup of coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love comments like this from people with so many alcohol-free months and years behind them. Such a useful reminder that those out-of-the-blue thoughts happen, are normal, and pass.


  2. Truth! The holidays are full of dopamine promises and encouragement to binge on everything: food, family, ‘fun’ and fire water. Fa la la la no. It’s almost as if commercialized holidays in industrialized/capitalist societies reveal who among us are still ‘sleeping’. Not everyone is wired to become an addict but I do think there’s a connection between recovery and the opportunity to see things are they are. Here’s to wrapping ourselves in boundaries till March 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That video is very poignant and helpful. I am in a strange place where I consider everyone who drinks, especially in my world an overdrinker/alcoholic. I watch the delusion of their wines thinking they are having a great time but really, it’s not so great, they aren’t that fun, and the horrible hangovers they experience wreck all the plans they have set up for later. I managed to get through this holiday weekend here in the states sober but I had to work the black Friday shopping mayhem and felt hungover from staying up all night. I am just glad I didn’t even want to try to pour ethanol on it too. I would have in the past just because I figured I deserved a little pick me up… you know, like in the video

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for the dopamine reminder. I remember dopamine from the last beers before my first multi-month alcohol-free stint a couple of years ago. It was Christmas eve and I had just been in a mall (I hardly ever go to malls) and felt wired and terrible and intensely wanted a beer. (Four beers, I mean.) I pulled over by the side of the road and got on my phone mapping app and called the nearby liquor stores, and when I determined that one was still open, I suddenly … felt fine. All stress dissipated. No beer needed, just knowledge that it was available. I did drink those four beers anyway that day, but the experience of simply thoughts providing the dopamine was mind-opening.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I posted that little video 3 years ago on Facebook according to my on this day area. Was sad then and it’s still sad and an eye opener now. Sure gets the point across 👏🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh wow – that video sure spoke to me. I am struggling to stay alcohol free. It’s always the weekends, and those knee jerk in the moment reactions ( the wtf Friday’s ) is so true.
    It’s Saturday, nothing today, but I keep having the urge. I feel afraid for the first time. The powerful call of something to ease my mind , worries and stress.The weird thing is I’ve been more serious of late, seeking support online, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and it feels a bit worse, meaning how I’m drinking(earlier in the day, more) is it that I’m not sticking my head in the sand, so the distress is more real? Is this part of preparation and moving forward to being a non-drinker??
    I don’t want to be the little guy in the end of the video:(

    Liked by 1 person

      • Appreciate your thoughts and feeling that yes, this is both preparation and action. Listening to podcasts and reading blogs such as yours, ainsobriety and unpickled are helping me to move forward. I feel better waking up sober. The anxiety created after drinking is sooo uncomfortable. Along with so many other crappy sensations. I drank last Sunday, and could connect the dots easily to how I was feeling. Listening to others stories is helping me prepare for what’s to come I think. I’m hearing that after initially feeling better, I may feel worse, without alcohol as a “coping” (more like destroying) tool.
        I was at an office party last night. Hadn’t had a drink since last Sunday and am planning not to. Open bar. I chose tonic water. Comments like , ” what?? You’re not drinking? ” The comraderie of the office drinkers trying to share in a way to support each other. Second drink, I said to add a little gin. I sipped it, about 1/2 way through I thought, I don’t want this. Not just the drink, but all that would follow. So I stopped. I feel good this morning.
        Early in my journey and so far I know I need daily checking in – blogs, podcasts, etc.
        I’ve located a therapy group and am getting that lined up because I’m pretty confident I will need that.
        Thank you and nice to meet you too!


  7. This is an amazingly helpful post, Hurrah, and the video is so powerful. It is helpful to have a visual and a story. It stays in your memory in a different way than words on a page. It can make a deep impact and a potent reminder just when we need it most. Thanks so much for sharing and the positive pep talk too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Soo soooo true. This is my second sober Christmas season and while last year I was just fighting to stay sober, this year I’m really noticing the insane amount of alcohol saturated advertising. I have to keep questioning why it’s shoved in our faces and made out to be such a normal part of every day life when it does so much damage. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • This will be my first sober Christmas. I started reading your blog and there are many similar experiences that I am coping with this year – grief, end of 25 year relationship, no home yet – lots of transition. I feel hopeful, but know it won’t be easy. I’m doing A LOT of reading and podcast listening
      I’ve decided to be pissed off at alcohol instead of myself, for hijacking my emotions and body, masquerading as a helpful friend to de-stress or celebrate with. I see the ads and it feels good in some way to flip them off. F#%& you alcohol😤!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Transition can be scary but it is an amazing feeling when we make it through and look back. Congratulations on quitting drinking! I hope that your first Christmas sober is an amazing one with some fantastic new memories!


  9. Your thoughts and encouragement are helpful and appreciated. I made it through a holiday gathering sans ETOH – really proud of myself, and it was fun to see everything through my sober lens., despite the rolling waves of sadness about my brother. Irl support in the works – looking at what’s nearby.
    Thank you


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