Is alcohol an upper? Yes. Is alcohol a downer? Yes. Can it be an upper and a downer at the same time? Yes. Should you worry about that? You bet!
Alcohol is a very powerful drug. We tend to minimize that and make excuses for it because, like cigarettes, it’s perfectly legal. Most of the time we drink with others, so that makes it okay, doesn’t it?
Let’s look at what alcohol does. When we start on the first drink, it acts as an upper. It elevates our mood and gives us more energy. It causes our face to be cheery. People respond to this, and we get higher.
Then the high starts to wear off. So we grab for another. And we feel good again. We’re feeling no pain as well. There’s a reason: we’re up and down. We have two drugs in our system. Yes, we’re high. And we’re numb. We’re killing some feelings inside of us as we’re pushing ourselves up.
So, aside from the addictive and destructive aspects of alcohol, why do we do this madness? Because we want both feelings. I’m not suggesting we cut out drinking if we can handle it. What I’m suggesting is that we examine why we need to numb ourselves and why we need to feel better through a chemical.
We can ask ourselves these questions, as well as ask ourselves whether there’s a better way of handling life without alcohol. We can feel good without a drink—just be with your friends with a drink of something non-alcoholic. We know how to get through pain—just keep breathing. We need to experience what we’re feeling in order to handle our problems. Masking them does not do us any good, long-term.
And, by the way, if you’re taking any medications, either prescription and/or non-prescription, alcohol can really hurt you. Check with your therapist, doctor, and pharmacist. Think responsibly and drink responsibly!