Tis the season to drink to your hears content because even though office holiday parties are off the schedule this year, we can still make up for it at home, where having Moscow mules any time of day is an unrestrictive activity.
Social media platforms are also flooded with seductive pages of influencers and celebrity lifestyle gurus, who share snippets of their good fortune, virally packaged as the relatable tools to build your own spread of mouthwatering dishes and brightly-hued cocktails.
Before the urgent need to drastically curb my drinking and reserve glasses of wine only for special moments that deserve a toast, it wouldn’t have been triggering to absorb the different ways in which to enjoy the roster of menus with alcoholic beverages, that are especially rampant this time of year.
The best way to kick off this festive period into high gear is to soak your senses with as much liquor as you can muster. You are required to drink far too much in recognition of making it through the end of what can be described as the most dramatic year to date.
The old me would’ve unapologetically over-indulged as always, with daily hangovers and clogging of mental capacity.
But 2020 has dealt a heavy blow on our psyche, and the unfathomable loss of loved ones, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, due to a deadly virus that’s still ravaging with no end in sight, has prompted the self-evaluation that forces answers to hard questions, about the lack of self-care and the recklessness that hampers those efforts for the longterm.
Living life in the fast-lane in New York City, normalized the frequency of bar hopping and the binge-drinking that follows. When everyone around you is having boozy sessions both socially and at home, it’s hard for interventions to occur because we’re all in it together.
My personal struggles with alcoholism was an on and off affair that finally came to a head earlier this year, before the brutal reality of COVID-19 issued the nationwide shutdown.
Admittedly, I did lose my shit after it was confirmed that I would be stuck with my parents until whenever. The challenges of reverting back to my teen years as a fully grown adult, absolutely increased my anxiety and led to the brief and dangerous reliance on countless bottles of wine with cheat days of Vodka.
But getting older catches up with you, and it was becoming apparent that my accumulated years of social drinking and nursing emotional wounds with never-ending supplies of alcoholic drinks, was not doing my body good, nor was my spirit soaring with renewed energy and purpose.
Navigating this unprecedented era of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic with the staggering death count and rising new cases, coupled with the mandate of social distancing is enough disturbance to force the long-overdue recalibration.
There’s also the unavoidable health concerns that come with binge-drinking over a long period of time. Nobody breaks down the science of alcohol and its deadliness which can result in irreversible kidney damage and liver disease. When you think about, there should be an effort to educate college students about what high alcoholic intake does to the body overtime.
My decision to cleanse my body and soul of mind-altering substances and adopt a lifestyle that makes my mission statement a doable pursuit has been motivated by the frightening climate that threatens the end of the world.
Not wanting to die with the failure of never achieved the dream of an existence that isn’t dependent on the destructive vices that do more harm than good, I have been energized to invest in my future, regardless of the uncertainty of it, due to what can’t be controlled in this season of extremes.
And while I’m not a fan of the shameful commercialization of the holiday season, particularly my less-favorite — Christmas — I do troll the visuals of party-planners with massive platforms, and the enviable power to persuade fans to break their fast and surrender to the tempo of the most wonderful time of the year.
That doesn’t sound like a bad deal, however when you consider those of us who are making daily affirmations to resist the temptation to polish off a bottle of wine as the reward for months of fragile sobriety, it makes it terribly difficult to watch Insta-stories provided by our favorite Instagrammers, during this season of “drink and be merry” without helplessly salivating for what we can’t have.
We’ve also been updated about the rapid spike in alcohol-related diseases and deaths since the ramifications of COVID-19 promptly devastated households with sudden unemployment, loss of health benefits and real threats of homelessness, as the job market and economy flatlines.
Mental illness is a serious issue that doesn’t receive nearly enough coverage and support for institutions that are geared towards the treatment of patients who are in dire need of attention.
Drinking away our pain and hopelessness is the self-medication that many sufferers are trying to avoid, and now that the holidays are upon us, it’s going to be nearly impossible to look away from the communal toasting of seasonal revelers on social media.
Perhaps influencers can consider making a case for non-alcoholic beverages that are just as appetizing to consume and can be even more fun to whip up.
It would be a breath of fresh air for brands and brand ambassadors to consider partnerships that cater to consumers who would appreciate the thoughtfulness that helps them on the road to recovery, while including them in the toasting rituals that don’t require an ounce of what makes them sicker.
Influencers need to make that effort to broaden their list of fancy cocktails to encompass a world where sober fans can be registered and validated.
This should be a growing trend that becomes a mainstay, and it starts with the time of year when those allowances matter.