Like many, I saw in the New Year with several glasses of Prosecco.
But, unlike previous years when I may have drunk to excess and suffered the consequences the following day, I interspersed the alcoholic beverages with water. And, what I did drink, I drank mindfully, and I enjoyed every sip.
When I was younger, drinking was a big part of the British culture, and my friends and I would go out and drink too much—we would get drunk. My hangovers always outdid those of my peers, with me feeling unwell for up to three days afterward. I look back now and wonder why it took me so long to realise the dangers of drinking this way, but I also understand that at the time I knew no better.
Yes, there were amusing moments too—and a few embarrassing tales that I’m grateful took place prior to the invention of social media—but those are far outweighed by the negative experiences.
During adulthood, I have at times turned to a glass of wine when I wanted to relax, unwind, numb, or escape. I rarely drank much, just enough to take the edge off what I was feeling on an evening when facing the realities of my life choices.
Finally, I discovered mindfulness and realised that I could apply that to drinking alcohol. I could choose to drink only for pleasure and savour every sip. Drinking mindfully has quite possibly changed my life. I no longer feel guilty for choosing to enjoy a glass of something that I really like, as I am drinking it for the right reasons.
The problem is that many people never reach this realisation. I know some who use alcohol to avoid healing, resolving, or addressing what actually needs their attention. I have also known people who turned to alcohol simply to function as a human being.
On New Year’s Day, I stumbled across a film. The trailer garnered my interest and I was keen to watch it. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I intend to watch it again, this time with my teenage son.
“Another Round” has won many awards across the globe, including an Oscar for “Best International Feature Film,” and a BAFTA for “Best Film Not in the English Language.”
It was inspired by Norwegian psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Finn Skårderud, who the film says claimed that humans would function better if their natural blood alcohol level was 0.05 percent higher. He has since denied that was ever a serious theory but has stated his pride at being mentioned in the movie.
I wasn’t sure what that figure meant, so checked it against drink drive limits. 0.05 percent is the legal limit in most countries, although the United States and the United Kingdom (excluding Scotland) are a little higher at 0.08.
The film follows a group of middle-aged friends facing various situations in their lives when they learn of the theory and decide to put it to the test. The results make for a must-watch, yet sobering movie that generates every possible emotion in those who view it: