Tag Archives: alcohol

Do drugs and alcohol make you more creative?

My son's first art work (20 months).

My son’s first art work (20 months).


Another interesting article in The Guardian about addiction and creativity.
Alex Preston a writer, discusses how Prozac inhibited his ability to write. He asked around and found that other writers experienced similar problems.
I have always thought the question of addiction and creativity to be an interesting one. It certainly seems to be an occupational hazard amongst musicians, artists and writers.
I have heard the argument that some people believe that drugs and alcohol have enhanced their ability to be creative. I personally don’t buy that.
I think there are plenty of examples of artists who have gone on to greater success once they were clean and sober.
The other question you could ask is whether artists are more predisposed to mental health conditions like depression? Do they initially use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate? Again, there is a long list of artist’s battling mental health demons.

I believe there is a reason for that. In Brain Rules for Babies* John Medina explores how babies brain’s develop and lays out the scientific research that shows you how to raise a smart and happy child. The most interesting part of this, is research indicates the two most important things you can teach a child are:
Impulse control &
Empathy.

A book every parent should read.

A book every parent should read.


As a scientist he was staggered at how important the development of empathy was for a happy and healthy life. It is, in fact key.
Scientific research then goes on to show that one of the best ways to develop empathy is through music. Researchers have shown that kids who learn any instrument before the age of 7 for at least 10 years had measurably more empathy than their peers.
Could this also be a predisposition to addiction or abuse of alcohol and drugs? After all, one of the purposes of abusing drugs and alcohol is to numb feelings.
Do musicians just over empathise?
Do artists just feel too much?
Those who get it right produce work that enriches our souls and brings pleasure to many people whilst also living their own happy lives. Those who get it wrong can still bring pleasure to many but at a devastating personal cost.

What do you think? Do you think drugs and alcohol have enhanced your ability to creative or have they stiffled it?
Is the art worth the pain?

*As a therapist I developed a ton of theories about why kids turned out the way they do. I believed a lot of it was down to parenting. My theory was that the most important thing you can teach a child is how to master their emotional life and everything follows from there. Brain Rules for Babies completely supports this theory. It is our internal world that is the most important to define and understand.

Does alcohol assumption make you mad?

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I am a recovered alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink for over 13 years, and last night I ingested alcohol.
It was accidental. It was in a dessert and as soon as I realized, I stopped eating it. But it’s really, really p****d me off.
Because I was a victim of alcohol assumption.

I was at a student event with my husband. Where there were a mixture of graduate and undergraduates as well as many students from different cultures including Muslims and Mormons.
Both of which we happened to be sharing a table with.
Both of which do not drink alcohol because of their religion.
Because it was a student event, there was no bar; only soft drinks were being served. Which is why I probably felt this was a safe event. As many attendees were under 21, I assumed it was an alcohol free event.
I was wrong.
For convenience’s sake, the dessert was already on the table. An innocent looking glass filled cream and some kind of biscuit.
I finished my first course and dug straight into the dessert.
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At the first bite I paused.
There was a familiar smell and taste. ‘Kinda like alcohol,’ my brain thought. No, it couldn’t be, I rationalized, there are undergraduates here, they wouldn’t serve alcohol to them, even in dessert.
So I took another bite and felt that sting again.
Then I stopped. It had alcohol in it. I was sure.
I stopped a waiter and asked, they had no idea but said they would check.
Inside I was fuming.
There seem to be labels now for every kind of food preference; gluten free, dairy free, may contain nuts, contains soy the list goes on. So why, with all these ingredients that could either harm someone or cause some unpleasant symptoms, do we assume it’s ok to serve raw alcohol without warning people?

Sure enough, the waiter came back and said the dessert was Tiramisu and yes it did have alcohol in it.
The dessert was really small and there could only have been a tiny amount in it, certainly not enough to get drunk or even remotely tipsy on.
But still, something inside of me stirred.
You see, as a recovered alcoholic I have a sleeping demon inside of me. It’s actually in hibernation in a deep, deep sleep. It’s not dead and it doesn’t trouble me. I don’t even know it’s there, except when something happens to stir it and then I remember.
Like the sting of alcohol on my tongue causes my demon to growl in its sleep. And then I remember this demon inside of me and how it can be awoken.
Which is why I get so mad when I’m a victim of alcohol assumption.
Let me be clear. I do not care if you use alcohol, you could bathe in it for all I care. Just don’t assume that I do.
Please also don’t assume it is something harmless either.
Because for some people it isn’t, for some people it is lethal.
If you had almost died from needing alcohol so much. Had crawled out of a black hole of misery staying away from a drink one minute at a time, whilst you slowly got your sanity and self esteem back. If you had learnt that you suffer from an allergy to alcohol, that you have an abnormal reaction to it, that once ingested your body craves more and more and you have no choice when it stops.
Trust me, you would be mad too if you ate something only to discover it had alcohol in it.

Thankfully, apart from being furious nothing happened. My demon went back into hibernation. The brief taste of alcohol on my tongue wasn’t enough to awaken it. I went home, put my son to bed and watched a movie with my husband.
No harm done.
This time.
So I’d just like you all to think about alcohol assumption next time you serve it uncooked in dessert, or add it to a punch without letting people know. It’s easy for someone who doesn’t drink for religious reasons to tell you why they don’t drink alcohol.
It’s not so easy for an alcoholic.