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    Micro on why this is hard

    Everyone else's responses have been awesome and thought provoking.

    I'm a scientist by degree and perspective, so I have attributed the "why" of my difficulty abstaining or moderating as two scientific parts.

    First, habit. That's proven science.
    It turns out that every habit starts with a psychological pattern called a "habit loop," which is a three-part process. First, there's a cue, or trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and let a behavior unfold. Then there's the routine, which is the behavior itself. The third step is the reward: something that your brain likes that helps it remember the "habit loop" in the future. Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories and pattern recognition. Decisions, meanwhile, are made in a different part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. But as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts. The brain starts working less and less. The brain can almost completely shut down. ... And this is a real advantage, because it means you have all of this mental activity you can devote to something else.

    You can change your habits. It is work, but it is doable.

    Second, biochemical changes to your brain and body caused by alcohol. More proven science.
    Evidence shows that heavy alcohol use modifies the structure and physiology of the brain. To function normally, the brain must maintain a careful balance of chemicals called neurotransmitters—small molecules involved in the brain’s communication system that ultimately help regulate the body’s function and behavior. Just as a heavy weight can tip a scale, alcohol intoxication can alter the delicate balance among different types of neurotransmitter chemicals and can lead to drowsiness, loss of coordination, and euphoria—hallmarks of alcohol intoxication. Remarkably, with ongoing exposure to alcohol, the brain starts to adapt to these chemical changes. When alcohol is present in the brain for long periods—as with long-term heavy drinking—the brain seeks to compensate for its effects. To restore a balanced state, the function of certain neurotransmitters begins to change so that the brain can perform more normally in the presence of alcohol. These long-term chemical changes are believed to be responsible for the harmful effects of alcohol, such as alcohol dependence and depression.

    You can help restore your brain chemistry.

    Alcohol wreaks havoc with various vitamins, minerals, and chemicals in the brain. One strategy to combat these effects is to supplement. I took a bunch the first 6 months when I was drinking less, mostly the following.



    Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin D3


    Omega-3 Oil


    There are others. See:

    Best -