Slight backstory: since the music festival I went to in early June, I haven’t been drinking, making me sober for about a month and two weeks since the writing of this post. Since then, the decision has been both highly difficult to stick to and increasingly interesting to contemplate, especially as I make it further than I ever thought I would. By the time I got to Thailand, multiplied by all the other self-reflection I was doing, drinking became the topic of choice for a car ride brain-dump, which is what I’m posting here.
I should also note that I’ve added to this opinion since I wrote the following short essay, but in an effort to stay honest to the title of these posts, I’m only going to fix grammatical errors, and not change the content.
The reason I’m not drinking is because most of the time it’s destrctive and only ever considered fun due to its (usually) being attached to situations that would be fun even without alcohol. In light of that realization, I think the cravings I’ve been having to drink are somewhat illusory, based on this false mental-image of past goodtimes being the result of drinking; in hindsight, such moments were probably fun because of their social/active setting.
As of late though, I’ve started to think that the so called “responsible” style of drinking could be potentially neutral, but even so, I still think my abstinence is a good chance to do some positive influence for the people that I hang out with, as well as a way to allow myself to focus on doing bigger and better things with my time and subsequently my life.
Perhaps if I gauge it honestly and frequently, I’ll discover that the opportune time to drink (for me) will never come.
Here are some of the situations I’ve thought about:
Fun either way. I’ve already trained myself to listen and love music using nothing more than my sober senses and rad dance moves.
More of a habit than an enhancement. If anything, I think that attaching drinking to those countless number of nights ended up justifying a very lazy and unstimulating activity. Should my friends, family, and I not have had drinking to make it acceptable, I’m pretty sure those opportunities would’ve been taken advantage of in much more interesting ways.
Can be fun either way, but honestly they tend to be better when there’s no inhibition (i.e. when drinking). More often than not though, (certain) parties follow a pretty predictably path of drinking games and redundant conversation. Bars are even worse. In these cases drinking is not necessary, and is often just an excuse to keep the uninspired, cyclical wait-till-weekend-get-fucked-up lifestyle going. However, in fresh party scenarios (e.g. ones with new people and activities) I think it can be good to make yourself less reserved around strangers and turn what would otherwise be a cautious self-conscious night into a blast. However, like concerts, I think this skill could absolutely be developed to work without alcohol; perhaps, it could even be improved since the latter is an active pursuit, whereas drinking is sort of passive, and thus has a biological ceiling (i.e. tolerance). In the end I still think parties lack the justification necessary to make me think of my own alcohol use as reasonable.
Still bad, but the benefits of keeping the community together by following tradition may outweigh the negatives. For example, not taking a shot of Johnny Walker during hunting season might be disrespectful and thus ruin the cohesion of the club for a moment.
Not too bad in moderation, but a very slippery slope when your trying to NOT make excuses to drink in the former settings. I’ve also found it really hard to guage the difference between a craving and a passion, in this context.