“It’s a good job we stopped drinking when we did.”
“Well if we had continued, we would have just been drinking for the sake of drinking.”
That’s the conversation that I was just party to in the elevator on my way to breakfast this morning. I was grateful for it because it got the old cogs whirring inside my skull and I decided to write this.
The conversation was between a man and a woman who I would guess were in there forties. I could tell by their accent that they were English, and my first reaction was one of surprise. This awareness of understanding when too much drink has been consumed has always rattled around inside my grey matter as European culture and not British.
I then poured over the conversation in my mind, as I ate breakfast, and came up with the conclusion that the sentence doesn’t make logical sense to me. I realise that it doesn’t make sense because of the new habits that I have created around the subject of alcohol abuse.
When you believe that alcohol offers you ‘zero’ benefits, like I do, then every single drop of poison than passes your pursed lips is classed as drinking for the sake of it. I can only assume that the couple stopped before they were completely inebriated, and that drinking for the sake of it, means that they would have continued to grow more and more out of control. But I believe they were drinking for the sake of it when they took their first sip.
There are two important points here regarding habits. Firstly, you need awareness of a problem in order for you to do something about it. Secondly, you need an open mind. Both of these factors converge to make the topic of alcohol a thorny issue when I discuss it with people who choose to drink. I must confess I find the art of debate in this area quite difficult due to my own personal beliefs and convictions.
If I was to engage in debate with this couple I believe that they would not accept my theory that they were drinking for the sake of it. They will tell me that drinking is fine in moderation and that they drink to enjoy themselves. They will defend their rights to the death because to acknowledge anything different means that they have been conned their entire lives. It is this pride that keeps people’s minds closed. It is the need to fit in with everyone else that keeps people’s minds closed.
When it comes to receiving a buzz I will place the orgasm at the top of the list. I have taken a lot of recreational drugs; drunk alcohol; ate copious amounts of ice cream and smoked cigarettes. I can therefore rate the ‘buzz’ on a scale and I believe that other peoples ‘buzz’ factor will not vary that much. When you have an open mind and look at alcohol differently. When you separate all of the ingredients of a great night out. Only then can you see the tree standing tall and proud in the middle of the wood. There is no discernable buzz worth all of this damage, cost and pain.
You see with an open mind, you can question and probe. You will remember each conversation you had. You will go back in time and remember the laughter. And when you do you will realise that it’s the people who made the evening special. It was the conversation that interested you. It was Uncle David’s jokes about Aunty Mabel’s fat arse that made you laugh. It is interaction with other beings that presents the ‘buzz’, not alcohol.
People see what they want to see. People that drink alcohol believe that they see people enjoying themselves because they are drinking alcohol. Haley Joel Osment sees dead people. It’s just the way it is. We are this way because of the way we have been programmed by society, and this is a great thing. Because once you understand that you can be programmed in this way, you realise that you can programme yourself to think differently. The only thing stopping you is your pride. You need to step up and be counted. You need to become a better role model for your family, for your children and for your earth. Step forward and away from the line. Let everyone look upon you with envious eyes. Revel in your self.
I saw another person at breakfast. He was a friend. His eyes were bloodshot and he looked tired and out of it. In one hand he had a plate filled to the brim of stodgy, fat laden breakfast food. In the other he had a huge bottle of water. Both were needed to satiate the alcohol he had consumed the night before. It was 10:00am and he was heading back to bed after cancelling his flight so he could sleep a little longer.
Now through this persons eyes he will remember a great night out. In fact, cancelling his flight is one of the punch lines that will help deliver his story when he recounts his tale with his friends over another beer or twelve. That’s what drinkers do. That’s what I used to do. We laugh and balk over the idiot falsities of our evening and close our minds to the host of negative things that far outweighed any positivity you may have had. The fact that the alcohol cost a fortune, that it gave his outer and inner appearance a nasty make over, that it dehydrated him and killed his brain cells, that it cost him financially because he had to cancel his flight, that it cost him his precious time as he now spends the beautiful day in bed; and beside him lay a plate full of fat just waiting to line the internal organs responsible for supplying him with healthy cells so he can live a long life. None of that will be raised in the ensuing discussion over his ‘great night out’ because to acknowledge these truths makes the whole thing very unpleasant. No, that just wouldn’t do. It’s not that interesting. I mean it’s not like I do this every day. I only drink like this when I am working on location. It’s the same old nonsense about moderation.
People drink because they believe that drinking creates value in their lives, and whether this is two glasses of wine or two bottles of the stuff is irrelevent. How can the two be any different? The person that drinks a little is nothing but a hypocrite of the worst kind should they dare to poke a finger at the so-called alcoholic. How dare they. It makes my blood boil to think about such hypocrisy. Going back to the people in the elevator it was refreshing to see a couple that believed they had limits in their life for the consumption of such an horrific poison. And then it’s such a shame that logical, rational human beings actually create limits in the first place.
I too am like Haley Joel Osment. I see dead people. They’re everywhere. They just don’t know it yet.
Do you have an opinion on this? Please engage a debate. I could do with the practice.
Photo courtesy of diyosa (cc $ flickr.com)