Why do I drink alcohol?
A question I skirted around when I was a drinker. Most drinkers do. Ignorance is bliss. I drank alcohol because I chose to. An important realisation, but one that needs further mining, because your choice was heavily biased.
Alcohol consumption is pure symbolism. In most countries drinking alcohol is tradition. Before the Berlin Wall came down young East German men were given alcohol, at their graduation, to celebrate their transition from childhood to adulthood.
Where I grew up, drinking alcohol was a part of life. Although you chose to drink, there was no debate. You didn’t lie awake, nights on end, debating the benefits of an alcohol filled life. It was life. When you reached a certain age you had sex, you drank alcohol, you got a job, and you bought a home.
We live in a world shaped by other people’s beliefs, ideology’s, perceptions, and experiences. We are lazy. We like to be shown the path of least resistance. If we exist within a culture where consumption of alcohol is normal, then why would we question it? If our parents drink on most weekends, if we give our schoolteachers a bottle of wine at the end of term, and if we leave a can of lager for Santa on Christmas Eve…why would we question it?
In the end we drink because ‘it’s just the way it is.’ When you quit drinking this is very clear. But when you are stuck in the insipid trap you can’t see this simple truth. It is invisible, like the prison that encases you. How can you free yourself from a prison when you are blind to the exit?
Deep down we know something is not quite right when we drink alcohol. The banging headache, and morning after vomiting are two actions that may set alarm bells ringing. But to quit means to step outside of the tribe. It means we have to be different. Drinking alcohol is ‘natural’ and not drinking alcohol is ‘unnatural’. Who wants to be unnatural? The punks, the gays, and the non-drinkers: who wants to be one of those?
So we rationalise what we do. We numb down our associates to the pain. We do this by associating huge amounts of pleasure to the act of drinking alcohol. By doing so we protect ourselves from attack. We deny that we have a problem, we avoid dealing with the nagging urge that something is not quite right; our sessions at the bar become mere routine, we create a whole range of justifications for what we do: such as it taste’s good, it helps me relax, I have a great time when I am drunk, and all of this because we fear being ostracised from our community.
It’s just the way it is.
It seems absurd doesn’t it?
Talking about community, how would you like to become a member of the Needy Helper Hub? It’s a new idea to create a connected community, with support and a continual personal improvement process forever. It’s my intention to be online as much as I can to answer any questions you have about your addiction and to continually update the Hub with training tools, tips and techniques to help you create a whole new life. If that interests you, then click this link to find out more.