First of all, thanks to Acolyte for giving me the idea for this post.
I will tell you what this article is not. This IS NOT an article where I talk about the ills of drinking and alcoholism or give you reasons to stop. I have already spoken about my opinions on drinking and think its of no use to you if I repeat what I’ve already said.
Instead, this article is about helping YOU figure out why YOU get pissed and why people you care about drink…..so much?
Why Would I Care About Why I Drink if I Am Not About to Quit?
Anytime you figure out the reason why you do something, you gain one thing that’s absolutely priceless: self-awareness.
If before every sip, you can look yourself in the eye and know why you’re about to take that sip, with all B.S. aside, now that’s power.
Or rather, latent power that can easily be converted into something even more priceless (?!oxymoron, me thinks): self-control. This self-control can extend far deeper than every Friday night.
In a land where we agree that it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus, how valuable is self-control? You with me?! Let’s begin
Based on My Observations and Experiences
Based on my observations and experiences, I have observed the following 10 reasons that someone ingests the inebriating fluid:
This is the one I have heard most often, and I’m willing to bet it’s probably the one you’ve heard said the most as well. Anytime you feel like life is getting too tough and you need some way to escape briefly from this constant tension, you drink. You don’t like being away from home? You are not enjoying your new job? You’re university assignments are piling up and overwhelming you? Sip your sorrows away.
It’s possible that you are using drinking as your way of coping with any feelings of stress or overwhelm.
2) The Opposite Sex: Men
I can tell you for a fact that this is 90% of the reason that I drank. I began drinking on a semi-regular basis in my early teens so I could have enough courage to approach and bed women.
I remember when I was still in film school I tried to make a documentary (while drunk no less) on why people drink. A lot more men gave this as the reason than I would have thought.
Hey, if Kenyan President (legitimacy notwithstanding), Emilio Stanley Kibaki needed booze to convince the firecracker that is his wife, then I am sure many men with lesser power have done the exact same thing.
3) The Opposite Sex: Women
Now when it comes to drinking and women, it’s an entirely different ball game. Sure, there are women who drink so that they have the courage to approach men they fancy for love or lust, but in my experience if these women have enough guts to do it when drunk, they can usually do it when sober.
Women tend to drink so that they have a scapegoat and can absolve all responsibility for ‘anything that may happen’ between her and a particular Mr., or Mrs., to herself and her friends, who she fears may call her the woman with the Red Sea for legs.
Now, few women will admit this openly, but a lot of women drink so that if they wake up the next morning next to someone they don’t particularly care for they can say,
“The booze made me do it, I’m still a good person!”
4) To Magnify Positive Emotions
This is the other major reason I drank. If I was ever in a good mood and I drank my good mood would multiply. This may happen when you have had a good day and feel that alcohol is the best way to treat yourself. Or it may also occcur at celebrations, get togethers and gatherings. This brings us to the next reason:
5) It’s What Other People Do
The power of social proof will never cease to amaze me.Other “normal” people go to the bar after work, so will I. “Ordinary” people drink whenever they get together or have a celebration, so will I. “Everyone” drinks in their teens and early adult years so will I. Another one not many people will admit. If so many “normal” people didn’t drink, would you ever have started?
6) The Stories
This justification also intertwines with the previous one. In bars and house parties all over the world, we love people who start stories with:
I was so high/ We were so wasted that……….
Usually such stories have outlandish but ridiculously exciting plots. Some of us take great pride in being the one with such a story week after week after week or day after day after day.
7) Movies and the Media
This one doesn’t need too much explaining. A lot of people we consider ‘cool’ (we need a new word for cool, it’s cliche, ice cold?….perhaps…) in the movies and music drink. We love them so much that what they do we do.
We want to order martinis like Bond. We want to indulge in Cosmopolitans like Carey. We want to drink scotch neat like another protagonist from such and such film.
Do your favorite TV, music, movie or video game characters drink?
8 ) Scapegoat Version 2
Women are not the only ones who use alcohol as a scapegoat. A lot of us drink so we can tell people WHAT’S REALLY ON OUR MINDS, without having to suffer the huge consequences we would suffer if we did it in the sober light of day.
I have a family member who takes pride in using a lot of his drunk time to tell all the people he hates (for the weirdest of reasons) why he hates them. He takes this time to start fights with people he wants to start fights with because he knows once sobrierity comes he is back to being a responsible (well relatively) individual.
9) I Drink So I Have the Courage to Do X
The X in the headline above can refer to anything really. I drink so I am brave enough to give a speech. I drink so I am brave enough to face other people. I drink so that I can go to the shops without feeling pangs of agoraphobia.
It doesn’t apply to just courage either. I heard of a young man who in his primary school days, used to drink so he could cope with the boredom of being in the classroom all day long.
10) Energy to Continue
Though alcohol is technically a depressant, for a lot of people, it has the opposite effect and gives them jolts of excitement and energy. There are some people who use these jolts to get them through days when they have triple shifts to do on absolutely no sleep. There are some people who are so tired and weary from working 27 hour shifts, 9 days a week that the only way they know to switch their body on is to inject it with some alcohol.
So there you have it. All the reasons I can think of. Do you fall into one of the above categories? Is there a reason I may have missed?
Take this time to really get to know yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised by just why you drink. This self-awareness may lead to a level of self-control that may shock you even more.
If this article, got something brewing in your brain then make sure you stay on the blog’s RSS or email update list because I have new ales of useful, applicable wisdom coming out every day.
Have a self-conscious (in a good way) day,