Alcohol doesn’t make you feel better. You make you feel better (with a drink). Alcohol isn’t retarding your emotional self, you are.
I was writing separate posts, one on getting drunk and another on accidental police shootings, when I kept stumbling on one theme: the quick-fix. These two seemingly distant issues have a common root – and no doubt many others besides.
Things don’t really come into being except as perceived solutions to some perceived problems. Alcohol came around as a very useful solution to the problem of pain, before more precise anaesthetics were prevalent in medicine.
Today alcohol is a part of life as a quick fix for a variety of emotional problems, from stress to social shyness and even boredom. It’s intoxicating effects are in small portions not enough to obviously debilitate a person, so the dependency encroaches daily below the radar. With a drug that is legal, totally acceptable and readily available, we are stealthily making retarding our emotional selves, by employing a quick-fix to overcoming challenging emotions. I hope that makes as much sense to you as it does to me.
Being so accessible and tolerated, it’s no surprise that even the smartest of us are not aware of the damage being done to emotional self-sufficiency (a man plus a bottle is not a self). A drink be poured and drunk and in a much shorter time and with infinite greater ease than investigating the root of subtle problem that is woven into the fabric of our lives and personality.
It’s most obvious when (supposed) non-alcoholics feel the need for a drink. It wouldn’t be an overly pressing need, just as the real problem is not an insurmountable one, but more like a hint: “a drink would be nice right about now. Do I have any or do I need to go to the store?” Likewise, the mechanisms by which we overcome subtle distress needn’t be obvious. If we deal with our issues naturally, perhaps with unknowingly, we might simply choose another remedy: “Nothing in the fridge, goddammit. Hmm… I feel like a breath of fresh air.”
All that might apply to you in varying degrees only. But you can’t tell me you wouldn’t be a different person without getting tipsy or drunk occasionally, whether it be to mingle with ease, suppress distress or just have a moment’s peace from anxiety. If you’re like me and have once drunk to solve a variety of problems, but no longer allow yourself a fix, you’ll know when the urge strikes and why. Hopefully you’ll know how you’re better off, and stay on the natural path to be a better you.