By Cristina Utti
There are many reasons why a person drinks alcohol.
Some drink to relax after a long day at work. Some drink to “socialize” because it loosens them up. Some people drink because they feel like they never quite “fit in,” or even go out for drinks with people so that they can fit in. Once the alcohol gets in their system, they feel a “part of”, or just don’t care if they fit in with the crowd. A common misconception is that drinking alcohol makes us more likeable, funnier, more desirable, etc. Actually, exactly the opposite is true.
I worked in the restaurant business for many years. Alcohol and partying is a big part of that world. Most restaurants give their employees a free shift drink—this is one free alcoholic beverage after your shift. In most places I have worked, no one leaves after one drink, so you land up giving the money you just made right back to the restaurant. People hang out and drink, and everyone has their “drunken identities.” Stories are told over the next days about who went home with whom, who got sick and threw up, and other “fun” things people do when they are drunk. Our culture seems to think these stories are funny, that people need to consume huge amounts of alcohol so that they can have sex with someone, or are so scared to talk to others that they have to drink themselves into throwing up. I don’t think this is funny; it is sad.
Even in the corporate and professional worlds, people often go out for drinks together. This supposedly helps people bond. But this is just a lie. Conversations had when we are drunk may seem wonderful when we are in a drunken state, but what good are the conversations if we cannot remember them the next day? What good is it if we feel we have to drink to be able to talk to these people? Drinking alcohol feeds us the lie that we are making friends. In reality, if we have to consume alcohol to be comfortable to talk to certain people, they are not our friends.
Some people may argue that alcohol has widespread prevalence in our rituals and social lives. Maybe it does. What one needs to be aware of is the danger of identifying with behavior while under the influence. If it changes your behavior, and you think that you are a better person when drunk, beware. If you find yourself “needing” to drink before heading out with friends, or having a few before you get to a party, then there is trouble brewing. Binge drinking often begins at these affairs and more often than not, leads to alcoholism.
If you find yourself identifying with the way you are when you have alcohol in your system, remember that it is a lie. We are better people just the way we are, before putting any chemical changing substance into our bodies. If you think you or a loved one may be drinking too much, seek out help before the problem gets out of hand. Alcohol poisoning and detoxing from alcohol can be fatal. This is no laughing matter.
If you feel you or a loved on is an alcoholic, please contact us anytime at 800.218.6727.