Thought Catalog
March 13, 2017

In Defense Of Putting Down The Alcohol And Getting Back In Touch With Yourself

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What is the issue?
Chris Montgomery

For me the month of March is usually a strange in-between time where the tail end of winter meets the newness and possibility of spring.

Lately, I have been hibernating more than ever and getting way too cozy with my Netflix. During one of my binge sessions of Mad Men, there is an episode where Don Draper an advertising executive during the 1950’s, finds out that cigarettes may be harmful. He uses this information to his benefit and creates a marketing strategy from this idea.

He says that even though smoking could kill you, getting into your car can kill you. Just because something is dangerous, doesn’t mean we won’t do it. Sometimes when you tell someone not to do something, they want to do it even more. For me personally, that’s how I viewed alcohol. It used to be something fun I really wasn’t supposed to be doing. Now in my adult life I can’t imagine a first date without a glass in my hand. It has become the norm.

We all have our vices or crutches we turn to when we are uncomfortable with being in the moment. For example in line at Starbucks we whip out our phones. It’s like this quote that made me laugh recently, “I saw a guy at Starbucks today. No iPhone, no tablet, no laptop. He just sat there. Drinking coffee. Like a psychopath.”

Contrary to the idea that people feel like they get “smarter” when they drink alcohol, I feel less connected to my higher self and more out of control.

Things get legitimately blurry and slowed down, which can cause you to blur your morals too. If it wasn’t a decision you would be comfortable making sober it probably isn’t a good decision at all.

We all know how alcohol can make us feel. It looses you up, can make you feel on top of the world and a shy introvert can open up and become not so shy. But what happens to that introvert when they are in a social setting without alcohol? Like sitting in class and a new friend is trying to talk to you? Even for non-introverts face-to-face connection can be intimidating. Sometimes when people ask me how I am doing unexpectedly and really mean it, I am shocked. I almost jump up from looking at my phone.

Some would say that alcohol leads to a feeling of freedom. But why do we need alcohol to make us feel free? Are we stuck in our own heads and phones all day that it is becoming harder for us to be in the real world? We shouldn’t have to down a depressant like alcohol, to slow down our brains.

During the day can’t we find other ways to get to that openness and honesty that alcohol sometimes leads us to?

The ability to turn off your brain from the madness has almost become an art form. It’s surely not easy with all the endless choices life throws us every day.

But, I truly believe that people are realizing that using alcohol to escape is becoming more faux pas than ever. With mental disorders such as depression and anxiety on the rise for our generation, alcohol can take us to a dark place and bring us deeper down than we would be sober. I think we are becoming more conscious as a whole and alcohol can hinder our journey to self-discovery and mental clarity. More and more I am finding friends of mine that have thrown in the towel with alcohol for these reasons.

I was on a date with a guy once who told me he stopped drinking. Automatically, I think great he is a recovering alcoholic. I never once thought maybe his choice to stop drinking isn’t because of a problem. For our generation drinking is the norm and someone who doesn’t pick up a pint is looked at in a strange way. Like we couldn’t possibly imagine a person who never drinks!

Maybe I’m just getting older, but I know if I drink I am laid out way longer than I used to be. The next day I am sick, tired and not usually thinking happy thoughts. What we don’t realize is alcohol is like coming down from a drug because it IS a drug. Is the come down and highs and lows really worth it anymore? TC mark