Thought Catalog

The Overthinking Person’s Drinking Game

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When you experience a vague sense of inequity or deprivation but don’t have a template for whether your expectations are fair, drink.

When you aren’t sure whether the lingering sensation that you aren’t liked enough is a rational response to unfair circumstances or is in fact symptomatic of your tendency to blame your environment for your own failure to self-actualize, drink.

Drink if you experience a sudden flood of shame at the realization that you haven’t done much to deserve really any of the things to which you aspire.

If you suddenly realize you actually felt militantly entitled to something while sabotaging yourself, drink twice.

If you spend a long time mulling the nature of ‘deserving’ and what it actually means, and if you can’t really resolve the question of whether anyone specifically ‘deserves’ anything and come to an impasse about chaos and the innate unfairness of life, drink.

When a person or situation isn’t what you thought it was going to be, and you can’t figure out whether this is your fault for projecting unfounded qualities onto the person or someone else’s fault for actually misleading you, mistreating you or letting you down, drink.

Drink when ambivalence haunts you.

If you notice that you unconsciously but consistently put yourself into situations that deprive you of your resources and move you further away from your goals, drink.

If you cannot work out whether your present situation, challenge, relationship et al is yet another state of unconscious self-sabotage despite the fact you feel deprived, drink.

If you can’t tell whether you’re actually in a negative situation or just an ungrateful person who blames everyone else for your problems, drink.

Drink if you aren’t sure whether you are assuming too much responsibility for your own current unhappiness or not enough.

If you find that after long hours of contemplative malaise you suddenly feel as if nothing in particular is actually wrong and you feel the desire to relax or celebrate, drink.

If you suddenly find yourself highly focused on gratitude and create for yourself a long list of all the things that you are doing successfully or correctly or that you are fortunate to have and want to feel unburdened or euphoric, drink.

If you can’t decide whether you are actually ‘celebrating’ or simply engaging in artificial gestures of relief, take two drinks.

If you can’t tell whether you are an overly-strict person with inappropriate guilt about normal human self-moderation behavior or an avoidant adult child making excuses for your poor coping, drink.

If you feel persistently like you are failing to grow up, drink.

If you can’t tell whether a certain youthfulness in others represents an admirable refusal to adhere to repressive social norms or an actual inability to deal with difficult adult challenges, drink.

If you aren’t sure what it is right to expect of yourself, drink.

If you aren’t sure whether you are repeatedly failing to reach a personal set of behavioral goals or simply consistently feeling inadequate no matter how hard you work, drink.

If you aren’t sure whether you need to ‘lighten up’ or employ more self-discipline, drink.

If you aren’t sure whether you do or don’t want to talk to your friends about it because you aren’t sure whether you are a reasonable person experiencing occasional insecurity or a neurotic person who cannot be soothed, drink.

If you suspect you might not even have much reason to be unhappy and in fact just overthink everything and lack a stable internal compass, drink.

If you think you might just feel lost because you drink too often, but then you think too much when you aren’t drinking, cry.

If you’d rather not think about this kind of thing right now or maybe ever, take two drinks. TC mark

Check out the author’s book “Breathing Machine: A Memoir of Computers” here.

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  • guest

    THIS.

  • Guest

    Excellent!

    “If you can’t tell whether you are an overly-strict person with inappropriate guilt about normal human self-moderation behavior or an avoidant adult child making excuses for your poor coping, drink.”
    …i would always be drinking.

    • Lisa

      Yes, me too and basically I’d just need to be near the bathroom at all times for this one:
      “If you aren’t sure whether you do or don’t want to talk to your friends about it because you aren’t sure whether you are a reasonable person experiencing occasional insecurity or a neurotic person who cannot be soothed, drink.”

  • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

    sweet, leigh

    i would be wasted by the end if i was playing

    • Leigh

      lets play it together next time you are around <3

  • Saikia

    Damn.
    I need another bottle.

  • Mike

    This is fantastic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=41508118 Caity Sherlock

    jesus christ are you in my brain? if you are, i’m drinking.

  • guest

    I’m hammered.

  • Rachel

    I think I’ve unknowingly been playing this game for about 8 months straight.

  • Homer J Simpson

    To alcohol! The cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.

  • http://facebook.com/ Mark Fuckerburg

    Fuck you.

    • Chelsea Fagan

      mature.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002001876147 Rain Forrest

      Your surname, let’s get married.

  • Maja

    One of the best articles I’ve read. True psychological analysis of over thinkers. We’d all be in rehab if we really played this game :DD  I know i’d suffer from cirrhosis in a day :D 

  • Anon

    Well I’m drunk. ^_^

    I think much of this stems from our desire to live up to other people’s standards. The obvious solution, then, seems to be to give other people’s standards a hearty “fuck you” and do (or not do) whatever we want.

    Of course then we consume ourselves with guilt over our laissez-faire attitude toward life because we’re sure that it means we’re somehow not living up to our “potential”. But maybe potential is just other people’s standards in disguise.

    Oh god I just wrote an overthinking comment on a post about overthinking. *drinks*

    • OliverJazz

      Spot on <3 *drinks*

  • Anonymous

    The Overthinking Person’s Way to Become an Alcoholic

  • Anonymous

    how did you completely read my mind? and also I’m sorry that you completely read my mind. Are you as mentally exhausted as me?

  • peter

    leigh please drop everything you are doing and marry me

  • Liz

    Oh so glad I’m not alone in this!

  • Mo

    This is eerily on-point in describing the minefield I call my brain… fuck. 

    • le guest

      I really admire the person before this comment that says they can only ascribe to 2 maybe 3 of these things.

  • Gustaf Sjögren

    Mmm, I’m not a person who overthinks things too much and could only ascribe two or possibly three out of the twenty four situations to myself.

    But it explain the behavior of quite a few people I know. Well done.

  • lalala

    As a recovered alcoholic, this describes so perfectly what I went through/put myself through. Some of the feelings you described I could not have put words to, but you did it so perfectly. This is absolutely relatable for me. Thank you.

  • angela a

    it was painful reading this! but then, this is like my weird brand of self help haha

  • http://twitter.com/matthewglidden Matthew Glidden

    “The Overdrinking Person’s Drinking Game of Drinkthinking Gurgle Gurgle.”

    So good.

  • Guest

    “If you can’t tell whether a certain youthfulness in others represents an admirable refusal to adhere to repressive social norms or an actual inability to deal with difficult adult challenges, drink.”
    Yupp.

    “If you suspect you might not even have much reason to be unhappy and in fact just overthink everything and lack a stable internal compass, drink.”

    Yuuuuuupp.

    If I was drinking based on these two rules alone, I’d be plastered.

  • http://twitter.com/iamthe0nly Jordana Bevan

    i played last night and finished the bottle and fuck i hate you (When a person or situation isn’t what you thought it was going to be, and you can’t figure out whether this is your fault for projecting unfounded qualities onto the person or someone else’s fault for actually misleading you, mistreating you or letting you down, drink.)

    • http://twitter.com/iamthe0nly Jordana Bevan

      my head hurts

  • http://twitter.com/tobypinder Toby Pinder

    Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii bkjthtuioing kjjon  thissipoosossssssssososisss waewsabadideaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa 

  • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com/ Maxwell Chance

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa. This was amazing. 

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