I Drink, Therefore I Am…

I’m trying to quit drinking. Or at least, I’m contemplating thinking about strongly considering possibly quitting alcohol. It’s a complicated thing. Or maybe it isn’t. Perhaps it’s a lot more simple than I give it credit for. I can very easily just stop drinking. I can very easily just not open a beer and drink it, and then reach for another. And another after that. So why haven’t I yet? I keep telling myself I don’t have a problem. That’s the first sign that I have though, right?

But my drinking doesn’t harm myself or others, not in any way that I can obviously see at least. I don’t go out, have some drinks and start a brawl. Never have. I don’t have three drinks and hit on every girl within arms reach. Again, I never have. I don’t roll like that. Plus, the wife probably wouldn’t think too highly of it, and who could blame her?

I’m 36 and I drink more now than I did when I was 18. At 18, I didn’t much care for drinking or socializing. I was happy to stay home, work out and play video games. The whole drinking culture looked boring and repetitive to me. I was right of course, and half a lifetime later I love nothing more than going out and drinking a lot of beer with friends. I don’t find it boring, or repetitive. Maybe I should though.

So much of my identity, and also that of my friends, is tied to drinking and all that it represents. This probably isn’t a good thing, nor particularly healthy in both a physical and psychological sense.

Here’s the thing though: I love to drink. I enjoy the taste of beer. I like the nice buzz I get off three or four cold ones. But again, therein lies the problem: how do I stop at three or four?

I often think about how drinking changes the personality of the drinker. I’ve long thought of myself as a friendly drunk, but it’s not as a simple as that. I’ve got a shocking temper without booze, add in a few drinks and that fuse gets a lot shorter. I have found myself in many precarious situations over the years. And I hate it when drinkers get away with doing and saying terrible things and blaming it on the drink. I’ve never done that.

I actually think that, to a certain extent, alcohol strips away the inhibitions and influences you to say things that are on your mind but that your sober, guarded self won’t reveal in the name of good social grace. There are exceptions to this of course – you can go overboard with drink and lose any control of thoughts and actions. Most of the silly things I’ve said whilst inebriated were things that I really felt but probably would’ve been better off keeping to myself.

So I might quit drinking at the end of 2013. Or I probably won’t. Let’s see what happens.

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