I recently came across an article on Heat Street that really made me think. The article was written by one Caroline Kent and is titled “Sobriety Is Suddenly ‘Cool’ The Problem? It’s Not As Fun As Drinking.”. The link will, of course, be at the end of this post.
In the article Caroline talks about how millennials are apparently not only drinking less than before but those who don’t drink alcohol are, instead of drinking alcohol, bragging about their sobriety and either attending juice crawls or morning raves where they meet up while drinking – and I’m not making this up – kale. She then goes on to describe her experience with meeting a man through his AA group and then never drinking together during the date, and how her period of commitment to sobriety was fine initially but she began to feel more self-conscious, pressured to be productive and having negative thoughts linger in her mind for longer than they used to. In the end, she felt that sobriety was a mixture of stress and boredom and that it was better to drink even a little more than usual.
There’s a lot to this that I thought about. First of all, I haven’t drank any alcohol at all in my life, and probably the key reason for this was because (a) everyone else did it and I never fully understood why because I very much aware of what people could do when under the influence and (b) there was always a persistent fear of losing self-control to the bottle, something that one of my cousins was keen to note when we were in Italy celebrating the wedding of another of my cousins in 2014. The idea of abstinence (or sobriety) as a way to have a good time simply baffles me. I didn’t avoid alcohol because I thought I’d have a good time – though I often did say I’d have a good time some other way. I did so in order to avoid having a bad time, or at least the possibility that I might have a bad time. So this idea of abstinence of any kind as a path to fun and ecstasy and what not seems foolish to me. Not to mention, what they’re doing instead sounds so inherently unappealing that at first I may as well just ditch sobriety and have a Jack Daniels instead.
But what is more pertinent to me is her statement that negative thoughts stuck with her for longer and were harder to shake off. In my case, I think that might be kind of true. I think I’ve had some thoughts cling to my mind that were either negative or just troubling. For instance, at one point in July, I was trying to play Pokemon Go just see what that was worth and I went to the castle in my town. While wondering in the castle, for some reason, I felt that my mind was flashing back to some very early years – specifically when I was a toddler or even a baby – and then eventually birth and then blackness, followed by a rather disturbing train of thought – I kept thinking about the question of how and why I was here and if I remember anything at all from that point or before, and even a little bit of where I was going. It was some creepy shit, and it kind of stuck with me for a couple of days or so. There is now a part of me that thinks, if Kent is right, had I been a moderate drinker, those disturbing thoughts might have faded from my mind sooner then they did.
Not to mention, I had recently heard that moderate alcohol consumption seems to have some benefits. This includes reducing the risk of dying from heart disease, reducing the risk of diabetes and even living longer than non-drinkers, or teetotallers as we’re sometimes called. That said though, I am probably more interested in some kind of psychological or social benefit to it.
I know it kind of circumstances seem more unique to her, and for all I know I might not actually be the borderline addict that Kent says she is if I began drinking, but it doesn’t change for me that alcohol might actually have some benefits for me despite what I’ve lead myself to believe all these years.
Oh and, for the record, when and if I do start drinking my choice of beverage probably wouldn’t be beer or vodka. It would obviously be something like wine, whiskey (if I could stomach it) or mead. Maybe I’ll even get to try some Eastern beverages if I get to that point, but who knows? And I likely still won’t take to nightclubs or raves; they’re just not my scene.
Link to Caroline Kent’s article on Heat Street: https://heatst.com/world/sobriety-is-suddenly-cool-the-problem-its-not-as-fun-as-drinking/