Do we give alcohol too much credit for the good times?
Do we give alcohol too much credit?
I can see it all so clearly, well, kind of… Dancing on the table, belting out “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” at the top of my lungs. Twirling under the arms of friends to the Bee Gees or attempting Karaoke versions of Whitney Houston singing I will Always Love You. Yes, fun times where had with alcohol but was it just the alcohol that brought the fun times?
Do you ever think wistfully about those “good time” that you had with alcohol? Over the years we fell in to the trap of thinking that alcohol was the cause of those good times, but perhaps we gave alcohol too much credit. Think back over the memory in question. What were all the elements? Was there music, was there dancing? Were there friends there? When you poured that drink or cracked that beer, were you mentally conditioned to see that as the beginning of your good time?
Even when you look back on an alcohol fuelled “great time”, you can see you were giving alcohol all the credit. It was only a small part of the equation. There was probably a time in that night when the intoxication felt pleasant, likely early when you had your first sips and the dopamine was flowing. The truth is, that part is fun but it’s only a fraction of the entire evening.
Will I ever have a good time again?
You may think, damn... I will never have that time again. The fact is you absolutely can have that time again. You can still hang with friends, laugh, dance and sing. You can eat delicious food at amazing restaurants. The only thing missing will be the alcohol. I can assure you, you can have just as much fun and enjoy moments without the alcohol clouding your judgement. You will be awake and fully present.
When did it all change?
At what stage in our life did we start to believe we could only have fun when alcohol was involved? Certainly a child doesn’t need alcohol to have fun, and kids know how to do fun more than anyone. So when did we start to limit ourselves? When did we start believing we could only have a good time if it included alcohol? Imagine waking up after a night with friends, not feeling sick, not having regrets. Not scrambling through your mind trying to remember what went down the night before. Getting up feeling fresh and getting outside or doing something active that makes you feel good. Just you being your authentic self. Imagine waking up feeling happy for no reason at all!!
Sobriety will heighten your senses.
In truth, alcohol has had one of the best marketing teams known to human kind. From an early age, we are conditioned to attribute our good times to alcohol. We believe we need it to celebrate, to enhance our times with friends, to enjoy a meal. That is so much BULLSHIT! Sobriety will heighten your senses. When you are sober you actually listen when people talk. You take an interest (which is well, interesting), you taste the food, you hear the music and you watch what is going on around you. You are chirpier and quick witted. If you aren’t sulking about sobriety you are most likely more fun to be around.
Being truly present is when the fun starts.
I’m a few years down the sobriety track and I talk to people at parties, I sing, I dance with my pimped up soda water. I cook whilst listening to music on a Sunday with a nice cuppa instead of a red wine. I enjoy time with friends. I do it all, minus the alcohol. Do I still have a good time? Absolutely! 90% of the ingredients for that good time were always there, even when I was drinking. It’s a smaller change than you think. You are taking out the one ingredient, that used to get the credit for the whole SHABANG -alcohol!