I don’t drink alcohol. I was talking to someone yesterday and it dawned on my how many assumptions people make about someone who doesn’t drink alcohol and how every single one of them is wrong in my situation. In my entire life, I have never found another person who abstains for the same reasons I have.
And that reason is simple: It’s a calculation of how effective I am while intoxicated and how effective I am while not. In my mind it is no different than decided my life is better with two arms instead of just one. This rational goes along with my overall fear of anxiety. I’m very unlikely to have something happen that I later have to deal with if I am always in completely control. And thus I am always in complete control. The only time bad things happen is when the chaos outside of my control enters my life.
I could go on about why the above rationale can actually be very harmful, but that’s not what this article is about. Even as I become more accepting of the chaos, I still will not drink, because it could be catastrophic. I have seen how people with anxiety use alcohol as a crutch to self medicate. I have also seen how that crutch only makes their anxiety much worse. If I need to let loose and relax, I absolutely need a healthy and effective alternative to alcohol.
This rational approach to drinking is entirely unique in day-to-day life. If you were to poll everyone who is a teetotaler you would get a range of responses that would fit into one of these boxes:
- I was an alcoholic and decided I can no longer drink.
- Religious reasons prevent me from drinking.
- I witnessed the harmful effects of alcohol at a young age.
What you wont see is:
- I see what alcohol does, I don’t care about peer pressure, I want to be in control.
That is me, and how every day I face a culture obsessed with drinking, and I am not a part of it. This is all part of a choice I made a long time ago. I will not live my life as a lie or pretending it is something it is not. I will see it for exactly what it is, work for what is attainable, and never let delusions cloud my vision. I guess that kind of makes me a buzz kill. Oh well.