Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Happy Relationship with Alcohol

Drinking too much will mess up your life. It will rot your liver, hurt your self esteem, get in the way of your relationship, destroy friendships, even cost you your job if the problem goes too far. 

Nothing new here.

Recently though, a friend told me a reason I never thought of for making sure I keep my relationship with alcohol healthy: If drinking becomes a problem, I may have to stop drinking. That would suck, because alcohol is fun and part of my sane lifestyle. Hell, I’m on a plane right now enjoying a Jack on the rocks. The alcohol makes my space invading neighbor’s elbows more tolerable and keeps the reality that a few inches below my feet is 37,000 feet of air pleasantly fuzzy.

As you can probably attest, alcohol has a great variety of uses including lowering inhibition, decreasing awkwardness, and increasing fun. It enhances meals, improves conversation, and makes cooking more enjoyable. Plus, mixing drinks can be a creative and tasty art.

But if you drink too much, you sacrifice all this. When you realize you have a problem, you will have to cut down. Then, you will no longer have license to get drunk. See, if your drinking is under control, every once in a while, in the right situation, with the right people, its fine to get a little ripped. But once you have a problem, you loose the right to get drunk. Now you probably shouldn’t have more than two, because well, you know what happens once you start down that road…

And if things get really bad, you will have to give up drinking all together, and forever. You will have to dance, go on first dates, attend weddings, reunions, and family functions completely sober. And then even if you have one drink, you will have relapsed. You will feel bad about yourself and have to go acknowledge what happened at a meeting.

You don’t want this. You want to be able to drink and have it be a good thing not a bad thing. So, keep it under control. Find other ways to cope with stress, so alcohol is not your go to stress reliever. Don’t drink every day. Make alcohol an addition to fun times, not the point of fun times. For college-aged readers: don’t funnel, shot gun, use a beer bong, or engage in drinking games – this is dumb. Only get drunk once in a while and then in circumstances where you are with people who won’t take advantage of you and where you don’t have to drive.

With a little maintenance, you can enjoy a lifetime of happy times with your good pal, booze.


  1. I just discovered your blog Noah. Good work!!! This post on drinking alcohol is oh so perfect. It reminds me of listening to a wise soul like the Dalai Lama; who puts what is often viewed as a complex matter, into very simple terms. It's really that simple - even for our friends/family who struggle with addiction. They know what happens, but they won't go there. And so, the story unfolds. Your putting these thoughts into a sageful/wise easy to read way ought to be very helpful to those that get confused at times.

  2. Thank you Carol! I think you may be overstating my wisdom, but I am flattered. This wasn't my original idea, but when I heard it I thought it was brilliant - a good reason to be moderate is so you can keep doing it!