Purpose of Alcohol
What is the purpose of alcohol? I am asking an honest question. I really don’t know the purpose of alcohol as a presence in anyone’s life, not mine, not yours, no one. I know you think that I am snarky with that question because I am sober and now don’t understand why I drank in the first place. That is not the case at all.
Throughout my sober journey, I have been adjusting to life without alcohol. Part of my trip is to think about whether I want to bring alcohol back into my life. Those ponderings led me to question why I drank. Which led me to the question, what is the purpose of alcohol?
Alcohol and Joy
On my life journey, I have been pondering the general question of purpose. Having a purpose is the key to living my best life. Within thinking about purpose is to also look at what are the things that bring me joy. Yes, I have been channeling my inner Marie Kwando in many areas of my cluttered world.
I began to wonder, how would alcohol stand up to her question? Does it bring you joy? For me, no, it does not. That used not to be my answer to that question. When asked if alcohol (beer, wine, etc.) brought me joy, I would say ‘yes’ faster than the person could finish that question.
Purpose of Alcohol in My Life
Now over a year into my sober journey, ask me that same question. The answer is a very quick ‘no, alcohol does not nor did not bring me joy.’ Except now, it is the thought of consuming alcohol and not the actual alcohol to answer that question. Looking back, I do realize that it did not bring me joy. So, joy was not the purpose of alcohol for me. Is it for you?
If alcohol did not bring me joy, then what did it do for me? It got me respite. For me, that was the purpose of alcohol. To spend time not thinking, not remembering, and not feeling. Did you notice the preceding ‘nots’ in that statement? Drinking was not to do those things; it was not to do those things. And I might add that feeling, thinking and remembering are essential for me to do.
None of those things happens with alcohol. What ends up happening is that those things follow you forever. They continue getting more significant the longer they are not dealt with and haunt us forever. It is us running away on a treadmill. We are moving fast but not getting anywhere, and we think we are. There is a warped sense of everything around you when alcohol is ever-present in your life.
Savior or Thief?
I know from therapy that I should not look back on my life and berate myself for using alcohol the way I did. Alcohol saved me, in a way. I am not sure that I would have come out of the world I lived in back then. If I hadn’t had alcohol to temper my intensity and numb the pain, I think I would have imploded.
I had to douse those flames. Otherwise, I would have become engulfed like so many sensitive, intense minds. I would probably not be here anymore. It was an escape, to survive and to quiet the world inside of me because I needed it to be quiet, or at the very least to not be so loud. There wasn’t anything that I could do about it then. I did not have any outlet. Now I have my blog and a way to write about things and get that out into the world.
Even though alcohol saved me, it also stole from me. After I no longer needed a savior, I kept drinking, thinking that I still needed it to make my way in the world. That is the dark side of the addiction to alcohol. It steals your free will to decide that you no longer want to drink alcohol, and within that loss is a loss of self.
Finding Myself Again
Who would have thought that the journey out of the murky swamps of alcohol would be so complicated? I should have figured that would be the case. It is reintroducing myself to me, which is one of the things that I will be doing this week for therapy. And I need to reintroduce myself to my husband and my friends.
First, I need to figure out myself. One of those is how to be the sober person in the world of alcohol. Do I order non-alcoholic drinks when out with friends? I have done that once with jalapeno margaritas. It was okay. My biggest concern was that the staff would accidentally give me the alcoholic ones. They did not. Whew.
Being True to Me
When I was a drinker, non-alcohol drinks were a joke to me, much like decaf coffee. I didn’t see the point. Why ‘pretend’ that you are doing something like with non-alcoholic drinks? I just realized what my ‘issue’ with drinking non-alcoholic drinks is. That I am not true to myself, nor am I presenting my true side to other people.
I am still hiding if I choose to purchase non-alcoholic beverages. And that is a trap that I do not want to fall into ever again. I want to be me, the entire me, which includes the version of me that doesn’t drink. I am damn proud that I struggled and pushed myself to get to where I am today on my sober journey.
As a slight side note: there is a non-alcoholic wine that I will drink; grape juice.
If you are interested in exploring more of your relationship with alcohol and yourself, I highly recommend The Naked Mind with Annie Grace. I read the book, and it provided great information to break through the myths surrounding alcohol.