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Why We Get Drunk (The Painful Real Reason)

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I was in my early 20s and pretty much at the end, it was the end of another lonely day behind closed curtains and the beginning of a phase in which I got drunk, alone in my apartment, with wine (I first learned to love beer in Munich) and schnapps (something cheap). Doesn't exactly draw a brilliant picture of me, but it did.

When asked why I get drunk, I would have answered what most of us would probably answer: It tastes good. It relaxes. It rewards. The others do it too. Party. Yeah

In truth, it's something else - and more or less we know or feel that too.

But why exactly are we getting drunk?

Why do we get drunk?

I'm not a psychologist, that's why everything I write about here should be treated with as much caution as self-distilled from Russia. But I read about a theory by Tolstoy about it, which I find very understandable.

Tolstoy wrote:

A person does nothing other than two things throughout his life:

  1. He tries to bring his actions into harmony with his consciousness, his intellect, with what he thinks is right and what he expects of himself. He turns the spotlight on himself and shapes his life accordingly, as best he can.
  2. He tries to hide from his consciousness, his mind, from what he thinks is right and expects of himself, but still does not do. Often just to be able to go on living as before, despite the turmoil.

Sometimes we adapt our behavior to what our inner voice tells us - and thus take the healthy first path. Sometimes the unhealthy second.

The second path forks again. We either turn the spotlight from the inside out, divert our consciousness with bed stories and obsessive hobbies and the hunt for money. Or we leave the spotlight on our inside, but hang the lights on it and thus ensure darkness and apparent calm. Just as we don't have to see something ugly in front of us when we look elsewhere or hold a hand in front of our eyes.

Alcohol is the latter. The struck light. The hand in front of our eyes.

With minor differences between what we think is right and how we act, we are more likely to be distracted from the outside. In the case of greater differences or greater sensitivity, this is often no longer sufficient.

Before I got drunk on those lonely nights, I first tried to distract my consciousness by dreaming of being rich, reading books and watching TV and bathing several times a day (warm, safe). Only when all that was no longer enough did I try to switch off my consciousness.

One escape, and then the other.

When we get drunk, it is always worth asking:

Where in my life am I doing wrong?

Or maybe also:

Where in my life am I feeling wrong?

"How to let go of worries, stress and self-doubt"

You and me and the alcohol

Fortunately, the alcohol thing has never grown into anything more serious for me, I'm rarely drunk (and not because I've gotten used to a lot of alcohol in my blood).

But you should never feel too safe about that. It's just tempting to be just a pair of glasses away from the end of the conflict and problems, at least for a while. Like for the one who is asked in the interview where she sees herself in five years, and she: "In five years I want to be dry for five years ... okay, four and a half."

I would love to read from you how you feel about alcohol and whether you have abused it or are still doing it.

Of course also AAnonymously.


P.S .: The same applies to smoking, eating, work addiction, sex addiction, injections and swallowing (of medication and all these drugs, which of course I don't even know by name myself). See also Why You Are So Exhausted (The Real Painful Reason).

Photo: Johnny Silvercloud

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