My love-hate relationship with alcohol

“I have a love-hate relationship with alcohol. I love it when it’s in, hate it when it’s out.”

First of all, let’s get it off the table: No, I’m not an alcoholic.
This simple yet witty (when I have already quoted myself as above, it shouldn’t be surprising that I assign myself the adjective “witty”) saying came to me as a heaven-sent message not long some time ago, after a fun drinking night with friends.

I love drinking for the same reason anybody else who enjoys a good beer or two (well, it’s actually more than a beer or two, but that is the most natural expression that can be used here) does. It helps me relax and tells me that somehow everything will be okay. (I am a rather happy drinker, as opposed to people that see doom everywhere as soon as alcohol gets in their system – I hear they exist.) Although I strongly disapprove of forcing alcohol on people who would rather stay sober and creating something that non-drinkers would only see as a ‘drinking madness’, I do think a beer can help people become friendly to one another in an easier and shorter period of time. Yes, even though both parties may not remember said new relationship the next morning.

As for myself, I become someone I secretly always wanted to be. Or rather, I develop certain traits I rather appreciate, but cannot pull off in a sober state of mind.
I become louder, friendlier and bolder. You know the one person who is always laughing the loudest and encouraging everyone else to drink, fast and a lot, citing reasons that sound absolutely absurd to people who haven’t been helped with the numbing stimulant that is alcohol? The one who’s making movie appointments with people she barely talks with on a regular basis, the one who’s planning the next drinking session, which, by the sound of it, is going to be the party of the century, with people she just met? Well, that’s me.
Suddenly, the world shines under a bright new light and love is in the air. I don’t mean love for someone in particular, but universal love. I’m in love with the fact that I am surrounded by awesome people and friends, and the simple fact that I am alive. I hug the person sitting next to me, whether he/she may be my best friend or my acquaintance’s friend.
Aside from the laughing part, this is someone I barely know.
On a regular, daily, sober basis, this is the person I am: I don’t shout to people to do anything. I don’t make appointments easily with anyone (since it’s MY time and someone else’s time that are at stake, I believe any appointment should be enjoyable for all parties involved, unless it’s something I absolutely cannot avoid). I don’t usually organize parties or outings, mainly because I’m scared that nobody will show up and I will be utterly disappointed. Universal love? I don’t believe in that shit. I do believe however in something called ‘too much love’ and that it should be avoided whenever possible. I enjoy and love only a limited number of people in my surroundings, and even pride in not being too ‘easy’ at giving my affection. I am a very careful hugger. Sure, I hug my close friends, but when it comes to people outside the small and limited circle of close friends, I want to avoid awkward situations, and I have to debate for at least an hour beforehand whether I will hug someone or not.
So it is only natural that when the alcohol has left my body and I wake up the next morning with vague recollections of my ‘wild side’, I should feel mortified of my outraging behavior. I feel mortified because no matter how much I want to be outgoing and a free hugger, every fiber of my body and mind tells me that this is not who I am. In a weird, twisted way, I long to be the loud voiced person full of love, yet I hate myself for pretending to be someone I can never truly be.

Oh, but well, that hasn’t really stopped me from drinking before, and neither will it in the future.




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