I can no longer think of a good reason to consume alcohol. I could justify a glass of wine once every 6 months during some very special occasion. I could, if I wanted. And I might. But to consume on any consistent basis? Be it one lousy drink per month? I can probably offer at least 10 anti-reasons.
I’ve presently resorted to 1-4 monthly servings. One could consider this negligent. But why bother? Over the years I’ve already gone months without a single mind suppressant. Evidently, it hasn’t been important.
I recall a few periods of abandoning all consumption many months before a race. I’d abandoned without a second thought, far longer than necessary. In hindsight, I probably used the race as an excuse to avoid alcohol. Of greater interest were the cleansing and the training process, rather than the specific results.
In other essays I’ve recommended the handling of incidental alcohol with grace, in the manner of a stoic. This still applies. If it does occur, acknowledge the effects it shall render and refrain from needless frustration. But I view that as an emergency protocol for the momentary lapse of reason, not as encouragement to introduce systematic consumption. As far as beneficial (hormetic) stressors, I no longer find the compound effects worthy.
What compound effects could one or a handful of drinks per month impart? Of the physiological consequences, strictly speaking, probably few. However, I refer to the cognitive. There is huge difference between the mindset that abstains from an activity all around, and the one that imposes arbitrary limits.
The latter category involves cognitive bookkeeping. It drains energy around trigger points. Manipulators - those individuals whose entertainment would benefit by your consumption, sometimes make effort to sabotage your limits. If it’s one drink per occasion, why not two? If two, why not three? If it’s one per month, what’s the harm in one extra? Is this not a worthwhile occasion?
The pattern follows inductively.
Need that alter your consumption behavior? If you maintain solid ground and discipline, no. No amount of manipulators have the power to wreak your habits.
Yet it still wastes energy. The same applies to explanations among new company. “Why not have a drink?”
The simple “I don’t drink” comes far easier and should hardly expend an ounce of reserves.
The alternative involves mental bookkeeping and analysis, insofar that, well, I occasionally drink, sure, but not this week, not now. That, in turn, can spawn further dull conversation.
Ah. I nearly neglected the process of choosing the preferred beverage. That involves more energy and time waste. Which is acceptable to my palate? Which is less compromising? The brands, the prices, the customizations…
I don’t wish to think about the alcohol, ever. It need become but a policy and end of story.
Energy reserves aside, I fail to justify the alcohol consumption. It might release some inhibition. But I prefer my authentic self. I prefer self-development and risk-taking to artificial uninhibiting substances. That, to me, is more entertaining, rewarding, and inspiring. I view it as a game. For nothing that occurs within that bar, lounge, or banquet deserves any other treatment.
I need not even mention the morning effects. But I do. Alcohol, for one, houses useless calories, compromising any fast I’m likely to be in. It lowers the quality of sleep. One drink handicaps my morning. Two virtually annihilate it.
Authenticity and self-awareness over mindless consumption. There’s enough of that around. It’s epidemic.
I don’t wish to numb the mind, nor escape difficult decisions. I opt to meditate, to look within, to ride the wave of fear, risk, failure and success.
No-alcohol policy enacted.
Questions, comments? Connect.