Photo: John Dalton
I took this picture a couple of months ago after five pints of beer. It’s lovely isn’t it? It certainly looked lovely to me…five pints later. I was on my way to the local shop to buy some cigars at the time. As I flopped along I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the moon was, how exquisitely it lit up the blossoms on the cherry tree, and how the streetlight balanced this with orange highlights.
It was a moment of beauty that would have been easy to miss, but once noticed brought out all the beauty of the night. I thought to myself, “Well of course everything looks beautiful, you’re drunk!”
I kept going but the beauty didn’t stop. When I got to the shop the guys who worked there had this great camaraderie and they all seemed to love their funky late night job. I felt like I was in the best feel-good movie ever! I could almost hear the soundtrack. I had nothing but warm feelings for my fellow man. I would have greeted anyone as a friend. I thought to myself, “Well of course you would, you’re drunk!”
This kind of thinking was ruining the vibe and a fight broke out inside me. One part of me thought being drunk was actually allowing me to be closer to how I truly am on the inside – free, loving, easy. If I was sober I would have had my defenses up. I would have been cautious and ready for trouble.
Another part of me thought that if I wasn’t careful bad things could happen. I was able to cite experiences I’d had that backed up this opinion, lots of bad things that had happened to me. The evidence for caution was so strong that it was starting to kill my beer buzz until the first part of me remembered that by and large, when I’m drunk, nothing bad usually happens to me, so all this caution was unnecessary.
Then there was the honesty that came with drunkenness, the things I say that ordinarily I wouldn’t; whether it’s inappropriate flirtation or spontaneous soul baring, these are the declarations that would never happen without booze. In the cold light of morning they are often regretted but does that mean they don’t have value? I don’t think so. Sometimes the boozey rant is the only way to say something.
Of course the tricky thing with booze is it excludes the cautious parts of me. They fade into the background. And when they’re not there the sense of relief is immense. The goodwill just wells up. All is as it should be. It’s so good that it could only get better by having another drink. And with caution in the background I can’t think of a reason not to. I was only planning on having one beer, just to take the edge off, but now I definitely think another pint is a capital idea. And so it goes until I find myself walking to the shop and taking photos in the dark.
From my experiences treating people as a cranio sacral therapist I know how devastating alcohol can be, the same with drugs, but nevertheless I like the way I feel when I’m drunk. I can see why people become alcoholics or drug addicts. Living can be very difficult and grinding and being able to access my true nature on demand is very attractive. I can of course access it without alcohol but not on demand, not when I really need it. It’s not like I can sit on the couch at the end of a hard day and make the soul fatigue melt away like a glass of wine can or the way a beer or two can make a room full of strangers easier to deal with.
Booze is a shortcut to my true self with a built in tendency for excess.
Do you have the same kind of experiences when you get drunk?
Why do you drink?
Why don’t you?
*Previously posted on MayaNoise.com
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