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Why We Drink

Well that proved harder than I had anticipated. I hit the Guinness pretty late on Sunday; around about almost…well, exactly, midnight. There was a certain morbidity in the countdown around the table, and then the following evening Birthday drinks delivered all that Birthday drinks can – carnage.

I was ignorant enough to rattle through some Innis & Gunn Rum Cask, which is an old favourite. The headache wore off two days later.

I’ve realised that binge drinking is no good. I had a wonderful, nutty fresh sip of a San Miguel this week that reminded me that we do lose, well at least I seem to have, some level of tolerance. Once lost, it would take serious alcohol consumption to get back to it. My conclusion: that’s a young man’s game and I’ll stick to the occasional session from now on.

Early in my drinking I wrote a kind of pseudo-philosophical piece that seemed at the time to answer the negative in an intoxicated way. To clarity; I was drunk and disliked being drunk. This is something I think we can all relate too. The idea that we are not comfortable. Either we are embarassed or unwell; or it is the hangovers that convince us, but we are not happy. We are never drinking again. How many times have we genuinely had that wish?

Yet there are so many enabling things about drinking. For a brief example take a look at John Fraser’s recent blog post. John abstained from the sauce during February and had a few words to say on it.

We all drink for a variety of reasons. For some it is the chance to unwind after a stressful day, for others it is neccessary to be sociable in company. Great alcohol, though often expensive, can be a genuinely enlivening thing. I’ve tasted fine wine, and developed an understanding for the processes involved in real ales. Single Malt Whisky is a delicate hobby, and enjoyed in moderation drinking can be a worthwhile little vice.

Learn your lessons though. The experience of drinking too much, and let’s be honest in my case my student years were taking their toll, is one where it is important to learn how to drink.

Know your poison, know your limit. Just occasionally, take a break and evaluate. If you can, make sure it’s a genuine sacrifice and see if you can’t do it for a good cause. Most importantly though, make sure you and your drinking companions are enjoying yourselves.

Stay safe.

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