(Image copied from autostraddle.com)
It took going away to a Christian college in order to get the first taste of people’s idiocy towards alcohol. Despite the school’s location in the wine country, there was never an interest in testing out my drunk limits. Growing up in a different cultural atmosphere that did not restrict alcohol use for minors ie. parents at times will give their kids a small sip of certain alcoholic beverage but did not encourage a boozing behavior. So, like most normal kids, I had quite a few sips and occasional gulp of different liqueur before I was a teen. Interestingly, during the teen years, there was no desire to become plastered much less drink. The fascination was gone and still had not returned even with my new-found independence while at college. On the rare occasion that I do have a glass of some fruity alcoholic beverage, there is always my limit of one.
The word-on-the-street psychobabble is that people have an addictive personality. This implies that certain people, due to a genetic factor, is able to become more addicted to a substance than others. I can assure you that such a description is not in the DSM (the bible for mental illness) and this is just an excuse for not taking control of one’s behaviors. An addiction is a repetitive behavior that ultimately interferes with one’s daily life. The important words are ‘repetitive and behavior’ which are two things that are in a person’s control. Most people who overindulged seem to have an insecure side. They are only able to be themselves or loosen up or feel better when they are intoxicated. There is also an inexplicable ridiculous cool factor with stumbling around and making a fool of one’s self in public. It is even more distressing to see women fall prey because they are at a higher risk for being sexual assaulted. Unfortunately, quite a number of sexual assaults have an alcohol factor.
People who become drunk at every social outing, drinks excessively, and become alcoholics are due to greed not an addictive personality. At a recent event, there were plenty of opportunities to watch people (young and older) drink one bottle or large glass of alcohol one right after the other. At times, people had two glasses or bottles combination in their hands to cut down on the walking and ordering time it would take to get to the bar and back to their spots. One thing a nutritionist will tell you is that liquids are quick fillers when someone is hungry. Having a minimum of two bottles or large glasses of alcohol would fill anyone very quickly. So, the excessive drinking is not about being hungry or thirsty but forcing the body to accept more and more in order to reach an intoxicating level. It is no different from continuing to eat when you are full. There is a guarantee that if you should ask those same people to drink as much water as they do alcohol in one setting, they would have some difficulty completing the tasks. The difficulty would be because it is not a behavior choice to drink that much water but it is for alcohol.
Even after all these years of seeing people purposefully stuff their faces with alcohol, it is always bewildering as to what they truly get out of it? I have witnessed one too many people being dragged home unconscious from their greedy consumption. These are the same people who drive home and the few bastards who cause unfortunate accidents or do very rash things in their impaired state. The other distressing and surprising thing is that the impaired are always the ones who end up with minor scratches while killing others. This is definitely not fair. The body has a shut off valve or warning signs for every excessive thing we put into our mouths. People just choose to ignore it because they are greedy and that is the real reason behind alcohol and food addictions. Alcoholism and food addictions are luxury disorders-ie. these are chosen behaviors that afflict people who have access to excess. A poor alcoholic who does not have money to buy booze will be sober very quickly. A food addict who does not have money to spend on pizzas etc on a daily basis will learn to ration and look like a supermodel in no time.
There really is a cure for all these things. It is called moderation. This is not to say that at times people do not overindulged which is natural. People will also argue that there is an emotional factor to being greedy. In the mental health world, this is a part of the step to treatment; however, in the real world, emotions and behaviors are separate. For example, feeling angry does not equal shooting your family or coworkers but one could punch a pillow, punching bag or scream loudly. Feeling depressed does not equal cutting one’s self, using drugs, or suicide but one could watch a funny comedy, call friends, get a cheap massage, listen to upbeat music. Feeling lonely does not equal sleeping with the first person who shows affection but could involve getting an affordable make over, join a social club, take up salsa dancing to meet people, or do online dating. Feeling proud does not mean being disparaging to others etc. This is all about that dirty word call choices.
Why is this important for the single Christian? Making note of people’s behaviors are key to making a choice to whom you want in your lives. For example, if your date involves the person stepping outside to have a smoke and you do not want to be with a smoker then, that is an easy choice. However, if you are someone who does not find alcohol appealing but is willing to accept a social drinker then, it is important to note if your date seems to enjoy having 2 or more glass of liquor in the space of one hour. Does your date have to drink 3+ alcoholic beverages at every social outing? People do not have to be drunk and most importantly they do not have to consume large quantities. So any signs of your date being drunk is one very big red flag. Eating is the same thing. People have healthy appetites; however, there is a large, no pun intended, distinction between healthy and greedy.