In order to play golf in Singapore, which is a very crowded island, and without paying unbelievable prices, I catch a ferry over to Indonesia. The golf club in Indonesia arranges everything; the ferry, the shuttle bus, the transport of your clubs. The courses are absolutely gorgeous. This is a 40 minute each way trip.
I made the trip yesterday with a friend I often play with. After we finished our game, as we were sitting around in the clubhouse, my friend decided that post-game beer and scotch drinking were in order. So out comes the hip flask of single malt and it gets immediately consumed. Then he starts lining up the Tiger Beers.
Everything is going fine for a while because, as we have all discovered, drinking alcohol is not without its attractions. Then it all changed. His IQ dropped substantially along with his clarity of thought and then his ability to articulate thoughts rationally, words slurring, and then the chip formed on his shoulder.
On the Ferry back home he started taking offense at the other ferry trip passengers (they really hadn’t done even that slightest thing wrong). Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that he had to get 3 beers for the ferry trip to keep the good times rolling.
It really was not a pretty sight to see. And the worst thing of the lot is that about 3 months ago I would have been going one for one with him and egging him on with the alcohol flow.
I was previously a long-time sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which had a few rather unpleasant manifestations. I decided to get some help from a psychologist and the issue was fixed in a remarkably short period of time, three or four sessions. (Don’t put up with PTSD, it doesn’t go away and it is really very easy to treat) What the shrink used to say to me during these sessions was “what do your higher senses tell you about that”.
Well, I am not in any doubt about what my higher senses tell me about today’s little show. Alcohol gives you an enjoyable rush which lasts about 45-60 minutes. It also requires you (well me at least and clearly my mate as well) to continue drinking. After those 60 minutes are up the consequences of your actions start to manifest themselves and they are not in the least bit attractive.
My major take away from my higher senses is that no wonder our sense of well being is damaged by drinking. It turns us into ugly and obnoxious people. As humans, we are constantly changing, mentally as well as physically. We are today (some Buddhist philosophy coming out here folks) an accumulation of our past experiences. Tomorrow we will have updated those experiences and will be someone very slightly different, with the exclusion of a catastrophic event which has the potential to change us substantially. So over time the ability for self re-invention gradually sets in.
Now I figure this, if our past experience includes being a loud, foul-mouthed, obnoxious, self-important, ignorant, reactionary arse then is it any wonder that our sense of well being is damaged by alcohol and we feel terrible the next day (this is excluding the hangover, I am talking about the psychological disturbance of the whole thing). And then conversely when we stop drinking we settle into becoming a more balanced and holistic person.
Memo to the Wine Witch: Lady you are screwed, just forget it, you are wasting your time and energy on me.
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― Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story