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Why People Drink...

I have a theory - perhaps it is stupid but I think it has some merit.

Here it is:

As humans, we are never completely sure what to do with ourselves, so we drink (or drug), at least initially, as a time filler. Perhaps it starts off as a good time and then it becomes a way to pass the time, all the time life gave us.

While I do not believe that this is a total, global explanation, for that you would probably have to ask every single person on the planet which would be time consuming...but at least some of us, long before we crossed that magical line into addiction and abuse, drank because we just weren’t sure what to do with ourselves.

For me drinking, initially, brought about connection. Drinking gave me release from the prison of my own personality. It gave me the ability to care so much less about what you thought about me that I could connect with you long enough to establish some sort of limited contact.

So I learned, to connect I needed to do something to get myself out of my own way. It wasn’t a very long trip to me needing to use booze to get myself out of the way long enough to create what appeared to me to be an intimate, authentic connection with another human being.

Also, if I am truth telling, and I have pledged to do that, I have spent the whole of my life trying to figure out what to do with myself and all the time I have been granted and blessed with...I just didn’t know. It has literally taken me decades to come to acceptance that I am not the only one who has no idea what I am supposed to do with myself. Drinking was time consuming: all the planning, strategizing, conniving, working so that I would have money to spend on booze addled dreams and itineraries.

Towards the end, I was literally working so that I could have enough money to waste my time and life to drink. It was a full time job and to some degree it all started because I seriously didn’t know what to do with myself. Somehow I just wasn’t all that important in my own life. I needed you and all your beautiful distractedness to occupy me so that my life felt like it had meaning and purpose and structure. Dating might have also accomplished this very same goal with the attendant similar destruction.

When I woke up one day and realized that I was wasting myself - on drink, men, people, work that would never make me matter, I began a trajectory that would change the entirety of my life.

Today, I am living in a way and manner that insists that I be at the epicenter of this life. So many other things are important to me: people, work, sobriety, self care, relationshiping, but if I am only doing all those things to escape myself and all this life time I have been allotted then why did I ever bother to stop drinking? I could have just done that and shortened the whole ordeal for everyone.

So I drank to take up time because I really didn’t have a clue what to do with all the time I was being granted on the daily. I just desperately needed something to consume me and the only way I found that was to consume something that would then in turn consume me. At first in all the best ways: parties, events, friends, social engagements, intimate interactions and the like. But as drink is want to do, eventually it will take everything to include your life.

Perhaps this is an Erin-unique phenomenon, but I doubt it. So far in this life, every time I have thought that something I felt, or thought, or intuited was unique to me, I quickly was schooled to realize that, while I am the only me that will ever exist, the highest I will ever go is human. And because that is the highest status I will ever attain, that makes most of my experiences fairly and benignly human.

So one more time I revisit my own humanness, alike with so many others. And in this case, I really drank because I had no idea what to do with myself and was plagued with this crippling insecurity that whatever I was I wasn’t enough or at times way too much. I had no way to moderate that. I came without internal controls. Those have taken up the better part of my life to learn how to make something that has been so external as a part of my existence, work itself into my most basic inner core.

And I will say that I am super grateful for all the work it has taken because now I know how to spend my time, I do not waste it (most of the time) I relish it. I savor it. I dedicate it. I endeavor to use it wisely to benefit the other sentient beings I have been blessed to travel through this life with...again, still.

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