Young lady looking through the bars of a fence.

Why You’ll Never Solve Your True Problems in Life if You Drink Consistently

It’s a matter of not giving yourself the capacity to face them fully.

Young lady looking through the bars of a fence.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:

Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch. — James Baldwin

I sat in my hotel room, walking through the argument I had just had with my girlfriend about her inability to see things my way.

She was being ridiculous, I thought!

I don’t understand how she was so hell-bent on proving herself right without even realizing there could be another opinion other than hers.

I remember drifting off to sleep, still buzzed from the alcohol we had been drinking heavily from earlier, and trying to remember how the argument started.

I remember it had to do with something I knew she had said earlier, and she didn’t remember having said it. For my life, however, I couldn’t remember what I thought she said.

I drifted to sleep, trying hard to remember, but it wouldn’t come to mind.

The fact that we had just broken up over this made the fact that I couldn’t remember a bit ridiculous.

Alcohol’s cause of your problems

Before I stopped drinking, I would have numerous episodes like this to look back on and think, “What was I thinking?”

Often, at the moment, my anger or reasoning seemed perfectly well-placed and reasonable. However, as my sober mind began to emerge, and I would try to recall all the circumstances of the situation, more times than not, I would find myself disappointed at how ridiculous I had acted at that time.

As I became alcohol-conscious and began to understand alcohol’s effect on my body and mind, both physically and physiologically, I better understood why this was taking place and how the chances of this happening consistently were high with alcohol still in my life.

As long as you keep drinking, alcohol will make it very hard, if not impossible, to truly prevent “unforced errors” in life and have the ability to solve your problems as they arise.

Let me explain why.

Alcohol keeps us emotionally immature

What I didn’t recognize until I was completely removed from alcohol was that I was not growing up as long as it was something I did consistently.

While I felt like a grown-up in many ways, there were still times when I would revert to being childish and selfish, only wanting to see things my way and not thinking about other people.

Hence, my inability to understand why my then-girlfriend, now wife, was so focused on only thinking about herself instead of seeing things from my point of view.

I never thought about this while drinking, but now I can look back on certain scenarios and realize how narrow-minded and selfish I was then.

When I wasn’t drinking, I was typically focused on trying to make sure I saw things from someone else’s point of view, but once I started drinking, there was just not as much consideration for others versus myself.

I know now the scientific reason for this was related to alcohol myopia and how it affects short-term thinking and decision-making in various different situations.

Once I gave up alcohol and became alcohol-conscious, I gained tremendous patience and willingness always to see things from others’ points of view.

I became much more emotionally stable and willing to listen to others, which has made a world of difference as it relates to my growth as a human being.

This brings me to why you’ll never fully reach your potential with alcohol.

Alcohol is a crutch that allows us to hide from the true issues

When we drink, we cannot think about the main cause for us to want to drink in the first place.

When we’re younger, we drink because we want to have a good time. As we age, however, this can turn into us drinking to take the “edge” off the day and “relax” a bit at night.

This need to cloud our minds and prevent us from thinking about much of the negative stuff that happened during the day, month, or year is often a coping mechanism that prevents people from truly looking at the issue.

Scientifically, alcohol hinders our ability to respond emotionally to things in a manner that can truly get to the crux of the problem.

Instead, it allows us to “forget” about them and ignore them in the midst of the euphoria that the alcohol is providing from the artificial dopaminergic release.

Drinking is the bandaid that we put on different aspects of our lives. It allows us not to have to do the hard work of truly looking at the cause of the problem. This then absolves us from having to do anything about it.

Giving up alcohol finally gives you the freedom and the ability to look at the true cause of these problems and then face them head-on to do what is best for you and your future.

Admittingly, it will initially be harder than before because you won’t have alcohol as a crutch to lean on, but once you get through that tough period of evolution and development, you’ll be much better equipped to handle almost anything in life without needing the benefit of alcohol to do so.

This brings me to the last and most important part of making this decision.

Alcohol hinders our ability to process the best decisions for ourselves cognitively

As homo sapiens, we have a cognitive ability much larger than any other animal we know of.

Our ability to think spatially, theoretically, and holistically has allowed us to travel to the moon and back safely and create artificial intelligence that is getting closer and closer to the terrifying Skynet from Terminator.

Therefore, we can do amazing things with our ability to reason and think through issues. However, alcohol hinders this dramatically and makes it difficult for us to process things in the best manner.

Therefore, to create a great future, we need to give ourselves a chance to apply our utmost abilities and push ourselves to become a version of ourselves that we never thought was possible before giving up drinking.

When we stop drinking, we finally have taken the great governor of life off our brains.

Similar to how a school bus can only go so fast because of a governor on its engine, your brain is hampered in the same capacity because of alcohol.

I previously wrote about how drinking excessively and strong intellectual development don’t mix.

When we decide to stop drinking, we have finally given ourselves the ability to raise our ceiling exponentially as it relates to thinking on a much higher cognitive level.

As shared in The MEDS, with Success Seeking, the fourth step, we must put a goal in front of us that demands a much higher version of ourselves than what our pre-alcohol-conscious self would be able to do to keep us inspired, as well as push our mental capacity to become all that it can.

Decision-making on several different levels will become so much easier and better once we’ve embraced this fully and begun to do the work to push our synapses to execute on a much higher and holistic level.

And while I can’t promise that you will be perfect and always make the right decision in every situation, at least you’ll know that alcohol will not cause you to make a terrible one.