Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Does Alcoholism Have To Be Bad?

I'm a believer in the band-aid being ripped off:

The charge that I am an alcoholic has been leveled at me several times by several different people in the last few weeks. These things should be kept confidential, so I don't to want name names or disclose circumstances—I will only say there were incidents, one at work, two at church and one at Chili's.

I will maintain until my death, whether it be imminent or distant, that I am a reasonable person. I know that I am not an alcoholic because I would be open-minded enough to see it, and man enough to admit it. But something else that I value are other people's opinions, especially bartenders and my wife. If people that I respect think that I have a problem, then I want to be open to that, though it be clear to me that they are wrong. Anyway, all that to say I've been thinking a lot about what people have said, and I can kind of see their points. That doesn't mean that they are right, but it does mean that I can see how they arrived at their conclusion.

Now that I've listened and considered others' version of the story, I want to present my own argument. I hope people have the courage to see it from my perspective because I think I have a legitimate point and I don't see how I can possibly be wrong:

When I drink, particularly when I drink a lot, things get really clear. People that I am normally ok with, I suddenly see them for who they really are. It's almost like a clarity tool that enables me to see the world for how it really is. I think that is indispensable for me; I feel like I need it in order to know if the people I'm with are friends or foes. Sometimes I'll be getting to know someone, but then I'll get drunk and think about them and I'll realize that they've been a complete phony the whole time I've been getting to know them. I feel like an absolute idiot when that happens! How much better would my life be if I could put my truth goggles on (i.e. a bottle and a half of single malt scotch) when I first meet someone and not have to waste my time with the formalities if the person is a waste of my time?

There are a lot of people that, when they get drunk, ugly things come out of them; they might fly into fits of rage, they might morph into an unmitigated racist, or they may not be able to control their urination. When I drink I get smarter. I argue better, I am able to tell it like it is, see people for who they are...I guess it's almost like a clairvoyance thing. Alcohol ups my game, much like learning or speed do for other people.

Obviously I've been blessed, not all people are lucky enough to have these kind of positive side effects from a six martini lunch. Now that you've seen my side of the story, do you see how my drinking is indispensable? If you think that sounds crazy I think you need to look inside yourself, locate the liar, and slit his or her throat.

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