An Identity Approach to Alcohol - Part I


At several points in this project I’ve dabbled with the idea of giving up alcohol completely. This point reared its head again a few nights ago when I came back home after drinking more than I usually do for an outing. I managed to make a pepperoni mushroom and blue cheese pizza with a herbs de provence crust from scratch, which was funny, messy, and also not at all in my eating plan. I woke up late. I was slow and less than optimal with some of my habits. I almost completely forgot to do one. I had a hangover and drank coke to make myself feel better.

Of course drinking “too much” for me isn’t really an accurate description. Nowadays if I go out my limit is usually one drink, maybe two. Anything more and I’ll start to feel it in the morning. I had a few extra at a nearby craft beer place nearby, so I wasn’t exactly smashing windows and starting fights.But the more I think of it the more I realize that drinking alcohol is a very subtle habit that sinisterly winds itself, much like eating, through many parts of my life in an often detrimental manner for my purposes of self change. 

A Tangled Web of Identity

In moving towards an identity model of self improvement, I’m seeing interconnections between certain habits, and the futility of trying to treat them piecemeal rather than as a matrix. One subtle winding of alcohol starts with my social life. When I meet up with people it’s usually at a bar, especially abroad when I don’t know that many people very well.

This all usually occurs at night, often precluding morning activities with morning people. Morning people tend to be outdoor or active, and it’s hard to get the gumption to get out when you’re sleeping the last night off.

This is about percentages. Of course there are hard partiers that go on morning hikes. But is it as likely? My intuition says no. If I’m shifting a paradigm, drinking seems to be, upon analysis, very much like eating in its impact on other behaviors.

Future Projections

How does alcohol affect me as a developing person going into the future? Socializing as a skill should be done without alcohol, according to all the social dynamics gurus. Financial control would advocate lowering expenditures, a complete eating habit would advocate dropping most types of alcohol, advanced meditation starts set meditation periods onwards to life in general, which requires full time control. And again, in general the movement should include the types of people I associate with, namely migrating to ones that have more control of their lives, not less.

wine glass by Alex Ranaldi, knots by Olivier ROUX, human evolution by Bryan Wright