Monday, May 30, 2011

Three Drinking Motivators

Motivator 1:

Many of our actions are predicated by the belief of how they will help us fit in, or cooperate, with other people who we see as desirable to fit in with in the first place--what we believe, how we dress, our preference for beer, sport teams, and cars and food.  I'd say that earlier in life, it is normal and natural to feel that those people we've come to know and trust are deceiving us, or have deceived us, in some fundamental way: hence the oft-repeated complain that "my family is messed up."  What's really happened is that you've recognized the artificial (but strong) connection that family instills on one's essential group identity.  Family is hard to get away from (in more ways than one might think (see Motivator 2)

Motivator 1 and Drinking: Well, seems obvious that personal consumptive habits signal to others whether you might get along, if given the choice and lack of other restraints. Combine those positive signals with contempt for other groups and the feeling that one's been lied to, and you've got instant camaraderie.

Motivator 2:

Then there are core personality traits, which are largely genetic, though they develop in certain idiosyncratic ways thoughtout our lives, sure.  That's why long term friends know who you are, and largely think of you in static terms: because you stay mostly the same throughout your life (disagree? Yeah, I like to think I've changed a lot to, and subjectively, perhaps I have--but mostly I've become more of what I used to be earlier in my life regarding objective personality characteristics).  Family comes in here, too, because they've given you a lot of the traits you may love about yourself (but more often dislike or are even unaware of).

Motivator 2 and Drinking: Don't fool yourself: if your family members have problems with self-control, you probably do too.  It is about much more than drinking: it is about sex and giving your own vulnerable self to another, it is about patience and the capacity to wait the fog of murky water to settle and reveal something, well, revelatory.  It is about anger.  With yourself, with others.  It is about natural curiosity, and it is also about natural levels of happiness--and, about alcohol tolerance and tendency to use/abuse the sauce. The chances are much higher that you are more similar than different.  Wake up to it now and you'll be happier later.  Even though it fucking sucks to wake up to it now.  If you've ever met my dad, you'll know what I mean (pretty sure you never have though).

Motivator 3:
Couple both of the above those with a predisposition toward thinking that our own thoughts, lives--generally ours status as compared to others--is "really" higher: i.e. our intrinsic value is more important than others, and you've gone to the crux of a lot of the conflict that might cause us to feel pent in.  Incommunicado.

Motivator 3 and Drinking:  Got some data that tells a dissimilar story to the one in your head: well, time to put the bottom of the glass to the ceiling.  This is a mental state of intransigence as much as it is a chemically induced state.  Mildly depressed people are more accurate.  They are also mildly depressed and probably get less done.  Everything is a trade off.

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