The Sweetest Self-Sacrifice


I got a little drunk last night. I hadn’t intended to, but I got to having drinks at the campus bar with new friends, it got good to me, and, well… we all know this story ends. It didn’t help that the campus bar, tlc, was a little dead and so the entire weight of making a night of it rested on our shoulders. Karl aptly referred to the drinks as dance juice and by my third drink I was lubricated enough to tear it up to whatever came on, although I was most affected by the 90s hip-hop.

Oh alcohol -you are always there.

Last night and many nights before, libations have given me the wings and energy I needed to be the life of the party. At what cost though?

Well, my mental faculties, the shape of my body and my feelings of health and wellness the next day. What am I sacrificing these things for? Well to bond with people socially; to feel connected.

Is the sacrifice worth it? Depends on the people for sure. Depends on the frequency too, as bonding with people is one of those things which has a place, but it also must be kept in bounds. In the Japanese salaryman culture for example, I have anecdotally heard stories of over-worked high-achievers having breakdowns after weeks, months and years of prolonged workdays, extended by unpaid overtime, and not actually finished until after a full evening of drinking with workmates.

On the other hand, Gavin McInnes aptly described the breakdown of his relationship with Shane Smith as “we stopped going out for beers together.” -There’s something to that.

There’s this idea I’ve heard too about alcohol consumption not just being a sacrifice we make of a little bit of our health to the social gods, but also a way to demonstrate status, like “look how hard I can go and still keep it together.” This was certainly me 15 years ago, hitting the bars 3 nights a week and going for a run every morning -although my grades were in the B range so I’m not sure how together I was actually keeping it that balance.

On one episode of Mark Manson’s podcast -a complex, poetic analysis of romance- romance is compared to alcohol among other things and the following stuck in my brain: “Romance is like alcohol. None is healthier than too much. And a little is healthier than none.”

Alcohol consumption, drug use, partying -these things are sacrifice; they are status symbol; they are incredibly easy to overdo.

Yet, if life was just about avoiding clearly “bad” things, it would be too easy. To be appropriately, optimally challenged we need to be beset on all sides by potentially bad things which start out so good.

I’ve been here before and I know where this road leads. I know all about the diminishing returns of once in a while becoming  every night. We all do, and so we all must act accordingly.


PS Pics to follow 😛

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