Alcoholism taught me how to be a more playful and loving human being through hedonism and immaturity. Bear with me. I’ll elaborate.
This morning I woke up, made some coffee, did some crunches then began laughing uncontrollably. I remembered something I had forgotten long ago: Alcoholism was awesome!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of drinking for 48 hours straight, leaving a path of destruction, tears and laughter, then you simply haven’t lived. But what was so great about this? How have we lost it? How do we retain that sense of freedom and joy while becoming responsible adults?
I hear again and again in recovery meetings just how great it is to be able to wake up without a hangover and treating themselves with dignity and respect but I think that people forget as we age just how amazing it is to be young and stupid. Simply not caring about other people’s feelings and being a total jerk to the world around you is actually liberating. You just have to get numb enough to do so.
It’s all about embracing that part of your “inner child” that everyone hates: the brat. When we’re drunk and bored we try to find out just how much fun we can have getting kicked out of the bar or slapped by a perfect stranger. The fun never ends! The real trick is integrating that into a world that contains more people than just you. Totally possible. Totally awesome.
I’m often told that I’m “charismatic” or “good with people” the secret is, I honestly don’t care about what other people think about me. I am engaging with others, a solid eighty percent of the time for my own amusement. This joy is contagious. I can get away with murder this way.
The other twenty percent of the time I allow myself to be sincere authentic, loving and compassionate It’s a wonderful thing to be able to be there for friends in pain, or to make a stranger’s day just because. But someone who does this all day is a total bore, as is someone who is aloof, unable to be sincere vulnerable or authentic.
We can have our cake and eat it too. We can be playful, perhaps self-absorbed while engaging with others with integrity and love. I think it’s our responsibility to ourselves and others to do so.
The best part of this is that people incapable of having fun in life are terrified of others. Love and laughter are kryptonite to the pathologically miserable and a magnet to those who intentionally practice the art of a well-balanced life.
I’m not suggesting that people in pain are inherently bad, hell, I am all of the time. But the difference between a mood and a personality is that one results from what has happened to us the other is what we choose to create for ourselves. But that is a post for another time.
Have fun today, day drinking or not!