Today’s blog is more of a pondering, based on recent thoughts about the type of person that may be predisposed to ‘enthusiastic drinking’.
After I stopped drinking, I quickly learned that I have a 2 very distinct traits:
- I’m impatient. If I decide I want or need something, then I want it NOW. I’m not good at waiting for things. This manifests itself massively when it comes to my car. If I sense something is off – for example the steering is pulling to one side – then I’ll hunt down the garage with the nearest availability to fix it, and I won’t drive that fucker in the meantime unless completely necessary. e.g. to get to work.
- If I do something then I’ll do it properly and with gusto, otherwise what’s the point? If I’m going to make music then it has to be the LOUDEST, if I’m going to watch a violent movie then it has to be the MOST VIOLENT MOVIE, and if I’m going to order a steak it’s going to be a GODDAMN MASSIVE FILLET STEAK.
I could be wrong, but I suspect this second trait is shared by a high proportion of binge drinkers. I never saw the point in drinking unless I was willing to commit wholeheartedly. 2 beers and bed is for pussies. Go hard or go home.
This isn’t completely dissimilar to Trainspotting – the scene where Spud goes for an interview on speed:
Interviewer: Do you see yourself as having any weaknesses?
Spud: No. Well, yes. I have to admit it: I’m a perfectionist. For me, it’s the best or nothing at all. If things go badly, I can’t be bothered.
I think that this ‘all or nothing’ trait can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I’m currently training for my first proper half-marathon, and there’s no way in hell that I won’t be ready. I’m throwing everything at it: training plan, diet, hi-viz shirt, lycra… But this is all good (I think). My obsession is focusing on something healthy. Admittedly, I’ve made mistakes already by trying to get too good too quickly – resulting in shin splints and 3 months recuperation – but I’ve learned from that and I’m exercising self-control to ensure I stick to a safe training plan with gentle incremental increases in distance. This sort of moderation never happened in my time as a drinker. I applied the ‘all or nothing’ mentality to everything, always. Especially drinking.
A clearer head doesn’t just allow me to moderate exercise plans. I no longer need to have the spiciest curry, or the best seat in the theater. I’m begrudgingly happy to order a medium-sized burger, or watch a TV show in plain old standard definition (blasphemy, I know).
I don’t need any of these things… but I still want them. I want the fastest car and the best standing spot at the loudest gig. I want to play the newest games on a massive 4k telly. I want to ride the tallest, fastest roller coasters.
I don’t think this mentality is gunna go away any time soon. The important thing is that I’ve stopped applying it to the dangerous stuff.
No real conclusion here. I started today’s blog thinking one thing, and ended it thinking something different.