Last Saturday I attended a public speaking contest, in which one of the contestants delivered a very interesting speech with the title “My friend AL” (he has to explain to us audience that Al here is not Al Pacino, and he’s not gonna go on talking about the legendary “The Godfather” lol). Instead, his friend Al is more familiar, and I guess, even more famous as well - ALcohol. He shared with us an unforgettable embarrassing memory he’s got with alcohol (which made it so relatable to all his audience, that’s why he won the contest eventually).
Don’t know why but his speech really inspired me to think about Al for the last couple of days. So here is a couple of thoughts on that old friend of mine - AL.
Now, besides all the suggested benefits of moderate use of alcohol (better cardiovascular health, better fat metabolism, decrease in blood clotting, etc.), I guess we’ve never embraced enough its positive influence in social gathering.
Imagine, just imagine, being in a small, privately booked room for this upcoming Christmas party with all these people in your office - the boss, the big boss, the disgusting colleague, the gossipy colleague etc. - but without alcohol.
Indeed, alcohol seems to be extremely helpful in calming our mind in these large social gathering events, that we often overlook how terrible it can be if we do not have it (and, if you have forgotten, our ancestors from thousand years ago - those masters of social gathering around the fire - also shared alcohol as well).
It somehow reminds me of what my favourite speaker - Rory Sutherland, talks about cigarette in his famous Ted talk:
Anyway, I’m digressing.
But it really amazes me how 'this special tool', which is so helpful in these events, can also be the devil that depresses and isolates people as well. Often, people seek that super-drunk state in the worst moments of their life, when they don’t just want to calm their mind, but actually get rid completely of it
- when being sober is just simply unbearable.
That too-much-to-handle emotion, combined with the toxic effects of alcohol on their brain and body, no doubt lead to a depressing state after that. And uncontrollably, they just get more and more into that vicious circle of being drunk, hangover, and being drunk again.
And it's when they seem to be at the loneliest.
However, strangely enough, what seems to be most effective solution to save these people is, actually, a social group: Anonymous Alcoholic. It’s only when they learn how to be in a group again, to feel the connection, and to find support from others, that they regain enough strength and courage to break that drinking habit and get back to life.
Isn't it amazing, to see that connection between AL and society.
For a few years now, I’ve been able to stay sober. I guess my main strategy (that has been truly effective) is that I stay away from these awkward large social gathering altogether, and only join some events/groups where people share at least 1 thing in common, either it's a book club, or a public speaking event.
And, guess what, it's not that difficult to enjoy sobriety, once you find the things you love to do.