My One Drinking Rule

I never drink alone.

If your immediate reaction to this was to scoff or move on to the next article, you should think twice and read on.

It really is one of the more feasible rules to hold yourself to given that it implies no external pressure and total inaction. I'd love to say that I have a rule of never doing shots or sugary drinks, but everyone has a drunken breaking point when out with the right...well, wrong…people. And I'm not convinced life will be better if I say no to drinking altogether, so here we are.

The older I get, the less I can function while on the sauce. I’m jealous of those people who claim to work better buzzed. One drink and I’m done. It’s invariably a night wasted for work when I have even a single beer. Therefore, this rule dramatically helps productivity when I opt to stay in. Since I work from home 70% of the time, discipline herein becomes crucial. If you have big life goals and don’t seem to be getting anywhere with them, to what degree do you think alcohol may be to blame?

The rule also helps save a ton of money since you come home every day and resist your liquor cabinet. A beer or pour of whiskey every day can add up quick, especially if you drink the caliber of sauces I enjoy most. Yay, pennies.

Most importantly, this rule helps delineate alcohol as a need from alcohol as a pleasure. Drinking can be addictive, no doubt about it. The experience of drinking can grab you even if the chemistry does not. If you find it easy to forego drinking by yourself and never catch yourself craving it, then odds are pretty good you’re in the clear. While I’ve never really drank alone given that I enjoy alcohol most when I can hold a dialog about it with others, there was a moment two years ago when I wondered if I had a problem. Granted, I am a social butterfly and stuck to the rule even then, but I was drinking almost every single day. Observing this rule by being antisocial for several weeks helped reassure me that I did not, in fact, have a problem.

If drinking by yourself helps you or plays a role into your routine, cool. I’m not going to try to talk you out of that. Otherwise, why do it? Take the opportunity of being alone to take care of your body and mind. At the very least, find a drinking buddy and get out of the house. Then, even if you’re drinking every day, at least you’re building social capital and community.

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