It is refreshing to read something that acknowledges how our human condition, our consciousness and all the difficulties of daily life mean we will probably always need something to “take the edge off". I agree with you.
I like drinking, usually only enough to give me a mellow buzz. However I have started to feel increasingly guilty about it. I’m a healthy person, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do any other drugs (though I’m fine if people want to do it recreationally). But I do know people who really struggle with alcohol. They use it to escape their life and are completely dependent on it. I don’t want that to happen to me.
I do think baby boomers drink far too much. I don’t know many who drink below the limit, and most will happily glug down daily bottles of wine with abandon. Millennials like myself were brought up watching this. They went to university and copied this (during a period where the amount of alcohol in drinks increased significantly).
Ultimately millenials were exposed to a lot of alcohol for a very cheap price, and they were brought up thinking that drinking it all was okay.
I did it too when I was young. But I realise now that after the initial high it made me sad. It felt like escapism - I wasn’t actually facing life but trying to hide from it. And alcohol does make you feel depressed when you drink too much, especially those who are sensitive to the condition. So I’m not really surprised many in my generation are T-total — it’s not about being pious or judgey — it’s just that it is not easy or healthy to maintain that life.
However I still enjoy a couple of beers, a wine or two. I still like the mellow buzz. But a lot of people go way way further than that, and the line is very easy to accidently cross. Repeatedly. I think that’s the real issue with alcohol, and why I worry. I don’t want to creep over the edge without realising.
I actually genuinely wish there were more high quality low alcohol beers and wines (maybe 9% wine, 3% beer) as that would automatically reduce the units without taking away the pleasure of having a nice drink. It would also help maintain the social element of drinking which I genuinely enjoy.