I’ve started to reevaluate my relationship with alcohol. I’ll say this first. I’m not an alcoholic. If I have more than two drinks I don’t sleep well. I have more than three drinks, I’ll have a miserable next day. I really don’t take hangovers well. I’m paranoid about making sure not to drink and drive. I’ll occasionally drink too much at home, but that usually means I’ll be staying in for the night.
With that being said, I’ve been thinking a lot of alcoholism and drinking lately, especially with my job. I work with a lot of lawyers and it’s my job to keep up on the news around the legal industry. A few months ago a study came out that showed that a high number of lawyers have problem drinking. Initially, there was a big response saying that lawyers need to “do something.” While it’s admirable to try and break the stigma surrounding addiction, I don’t think the culture has changed a whole lot.
I spent most of Friday researching and poking around any content that has been done regarding the study. There hasn’t been a whole lot. I checked the Minneapolis library for any books. In the dozen or so shelves filled with materials related to addiction, there wasn’t anything related to lawyers. I thought that was odd. So, I’m hoping to provide some useful materials related to that.
I’ve been thinking about my personal relationship with it as well. I read this piece called “Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink.” Even though I’m obviously not a female, it resonated with me. So many of our social situations are lubricated with alcohol. So many people go to it as a crutch at the end of the day. So many people feel like they need to have it to validate an event. I’ve been in all of those situations. I’m not against those situations.
I’m not sure when those sort of situations cross into dangerous territory. I’m just uncomfortable with it being a normalized part of many things you do.
I usually buy a six pack and a bottle of wine on a Thursday and consume it throughout the weekend. It’s not very much compared to some people. Sometimes it feels like a lot. Especially the other weekend when I consumed a bottle of three buck chuck and a pint by myself in one evening. The next day I asked myself, “Why did I feel like I needed to do that?” It was sort of diminishing marginal returns after my second glass of wine.
I decided not to buy alcohol this last Thursday. It was kind of difficult. I went on a nice run, and I was making nice dinner. A glass of wine or two would have been a nice addition to the evening. It wasn’t so bad without out it though. It was a productive and relaxing evening even though I didn’t have a drink. I’m going to continue to reevaluate how I consume alcohol over the next few weeks.