“So Hank, why do you drank?” In that infamous old country song written and sung by Hank Williams jr. he explains why he drank and ran the way he did.
I drank like a fish and ran with the party scene for years. Actually when I was 15 I was sneaking into bars from Shreveport to Houston. It was an art and I had perfected it with or without a fake ID. If we weren’t running the bars we were finding parties or having our own party.
Why did I drink?
There are a lot of reasons why I drank. But here are the top seven.
1. Competition. Only losers can’t hold their alcohol. At least that is what I was told. I am from a very competitive family. I am a very competitive person. There are winners and losers. No one wants to be a loser.
2. Coolness. The “cool” people I knew drank. So I thought, if I wanted to be cool then I needed to drink. Who didn’t want to be “cool.” You were weird and strange otherwise. Even the normally weird people became strangely cool when they drank.
3. Conformity. Virtually everyone I knew drank. There were some of those stick-in-the-mud momma’s boys who took their religion a little too far that didn’t drink. Or those goody-too-shoes girls who were better than the rest of us who didn’t drink. But in reality, I wanted to fit into the crowd. I wanted to be accepted by the larger groups. It was easier than actually trying to go against the crowd seemingly by yourself.
4. Checking out. Yes, sometimes in life it is easier to check-out than to confront your problems. Some check-out in front of a TV, reading books, working, sex, shopping (retail therapy), relationships, or some kinds of sports and recreation. We Americans like to check out. Sometimes we like to check-out by drinking while we are checking-out of life in other activities. None of these things are wrong, but checking-out and running and hiding from the issues in your life are.
5. Courage. The more I drank, the bigger and stronger and more powerful I became! It was like liquid steroids for the personality! At least that is what I thought while I was drunk. When a sober person sees a drunk person acting like that, they clearly realize that person is a fool and is clearly fooling themselves. It is easier to lie to yourself about who you really are than to deal with the truth.
6. The Crowd. I loved people, especially people who were fun to be with and having a good time. Who wants to hang out with some stuffy stick-in-mud folks? Only other stuffy stick-in-mud people! It was a no brainer. Hang out with those who were enjoying life. The beer commercials on TV showed us what real life was supposed to be like. I wanted that kind of life.
7. Choice. Yes, it was my choice. No one made me drink. No, it wasn’t a family tradition. It was my choice to drink and run the way I did.
Let me emphasize this. There is no good reason to drink.
Do you drink? Answer the question, “Why?” Really? Honestly?