We get a drink with friends and delve into the atmosphere of jokes and sharing stories only to forget the concerns of the day that brought us there. It’s so intoxicating that you forget why there was a heavy weight on your shoulders throughout the day. That weight was discarded along with your jacket as you entered the establishment, and a smile drew across your face when you saw your friend across the bar. As you see the reciprocal smile run across your friends face, you feel validated, thus encouraging the relaxing environment.
At what point do we stop going to the bar as often, and decide to enjoy the evening sharing smiles with a loved one. This smile is not alcohol induced, but might as well be. Testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, serotonin and many other hormones are dictating this smile and influence us in more ways than we consciously realize. Even if we don’t realize the innate influences that drive this, one can not deny that it is a much healthier smile than the one that is surrounded by alcohol.
Whether having a drink with close friends in a bar or sharing a sober smile with a person you deeply care about, there is a line that is not crossed, such as a case when an individual decides to drink alone. It is not just the act of drinking alone, but often that individual will have the motivation to drink to the point of passing out. What separates the alcoholic from the non-alcoholic? What drives that person to drink to the point of oblivion?
Horatio (my alcoholic brother) tells me that it is a ‘click’ that goes off in his head, and he can not control himself once it has occurred. Nothing that he has tried (exercising, relationships, smoking) will turn this drive off once it ‘clicks.’ If he is driving by a liquor store, he can not just keep driving and forget about it. He must go in and get something, and from the bottles I’ve seen lying around his house, that something ranges from 1 to 1.75 liters of Smirnoff Vodka.
I can not understand this ‘click’ that he describes to me. I feel I’d be able to better help him if I knew more about it. If anybody has anything to add to this, please comment. I enjoy any suggestions you may have as well.