What is normal vs. abnormal? Who gets to dictate that? Who gets to dictate that in your life?
Hi, I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcohol mastery.com.
Today, I want to talk about Normal versus Abnormal, and how sometimes abnormality becomes the new normal, both from personal perspective, and from a cultural perspective.
When you look back to when we were kids, what was normal then to have fun, to relax and enjoy ourselves, is completely different from what we’re doing now.
I’m not talking about it from the perspective of maturity or the lack thereof.
I’m talking about it from the perspective of your mind-set and how you expect to have fun in life.
I’m talking about how we relax, solve our problems, sleep and all that kind of stuff.
We’re brainwashed from the time we’re born to believe that alcohol is a normal part of or lives.
For us as youngsters, alcohol drinking would be abnormal.
It’s considered abnormal when you’re a child.
It’s abnormal when you’re not drinking, but when you start drinking it becomes normal.
It takes a while to become normal because it’s one of those things with acquired tastes.
You just don’t get it straight up.
It doesn’t just come at you and become a part of your life.
It takes a while to get used to the taste and the feeling of drinking.
This kind of normalcy versus abnormality, once you do get past a certain age and consider it normal, society also considers it to be normal, then you start t o consider people who don’t drink as being abnormal.
Society considers us to be abnormal, that we’re teetotallers, boring, party poopers, that there’s something wrong with us.
They don’t realise that we make the decision to drink based on what we already know based on our past experiences.
That we’ve summed it p and come to the conclusion that it’s harmful to us.
We’ve decided to stay in the clear and concise and self-determined decision that we’re not going to do this to ourselves anymore.
And they still put the label of alcoholic unto us, that there’s something wrong with us, something abnormal about us, that we’ve got a bad gene or come from bad parents; some problem that they haven’t got, and they can drink normally.
Basically, this is to uphold their own belief in their own selves, that they wouldn’t do anything to harm themselves.
That taking this toxin into their own body daily is not doing any harm because it’s wine and not toxic.
I’ve often heard people saying that it’s just such a shame that we can’t go into a pub and order a soft drink, and the only one they do is lemonade.
A pub is not there to serve soft drinks, it’s there to serve alcoholic drinks.
The more it serves, the more money it’s going to make.
Even if there is a profit in an individual bottle of lemonade for instance, or a bottle of water.
How many bottles of water are you going to drink sat at a table? I know myself.
When I go into a pub and I’m there for 2 1/2 or 3 hours watching a match or maybe having a bite to eat, I’ll drink maybe a couple bottles of water and maybe a glass of orange juice. Beforehand I would have drank 8 pints.
Which is more profitable for the pub owner? Certainly not the soft drinks.
You’re taking up the same space as someone drinking alcohol, but you’re drinking soft drinks.
So you’re not drinking as many soft drinks as you should be. So you’re abnormal to them.
That’s what a pub is.
If you want to go to a place that is serving soft drinks, you have to go to a cafe or someplace like that.
But not a pub, unless you want to put up with a reduced amount of stuff that you’re able to drink.
This type of normalcy also happens within the bubble of our own behavioural drinking.
When you started drinking first, you could only drink 3 pints or only a glass of wine.
That was your normal.
Eventually, tolerance takes its effect on you.
You need more alcohol to get the same buzz.
Eventually 5 pints becomes the norm.
When I stopped drinking, I wasn’t happy unless I had 10 pints.
I could easily go to 20 or sometimes a lot more if we were out for a long period of time.
That became normal.
It was the norm for me.
Someone who drank 3 pints was not normal.
I often tell this story: when I was younger, and a friend of mine used to take the piss and say ‘you can only drink 3 pints and you’re on your ear. You’re a child. I can drink 10 pints and still handle it’.
It was a big thing to feel grown up and I always felt pissed off at him.
I used to say to him, to defend myself ‘yeah but look how much it’s costing you to drink your 10 pints’.
But I wanted to be like him.
I wanted to be able to drink 10 pints of beer.
And then eventually when I could drink 10 pints and realised what those 10 pints did to me, not just short term consequences, but long term as well.
Long-term physical and mental consequences.
Then I wished I never started out in the first place.
We also have a normalcy in the way that alcohol invades different parts of our lives.
When you start out, you might only be drinking small amounts, and you’re drinking for a specific goals.
Most of the kinds start drinking because they want to feel grown up.
They don’t even start to drink because they want to lose inhibitions and socialise more, that comes later.
When you start, you don’t understand any of that.
You have a pure need from before you drink until you take your first drink.
There’s a basic need to feel like you’re doing something the adults do and you want to become an adult, and in order for that to happen, you have to go through certain phases, and this is one of those phases.
Eventually, the alcohol drinking behaviour starts to infiltrate other areas.
You start realising you can drink to lose your inhibitions, and to help you relax more when you’re socialising or at home, and to help you forget, and to help you commiserate or celebrate.
The drug companies – alcohol companies by any other definition- they want you to consider alcohol as a normal part of our society, to look at it as being a part of celebration, as part of socialisation, as part of commiseration, and every different aspect.
That’s when you become truly hooked into the behaviour.
It’s when all these other areas of your life start to focus on the alcohol.
So, I’ll leave it there, and just leave you with the question of what is normal versus what is abnormal.
Who says what’s normal or abnormal?
Both in terms of drinking and not drinking.
It’s an individual choice and it’s up to you to make that.
Sometimes when you make the decision to be normal, that your normal is outside of society’s normal, then you will be considered abnormal.
Do you care? I don’t.
I’m glad to be outside of that mentality that thinks that putting alcohol into their mouths is a good thing to do.
Anyway, until next time, leave a comment down below or come on over to the website and leave a comment there.
You can sign up for our Quit Drinking starter pack if you’re new to this and want some help.
Just give us your name and your email and I’ll send it over to you.
There’s a couple of videos in there that will help you start out on this new journey.
FEAR KILLS DREAMS MORE THAN FAILURE EVER WILL.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!