In a lot of countries Alcoholism is considered to be a "disease number 3" after cardiovascular diseases and cancer. At the same time, there is no consensus on the issue of alcohol addiction as a disease. Not only the general population, but also many experts do not want to recognize alcoholism a disease. Along with the belief that alcoholism is a progressive disease with severe complications and high mortality rates, there is also the view that affection to alcohol is nothing but a lack of discipline. Alcoholism is ambiguous. And if alcohol dependence is still a disease, it is very strange, as it arises solely due to our own affections.
“In the United States alcohol has been regarded as both a blessing and a curse” (Chrzan 6). Since our early childhood our parents tried to convince us that alcohol is bad for us, that it has a devastating impact on our health, and that it brings nothing but problems. Later on, we all become fans of rock music, a sphere, where alcohol is one of the movers, and it creates a dissonance in our young heads. So, does alcohol have any positive impact on us, does it stimulate the creativity?
Having a clear understanding that probably no one will be able to give an unequivocal scientific answer to this question, one can make only assumptions whether or not alcohol has something to do with the creativity processes. My answer to this question is positive: alcohol definitely helps us to create, and let me explain why.
The creative part of every personality is a so-called inner child. Who is a child? It is a creature without complexes frames and rules. Look at the children, when they express themselves, they are sincere, free and playful. They get pleasure from everything they do. Who is the adult? This is a man, who is responsible for the consequences of his actions, he thinks critically. Look at a typical adult. He is serious, calm, logical, and rational. And under the influence of alcohol, an adult becomes a child. Alcohol helps a grown up to ignore the social boundaries, releases an inner child. Alcohol helps to intensify feelings, euthanize logic and to tear all the patterns. Man becomes impulsive, sincere in expressing feelings. Alcohol gives spontaneity.
What else do we find attractive in alcohol? Why do we drink, accepting the risk of becoming an alcoholic eventually? Alcohol is a psychoactive drug, which sometimes provides us with invaluable help in smoothing out some of the difficulties of life. And, no matter how daunting the consequences of binge drinking might be, let us pay tribute to alcohol, appreciating its positive manifestation. Communicative function of alcohol facilitates in establishing business contacts. Couple of glasses of any alcoholic drink is able to unite the motley company, liberating interlocutors. For those, who work hard, alcohol is a great relaxation tool, which also relieves stress. Some people, after a dose of alcohol, manage to reduce anxiety, and make it easier to focus and concentrate. For many, alcohol — is the only way of increasing the level of self-important, and acquiring courage to make decisions. Until we have made the decision to visit a psychologist, alcohol helps to briefly forget about problems, successfully acting as a relaxant.
They say, that a mindset of a drunk talented author is more diverse and capable of creating images and stories, that are unlikely to have arisen in a sober mind. Small doses of alcohol facilitate associative process, stimulate fantasy and imagination, and relieve mental delay.
“Accounts of the lives of artists have raised questions about the relationship between alcohol use and creativity” (qtd. in Alcohol: Science, Policy and Public Health 25). Most writers, who worked being drunk, did not hide the stimulating effect of alcohol on the creative process. William Faulkner confessed that he could not sit behind a typewriter being sober. The Nobel laureate was an alcoholic.
One of the most controversial writers, Charles Bukowski, began drinking at the age of thirteen. He drank always and everywhere, including performances on radio and television in direct ethers. " Drinking is an emotional thing. It is a form of suicide, where the next day you come back to life. This is how to kill oneself for the sake of revival. I have lived 10-15 thousand lives “ — he said.
Drunkard and rowdy Ernest Hemingway did not conceal that he moved to France solely because of a good wine. However, " mojito " and " daiquiri " in Cuba also satisfied old writer. As he liked to say: " Drinking is a good way of ending a day”.
All in all, I think that we should thank alcohol for the amazing songs, paintings and novels we have. Of course, only a miserable part of them were created under the influence of alcohol, but that already means that alcohol is not all evil in the purest form. The only thing one must consider before getting a drink (no matter what the purpose is), that there are different levels of intoxication, and that too much alcohol can cause death. (see fig 1) Drink wisely, and know your limits.
Boyle, Peter, Paolo Boffetta, Albert B. Lowenfels, Harry Burns, and Otis Brawley.
"Representations of Alcohol Use in Visual Art." Alcohol: Science, Policy and Public Health. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013. 25. Print.
Chrzan, Janet. "Alcohol: Social Drinking in Cultural Context (Google EBook)." Google Books. Routledge 2013, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
Source: Brown, Melissa. “The six levels of intoxication”. The Crimson White, 2011. JPG file