According to Einstein, time is relative and flexible. “The dividing line between past, present, and future is an illusion. So reality is ultimately TIMELESS.” This may sound pretty peculiar from the standard view of physics, but from the perspective of a drunk person, it makes perfect sense. I’m not saying Einstein’s theory only makes sense if you’re drunk but that must explain why I was able to spend countless hours sitting at a bar or on a beach doing nothing more than drinking. I could drink from sun up to sun down and it would feel like no time had passed. Days, weeks, months, even years breezed past in my days of drinking. But when I got sober, time felt like it was standing still.
Not to get too physicsy—I’m pretty sure I failed physics. I’m no Einstein, but I definitely think there is a difference between time when you are drunk and time when you are sober. So, yes, I am kind of buying this whole time is an illusion thing.
How else would we explain one minute walking into a bar with the sun blazing bright and the very next minute they’re yelling out “last call.” We all know what I am talking about. You look to your friends and think, “How is it 2 am? Like, didn’t we just get here?” I can tell you as a drunk person that baffled me on the regular. As a sober person, time literally stands still for me when I am at a bar, which brings me to my next not so scientific point: drinking is a really shitty spectator sport.
I didn’t get sober and all of the sudden find the joy of missing out on the bar scene. No, that took a while. I was terrified that I was going to miss out on something happening at a bar on a Friday or Saturday night so I would continue to go out with friends just to prove that I was still fun and could go to bars and not drink. Early in sobriety, I didn’t know what else to do. Going to a 12 step meeting and grabbing coffee with a group afterwards seemed like the lamest thing possible. So, off I would go to prove to everyone that sober Allison was still fun Allison. But it wasn’t fun at all. I probably wasn’t either.
I don’t mind being around people who are drinking and I don’t shy away from going to a bar if there is a purpose for me being there. However, I have about an hour or two max out time period, then I’m ready to go. Being around people drinking, especially excessively, doesn’t make me want to drink, quite the opposite actually. It does however reach a point when it starts feeling gross. It reminds me of my days drinking. It’s hard not to see yourself in others at the bar and feel sorry for them. It’s hard to watch the evening progress from fun to drunk-hot-mess and all that entails. It makes me want to call all my friends from 2006-2012 and apologize for what I must have been like when I was drinking.
Things you think are fun when you are drunk are quite annoying to most sober people. For instance, a sober person most likely doesn’t want to talk 2 inches from your face. A sober person most likely doesn’t want to get into a philosophical debate or talk about Einstein’s quantum description of light (however, his theory time being an illusion might be fun to hear a drunk person ponder). A sober person most likely doesn’t want to take a lot of selfies with the bartender. A sober person most likely isn’t going to think it’s a good idea for you to call your ex or cosign any bad behavior that you will most likely regret the next day. And there inevitably comes a point where the self-respecting adult you walked into the bar with has the reasoning skills of a toddler and trying to get that person to leave is like trying to herd cats.
I have enough experience being the drunk friend and the sober friend at the bar to know that I don’t like being either of them. As much as I wanted to hang on to going out and being fun sober Allison at the bar, I had to give that up. There is so much more to life than wasting it away on a bar stool, drunk or sober. Spending six hours at a bar doesn’t make you fun and outgoing. That’s an illusion created by alcohol. So maybe none of this has to do with Einstein at all. I don’t know enough about physics to speak intelligently on Einstein’s theories, but I do know my fair share about being drunk. If anything is an illusion, it’s reality in an alcoholic’s mind.