Jan. 2nd, 2016

xiphias: (swordfish)
You know, a few weeks ago, I had occasion to smoke a cigar, and I found the process enjoyable -- there is definitely a pleasure to interacting with smoke and breath. It's like pretending to be a dragon, kind of! But I realized that I'm not actually clear on what the drug effects of nicotine are supposed to be, so I wasn't sure whether I was using the drug correctly. Because the only drug I actually use recreationally is alcohol.

And, as I am currently a bit buzzed, I figured I'd take the opportunity to talk about what I enjoy about the experience of alcohol.

As I may have mentioned, I changed my diet a couple months ago, and, as a result, have (deliberately) lost weight. As always, I want to make sure that my decision to change my weight is not a general statement that any particular weight or body fat percentage is ideal for all people; I simply had reason to suspect that, in my SPECIFIC case, I would be generally healthier at a different body composition, and have made a choice to work toward a new one. And I've noticed a lot of downsides to the body composition I'm moving toward, too, as well as the benefits I've been noticing.

One of the downsides is that I have a much lower alcohol tolerance. I've been mildly buzzed for nearly three hours now, on four ounces of 80-proof alcohol. Being mildly buzzed isn't a downside -- it's among the reasons I choose to drink -- but, as I enjoy the process of mixing and consuming drinks, reaching my desired intoxication level on a mere two drinks rather than four or six means that I get only half to a third of the pleasure of THOSE parts of the process. However, as I'm also trying to moderate my total intake of consumables, that has an upside, too.

Anyway, I thought I'd take the opportunity to discuss a few things that I enjoy about the experience.

When I'm at my desired level of intoxication, I have a sense of dissociation. This is the sort of feeling which is intensely disturbing if it is NOT intended, but which can be really interesting when it's entered deliberately, in a controlled manner, and with a confidence that it's merely temporary. It's nifty to experience the sense of estrangement from one's own physical AND mental being -- a sense of "self outside of self." There exists a "me" which is having and observing these experiences, but it -- I -- have a slight detachment from the experiences and my normal personality. I normally have a sense of identity with my body and my experiences; this creates a separation. Something like a delamination, perhaps: think of the body and the experiences and the self usually being a single mass, stacked one upon each other but glued together into a single thing, but the experiences of drunkenness very slightly separates these layers.

As such, my proprioception is slightly off. I know where my limbs and all are, but at a slight remove -- I know where my arms and head and legs and fingers and all are, and how they move, and all that, and have no trouble moving them, but there's a bit of a conceptual separation -- the notion that they are "MY" limbs and fingers is a bit less clear. It feels like they are things I'm controlling, but not, strictly speaking part of me.

This general dissociation is just fascinating to me, and I really enjoy experiencing it every so often -- a couple times a month, perhaps. More often that that is more than I really would enjoy.

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