Your mother, sister, or friend may be the mind behind the next bestselling novel, but you don’t want her becoming the next Dorothy Parker – at least, not the alcoholic side of her.
The Muse in a Bottle?
The majority of people believe that drinking plays an integral part in the creative process, especially after alcoholics like Dorothy Parker and Frida Kahlo produced masterpieces. They see it as a beautiful tragedy — even a source of entertainment — and spare alcoholic artists from prejudice and even from treatment centers for women until they reach a breaking point.
Stephen King used to be an alcoholic, and recovering had not affected his skills. He, among others, proves that the creative muse comes more often through discipline and not through inspiration triggered by any substance. The muse doesn’t live in the bottle of wine on an artist’s bedside. Hearing this excuse from an artist only shows she needs intervention at the soonest possible time.
No Smoke Without Fire
The muse may not be trapped in a can of beer, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be found there altogether. Alcohol reduces the working memory which, in turn, gives creative thinking a space to surface on to produce an ‘aha’ moment. Combined with the fact that the female body metabolizes alcohol at a slower rate compared to males — thus making its effects stronger — can easily result in alcohol dependency.
Female artists suffer more dreadful consequences from alcoholism compared to men. The effects of alcohol-induced brain damage caused some women’s brains to shrink more than men’s even though the women started drinking excessively much later in life. Alcohol kills brain cells and cuts short the life of its victim. Consider it one of the many prices they’ll pay for each burst of creativity they tap into while drunk.
Their enhanced contact with their artistic side during intoxication may produce good results with their craft, but it doesn’t justify their dependence on it during days they cannot create in an instant. As an acquaintance to such a person, you bear the knowledge and responsibility to tell them to stop before it’s too late.