When I was thirteen I was into Grunge Music. I listened to it religiously, obsessed over Seattle, and when I went to Secondary School I tried to get into any friendship group that included someone in a band. My best high school memories were stuffing my bra and going to the local Youth Centre to watch teenagers play bad covers. One night at one of these gigs someone gave me a Blue WKD. I kissed the boy I liked, danced with abandon, and someone told me how cool my hair was. I had arrived, child Loz thought. This was it. And therein lay my new core belief: when I am drinking I am the person I always wanted to be, not the socially awkward girl who couldn’t fill an A cup bra. I was, instead, a sexy, elemental, COOL girl who had lots of friends and lots of acceptance.
This was one of the biggest lies that alcohol told me. Inside, I was vulnerable, and alcohol made me feel super-human. I didn’t have to worry about what people thought of me. It made me feel invincible, (until it put me in unsafe situations, and I had to use alcohol to deal with those consequences). The girl who I thought I wanted to be, and achieved through drinking, was hollow at her core, she numbed all of her substance in order to feel differently than she did. It inevitably collapsed, and I was lonelier than I was even to begin with - after a drunken mishap in my midteens I was no longer welcome in my social circle. I lost my social life, my social status, and I realised it was all a façade in the first place. Alcohol didn’t let me live in the real world, and it definitely didn’t let me have real friendships. It dulled my vulnerability nerve, but not in a way that lay foundation for genuine connection. I couldn’t tell the difference as a young person.
In fact, the more I realised alcohol actually disconnected me from those around me, I learned that I stood to gain a lot by conducting my friendships as a sober person. Alcohol meant that I couldn’t focus on the world I was in, and is social contact not a conscious situation? So why wouldn’t I want to try having a sober social life?
When did alcohol start playing a role in how you made friends? What were you trying to become, or hide, with alcohol?
Two tiny things:
- Ask three people “How are you?” today, and really listen to their response.
- Write some affirmations on your mirror, or on the inside of your kitchen cupboards. Somewhere you will see them regularly.