Introversion and Alcohol

I started getting drunk when I was in high school, and before we were of legal age my friends and I used to go through such incredible lengths to get alcohol. We’d say things to each other like, “do you need alcohol for tonight?” Like need alcohol. It felt like we really did for the parties we’d go to.

I can still remember how uncomfortable I’d have felt if I wasn’t “drunk enough” to be at one of those parties. You would have stood out as some special kind of kid if you could go to one and not drink.

I guess that stuck with me growing up, because even though I started partying far less into adulthood, it didn’t take away that compulsive need I had to drink in social situations. 

As an introvert alcohol was a way to get me through those large social gatherings like going out to bars and parties. It took so long for me to realize that it was not my nature to enjoy being in those environments and that I was actually drinking to make them bearable. 

It wasn’t until the forced Covid shutdowns that I started to really discover the things that I genuinely loved doing. Finding things like painting and reading and getting up with the sun for early morning walks have allowed me to live my life more authentically. 

Did you know that you don’t have to go to parties? Seriously. What a relief to have discovered that!

Once I started putting more thought into drinking and why I did it, I thought it would be kind of like a fun game to experience some firsts without alcohol. 

I tried going to my first wedding without drinking, what a concept! There’s actually no one saying that you have to be there until 1 in the morning in order to enjoy and celebrate someone’s marriage. 

Rather than waiting for alcohol to take me to this other state of being where I imagined I was more fun and more charismatic, I actually just enjoyed being fully present in the moment and taking everything in. 

Besides, I think the most enjoyable part about drinking is just the buzz that you get from the first drink. Then you spend the rest of night trying to chase that initial feeling, but it’s not possible to maintain. Instead you just end up getting drunker and drunker and sloppier and sloppier.

Then there was the morning after the wedding. I’ll never forget waking up bright and early the next day. I was almost expecting myself to be hungover. I got up and slowly walked my way into the kitchen to get a big drink of water before I realized. I felt so good. Even reliving that moment now makes me feel excited. 

And then there’s dating. Before I would not have fathomed going on a first date without having a drink first. Or many drinks. This is just not what you want, when you think about it. Rather than making me more fun and personable it was actually making me a little dumber and a little less of a good conversationalist. 

I thought it could loosen me up a bit and help me release my inhibitions. But maybe the inhibitions are there for a reason. 

If you’re not vibing with someone, wouldn’t you rather know it? Try going on a date and experiencing everything. Don’t numb yourself to the bad experiences. Instead embrace them. So you can stop seeing people if it’s not fun for you sober.

Now I feel like not drinking is my super power. When I was travelling in Italy, I still had a little taste of wine in Chianti, but that was enough for me. I knew I was going to be spending the afternoon in San Gimigniano and I didn't want to do it with the awful after effects of day drinking (like some of the others in my party I am sure experienced).

I never said to myself, “I’ll never drink again,” or anything like that. I don't believe in living by strict rules. I just know that right now, I don’t want to. Because I realized that it feels so good to feel good.

Life is so beautiful, with all of its ups and downs. And I don't want to numb myself to any of it.

If you don’t want to do something, help yourself out and don’t do it. To truly come to know what it is that you like doing requires us to take stock of ourselves rather than passively going along with what those in our circles are doing.

If you end up losing the friends you had because all you did was drink together, then the relationship had nothing to do with you to begin with.

In order to add to our lives and discover the things that are natural to us, we also have to take some things away.

Recommended Reading: This Naked Mind

#itfeelsgoodtofeelgood #alcoholfree 


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