This is the second installment of a multi-part series. We’ll explore why The Drinks seem to be so cool, while sobriety is like some dorky cousin. I’ll share a path toward conscious sobriety, a method of getting it to stick, and why we’re better off partying on our own damn terms. Read Part 1 “So, what’s with all The Drinks?” HERE. | Part 3: “Drinking RULE! Sobriety is LAME-O. HERE.
Learn more about The New Sobriety – Challenge HERE.
Who am I to Judge?
Before I go any further, I want to be clear: I am completely ambivalent on drinking. I have zero judgements against The Drinks, good or bad. Like every other habit it’s neutral until taken to excess. Unless you become some hostile hell-beast after a couple cocktails, I will gladly pour you another.
And I’ll never withhold my potential in powering our collective good time.
This is a Judgement Free Zone. Anyone can reach for whatever salve they need for the soul. From deep self-compassion, to a refreshing Seagram’s Golden Wine Cooler.
To Not Partake, or to Par-TAY-HEYY?
Love of The Drinks is so pervasive in our culture, that not participating can feel like voting yourself off the island. How many social gatherings feature booze, not only as an added benefit to the event, but as the whole premise of coming together?
Making a polite decline can feel weird at best, and judgmental at worst. This is just one of the psychological tentacles that weaves through our drinking as we grow up with it. We can’t escape the clown car, even though it’s overly crowded and reeks of stale wine.
The Drinks grow on us. What makes it complex is that they grow grow in us, and we grow in them.
As I started raising kids I wondered how The Drinks were either enhancing, or inhibiting my growth. When we’re young, drinking feels like an exciting accelerant, both socially and emotionally. The Drinks have certainly supercharged many careers.
But at what cost?
I know a ton of successful sales people, many of whom I’ve trained. Not one of them wants to be the lonely business traveler in an empty airport lounge, red-faced and slurring, thousands of miles from their family.
But, we all have that sliding scale of satisfaction and satiability. For decades we insist we won’t become the person we fear. Day to day, situations present themselves which link together into a moving sidewalk. Our habits start choosing for us, trigger-happy from stressors, with a blank check for expenses and open bars.
The Drinks create alliances. They collude with our partners, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. They are the one thing just about all of us can connect over.
Meanwhile our careers lead us around by the hair.
An obvious strategy to controlling our uncontrollable circumstances is to adjust the filters we process everything through. Adding a buzz to a bad day starts as a vibe lifter, until our repeated lifts can’t raise the sinking floor.
My friend Kate, about a month into her conscious sobriety shared a chilling insight: “I wasn’t drinking to escape, or get away from myself. I was drinking to feel more like myself.”
Picture the complexity, and depth of that psychological tentacle…
For years the ego assures us we deserve to relax. “We’ve earned it. Life is hard. Take a break, and get out of your head a bit.”
Then suddenly we’re overwhelmed by the obstacles between who we are, and who we show up as every day. Mountains of work and responsibilities stand between us and our truest reflection.
Something in our day needs to remind us of more freewheeling, good times. Now we’re killing a bottle of wine or two with our spouse a few nights a week, while brainstorming ways to save money.
It’s entertaining how insane this is.
“Back when I was fun” can go screw itself. So can “back when I had the energy”. Or the inspiration. Or the swimsuit body.
If any of the teachers, philosophers, and theologians were correct over the centuries, our freedom from the weight of life is only found in this moment. If that is true (and in my experience it is), then hopefully we’ve raised our standards since the days of vomiting Jaeger behind Dad’s shed.
The door to the party we’ve been looking for is accessible at any time, and we don’t even need to get hammered to hang out. <-Click to Tweet
How do you check-in with yourself in regards to The Drinks? Let us know below! Love hearing what works for people.