People are all striving towards some form of acceptance no matter who they are- they want to be understood and loved and know that they are not alone. The most over used ideology, phrase, cliche, and repeated mantra most people say is "I don't care what people think." Because if you are simply human, you will naturally care what other people think to a small degree. Some have mastered the art of not caring what people think, but not everyone is born with natural tendencies to not be concerned about others viewpoint of them.
Because, drinking, socializing, and wanting acceptance comes from over thinking what people think. And for the most part, if there are those that begin drinking to relax and loosen up, talk to that cute girl at the bar that they would normally be scared to ask out. Talk to peers or friends in a way that is not, well, themselves. Why? Because many people at the end of the day are sometimes sick of being themselves. Living in a world full of social rules and decorum. They want to escape, loosen up, dance crazy, shout at the top of their lungs, and swing their hair all around. They want to let go in a way that they normally can't. They want to escape the reality of who they are and the reality of life.
Other times, drinking is not as complex. From the beginning of time, it has been a way to socialize and bond. It has been the largest bonding agent in America for centuries now. It is so ingrained in our society, that many still are not able to know how to bond without the use of alcohol. Whether it is one drink, a bottle of wine, or a keg. Alcohol allows us to be less inhibited. It is similar to the excitement everyone feels for dressing up on Halloween. You get to be someone else for a day. You get to be as silly, as scary, as wild looking, as freaky as you want and no one will judge you. Everyone will except you.
Alcohol allows us to drop our guards and our personal boundaries, by allowing us to be uninhibited enough to erase the bit of consciousness left in us that rationalizes and over analyzes. Being someone who is confident and yet suffers with social anxiety, I have always hated the strangeness of new encounters or ones that made me dig deep to learn to re-adjust to new environments. However, being in the Army has allowed me and my husband to adjust more easily to almost any situation. Yes, I get stressed out, but the day we both decided to commit our lives to not drinking again was a day that we completely cut alcohol out of our lives. We decided we did not want to drink anymore. It was too costly in more ways than one. It was risky and dangerous and always lead people to do crazy things. The higher amounts of negative consequences due to drinking outweighed the positive reasons to have it in our lives. Plus, it was a stimulant one that was not natural and toxic to our memory, liver, and overall health.
It has been about a year now since we stopped drinking alcohol. I used to smoke cigarettes and cigars too believe it or not. I had quit on and off for years. But finally, I gave it up completely a year ago when I gave up drinking. I wanted to not be addicted to anything, not have anything dominate my life to such a degree that it controlled me. Someone with an addiction is someone with an illness that controls their life. Having a father who is an alcoholic, a grandmother who is, and a grandfather who died from it- I decided to cut alcohol out of my life. I was always an occasional drinker, but could have become an alcoholic if I continued to indulge in it- especially with my family history on my father's side.
|My husband and I at Wiseguys, Lake Placid, NY with friends|
|Water in hand and one goofy smile across my face; this is me having a|
blast sober and yet organically drunk off life.
That, if you are not a drinker and you must socialize, bond, network with peers, co-workers, and people you need to be schmoozing with or around family and close friends. If it is alcohol related schmoozing (which most American bonding requires) then you treat it like Halloween. You can not go wrong at all. You can scream and yell and dance around and do the old fashion line-dance all by yourself. You can do it all and no one will care because, they'll all assume that you are drunk. They will also be too drunk to care anyway. Or, you can be as reserved as you want. You can smile as little as you want. You can be as serious as you want. You can be as yourself as you want and no one will care. Why? Well, because again- they will all be too drunk to notice. Either way, when having to network and schmooze and not a drinker, that is okay. Behave however you want because the drunkards around you will not remember a thing in the morning. So, order that diet coke- hold the rum, and embrace socializing sober.
"Some one who can live organically is someone with a lot of confidence, self esteem and motivation to make their own choices and have their own voice. They stand up for their beliefs and do not let others dictate their lives. They need not escape from reality, but live in it." Sonyo Lee Ferstl