Driving home from the gym and lost in thought, I came to a startling realization.
Years ago, my ex-husband made the very painful remark that people like me better when I’m drunk. Back then, this was just another reminder that I was too much and therefore unlovable.
As I was driving, though, it occurred to me that there is a positive to this. And I’m going to premise this with “this is not a glorification of alcohol”.
As we all know, alcohol is a great remover of inhibitions and, for most of us, a truth serum of sorts. What that looks like on me is unfiltered, raw, relaxed, and real.
I have spent most of my life hiding. There are briefs moments when I shine, those moments when my passion pours from my eyes and mouth or when I’m slightly inebriated.
I stop trying to hide and simply AM. I stop thinking so hard and simply AM. I stop trying to be proper, articulate, intelligent and just AM.
I stop trying and just AM, unapologetically, in all my glory, lit up like a Christmas tree.
The good/bad thing is that I don’t drink very often (it’s not in alignment with my health goals and it’s really superfluous). Addiction is something that occurs on both sides of my family so I’ve always been very aware of what, how much, and why I’m drinking. But for a brief period of time in my early adulthood, numbing was never in the why category. Neither was “because I’m more me when I’m a bit loopy”, but this is now my sad realization.
I’m reminded of that Maya Angelou quote “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Except that I don’t know what “better” is. I now have to figure out how I remove the crutch I didn’t know I had been using (a handful of times per year).
I write all this as if the person I am when I’m sober isn’t also me. It is also me, just the me that finds the shadows safer but constricting. It’s the me that struggles HARD, that fights everything. It’s just not the me I was before the world told me I had to be different. It’s not the me that is joy and free.
That’s also not to say inebriated me is the best version of me. It’s not. Which is why being drunk all the time isn’t something I’m willing to try or be. But it does provide a glimpse at what is possible should I choose to point myself in the direction of less hiding, more living.
Which, of course, is exactly what I’m going to do.