We cannot open the door if we are holding too many things in our hands. I’m certainly guilty of this. There have been many times when I’ve had my hands full, but due to my stubbornness or ego, I’ve refused to put something down in order to open the door. I think it has something to do with our general mentality of late: we must achieve maximum efficiency. Taking the time to put something down, open the door, and pick the thing up again is not efficient. Precious seconds are lost. The funny thing is that what usually happens is we lose our grip and everything ends up on the floor. What threshold am I having trouble crossing because I refuse to put something down? Often times, in order to get to something greater, we have to let certain other things go. Like the security of an old job (or relationship) for the opportunity of a new one. In my commitment to becoming the best version of myself (my true self), I know that there is something I must let go. Something that prevents me from opening the door and crossing the threshold: my long standing, deeply complicated relationship with alcohol. More specifically, the friends that are tied to that habit.
Letting go of old friends is hard. But, it’s definitely easier once you realize you don’t really have much in common anymore. The thing is, I’m not even really that close to the people I drink with. Yet, I keep reaching out to these people…often at the expense of spending my time doing something more meaningful to me. I think there are a few things at play when this happens. There’s definitely some FOMO involved and, of course, the habitual pull of my desire to escape via drinking. Then there’s the fear factor. The fear of spending time doing things that are more true to me, because that would imply that I’m trying. And if I’m genuinely trying and don’t “succeed,” then I’ll have to admit that I’m a failure, and where will I go from there?
Now, let’s complicate the issue even more. I know this story I tell myself to be untrue. Failing is not the end. And not being perfect at something and reaching instantaneous success is not failing. Also, I know that I’m not missing out on anything. Nine times out of ten, I’m usually bored out of my mind and regret meeting up for drinks in the first place. And let’s not even get into how ridiculously painful my hangovers have become. So why do I keep going back? I think it’s really just habit. My brain is probably wired to think that drinking = relief. At the time this was programmed into my brain, it was probably true. I was a teenager and drinking meant having fun and not giving a fuck. Which worked at the time because all I really had to give a fuck about was getting good grades and some obscure plan about a future. Now that future has arrived and that coping mechanism is no longer applicable. The problem is, my neural pathways are set. This means I have to actively and consistently remind myself that drinking is not the answer. The trick is to acknowledge and accept that mistakes will be made. And that’s okay. That’s not the end. I just have to get up, laugh and try again.