Living soberly – meetings and all – was what gave me the strength to live authentically. I don’t feel like a dork, I have plenty of friends, and I’m honest about my life. I don’t feel the compulsive need to tear people down to feel better about myself. I am authentic and genuine. My “cool” friends aren’t around as much anymore, because I actually care about something for once.
“I Would Drink To Be Cool.”
When I drank, I was always looking for the quick fix. That right time. That perfect moment. Whatever made me look coolest and smartest, that’s what I went for first. I would have rather died than look stupid, so I turned to drinking to ease that crippling perfectionist attitude. I could just blame alcohol for being an idiot, right? Getting sober meant I had to take a lot of responsibility for myself, and I was just too cool to care about that sort of thing.
The problem with trying to look “cool” is you are stripping yourself the possibility of joy, connection, and true happiness in hopes of obtaining a label that means literally nothing in the grand scheme of things. I would drink to be cool, I would use to be cool, I would say mean things about people to be cool, and all it did was make people think I was too cool for anything.
- I care about myself.
- I care about helping others.
- I don’t care about who has the new “what.”
- I don’t care about what celebrity is doing what.
- I care about authenticity.
- I care about the good that people are doing
I’ve learned that being too cool for anything makes people who actually care pull away.
Phonies take their place, confirming with you that you are just THE coolest. But buy the wrong pantsuit and gain a couple pounds, and where do they go? On to the next cool girl. I worried that getting sober would make me a dork, and someone that no one would want to be around. I wouldn’t know how to talk to strangers, how to go to an event, or have any fun. I was worried of being exposed and uncomfortable. When I put the drink down at 23, I was doing it to prove some people wrong, to make a stance, and to possibly lose some weight. I wasn’t doing it for me, I was doing it to be cool, but in a different way.
Life Got Easier, My Mental State Got Worse.
Then I realized I was still being driven by what others thought of me, even without booze. I still had character defects that continued my sickness, even if I didn’t have alcohol to ease the pain. Funny enough, life got easier without booze, but my mental state got a lot worse. I was hurt, jealous, selfish, and uninterested, which I chalked up to being depressed and anxious. It was something I had been diagnosed with since I was a kid, and decided that was my problem. It wasn’t my attitude that needed to change, it was the amount of serotonin in my brain!
Addicts sure do love to mess with chemicals, let alone blame them, don’t we?
I am not discrediting medication and if you need help, seek it out. I did need it for a long time, until I realized I needed to change my attitude if I wanted to be better.
Change Your Attitude, Change Your World
I couldn’t live life being miserable and jealous. I couldn’t live it hoping that a pill or shirt or boyfriend would make me happy. I’m enjoying being a genuine person because I’m living proof that being young and sober is wonderful, and that’s pretty cool to me.