“I’m just more fun when I drink.”
Have you ever thought this about yourself? I sure did. Without a drink, I was awkward, insecure, and overthinking everything. I couldn’t enjoy myself because I couldn’t get out of my head. A couple of rounds in and that all changed: I became fun.
I was so practiced at finding “fun Rachel” at the bottom of a glass that I started to think there wasn’t another way. Giving up drinking meant giving up the laid-back, easy-going version of me. The version of myself that I actually I liked. Why would I want to do that?
So I kept drinking. I kept choosing a buzz as the quickest route to find this person because I had no idea how else to find her. She was in there, but I only knew one way to let her shine.
The question is, can you learn to be confident, self-assured, and laid-back on your own without needing the help a drink? Can you figure out how to let go of your worries and your hang-ups from the inside out, instead of from the outside in?
Here’s what I had to realize: the way I felt inside was not a reflection of what I looked like in the mirror or bullet points on my resume. As long as I kept chasing those metrics to feel better, the longer I would stay stuck.
How I felt—awkward and insecure or confident and self-assured—had everything to do with what I thought of myself. I had to give up chasing perfection and accomplishments as the route to feel good about myself and start changing what I was thinking about myself all day long.
You might dismiss this work as the silly practice of affirmations, but it’s actually much deeper than reciting band-aid sentences to feel better. It’s paying attention to the words you use to describe your appearance, your mistakes, your decisions, your past, and your future, understanding how these words connect to how you feel, and learning how to change it.
I was never going to be “fun Rachel” when a soundtrack of all my insecurities was playing on a loop in my mind. The choice was this: keep turning to something to dull what I thought about myself or learn how to change the soundtrack.
I opted for the latter.