So – I was pretty cocky about non-drinking. I had successfully navigated even the most anxiety-laden drinking events in my life with zero alcohol and zero cravings and was thinking I’d conquered the world. Until yesterday. My partner and I went out with friends to the club (fine, easy) and they desperately wanted to go dancing. Dancing. My kryptonite. How in the heck could I dance AND not drink? My dancing has been equated to Elaine’s from “Seinfeld” … akin to a “full body dry heave”. Long story short, we went… we danced… and I didn’t drink. Instead, I had my “Brooke Special” (club soda & lime). And while not drinking and attempting to dance in the sea of REALLY great dancers – I had a few realizations. First, I was playing so small and afraid before. I drank because I thought … “I can’t handle THIS situation without drinking. I’m not strong enough to deal with this without a drug.”
And in that moment, NOT drinking and STILL dancing I thought… “Damn. I am SO capable of handling this. I am SO capable of dancing, not drinking, AND simultaneously doing the thought work to ENJOY whatever this hot mess of a ‘dance’ I’m doing is.” I realized … I’m capable of a lot more than I gave myself credit for before. I can handle WAY more than I thought I could – because I’m fully open and willing to experience ANY and EVERY feeling that hits me without reaction. And believe me, as introvert, there were LOTS of feelings to process. 🙂
Second, I realized that my dancing isn’t a drinking problem, it’s a DANCING problem. If I don’t like the quality of my dancing and I want to improve it, the answer isn’t to get smashed on Long Island Ice Teas … the answer would be to look up some YouTube videos on easy club dance moves and improve my skills. But my thinking that alcohol was the answer (to everything) kept me from seeing the more simple, less harmful solution. So I’m 100% on allowing myself to feel the anxiety without reaction … and see that maybe a few quick looks at “dance moves” might be a good thing before the next outing. 😉
My drinking blocked SO much growth – and I’m glad you helped me WAKE UP to see that I really CAN handle my thoughts and feelings – if I take responsibility and make that choice. Thanks, Brooke!