Anxiety, Cultural Conditioning, Your Sense of Identity, and Using Alcohol to Self-Medicate
Anxiety, Cultural Conditioning, Your Sense of Identity, and Using Alcohol to Self-Medicate —
Talk Sober at YouTube.com
Disclaimer: Marcus is NOT a doctor or a trained addiction counselor. The information in these videos is provided as a resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Nor is it to be used as a substitute when professional diagnosis and treatment is needed. Please seek professional help when needed. Alcoholism is serious… DON’T mess around! Visit www.TalkSober.com/help or get professional help.
Alcohol: The Magic Drink
That magic first drink. It’s something you’ll hear a lot of people who struggle with alcohol talk about. When they took their first drink, it was like magic. Everything seemed clearer. The anxiety was gone. They were able to have fun and be themselves, and they weren’t so self-conscious.
This is something that happened to me. I had my first drink at the ripe young age of about 13, and I got drunk that time as well. I thought that this was a magic cure. I had more fun. I was funny. I was more outgoing. It was almost as if it flipped the switch to make me the person I wanted to be.
We know that we drink and we get this magic feeling. That’s all we want, but then we have too much. It gets bad. We drink around the clock, and things get out of control. We don’t get those magic benefits. We become the person we don’t want to be.
Alcohol and Anxiety
Somewhere along the way of your life, these things got out of control. You were going along fine, and then you started to get anxiety, and it started to overpower you. You started to make excuses. You thought to yourself, “Well, I get nervous in these situations,” or, “, “I have these feelings,” or, “I just need to loosen up,” or, “I’m not funny,” or, “I’m not that quick and witty.” These things happened to you, and you thought drinking would help.
For me, I worked from home in my backyard office. At one point I had a keg machine in my office. I used to think to myself, “Well, I have to have a drink to do a good video.” I would have had to have a few drinks so that I could “relax”.
The drink doesn’t magically turn us into a different person. It exacerbates, or makes worse, the things that are already in us. We have this anxiety, and it makes us think the anxiety isn’t there anymore. It’s as if we’re able to hypnotize ourselves out of anxiety.
What’s happening here? There’s something else in the way, and it’s called cultural conditioning. This says that you need to self-conscious. To an extent, that can be good.
But unfortunately, you’ve been indoctrinated into being completely self-conscious. This has been done through advertisers saying you are not you unless you have this, or unless you drink this. Advertisers make us think, if I get that Ferrari, if I get that mansion, if I get this or that, then I’ll be secure. It’s a big façade of smoke and mirrors.
Our culture is bent on obtaining. We have an end goal, and we want to get to that end goal. As a society, we never talk about enjoying the journey. We think that once we have the job, we’ll want to buy the house and have the kids. Or once we get the contract, we’ll want to get rich and party. We don’t look at life between the lines. But between the lines is where life happens. Between the lines is where you are, the person that you hide with the alcohol.
Along the way, someone told you that you should care about what other people think and say, and that everyone is looking at you all the time. But no one is looking at you all the time. No one remembers the thing that you said that you’re dwelling on.
The problem is that we don’t let the space creep in. We never learn about the space, we just learn that we have to do this, have to be this, have to get rid of anxiety, have to drink this, have to do, do, do. It’s our society. It’s a world focused on getting stuff done. And that’s good. There’s a time and place to get things done. But if you don’t get it done from the place of you, then it’s not going to be worth anything anyway.
Alcohol and Identity
When I was drinking, I was really frantic. My kids use to say, “what’s wrong with you? You’re being crazy.” I rushed around and everything was busy. I had to get this and that done. I had to make this video, and make that content. I was so focused on the end result of getting things done. As a result, everything else in my life was miserable and anxious.
Throughout my entire life, I drank to be the person I wanted to be—the relaxed, goofy, funny kind of person. The one who had fun, went out dancing, and cut loose. I always felt that without alcohol, I couldn’t be that person. I had to have my “medicine” to be able to have these feelings.
But I learned alcohol doesn’t really do those great things for me, and that I don’t have to live that way. I don’t need to drink to be funny. But I learned that I don’t have to live that way. I can have a good time. I can live the way I want. Alcohol clouds out the real me, the one I like.
Since I stopped drinking, things have gotten better. When I go places, people laugh a lot more, and I’m actually coherent enough to hear them. They’re not laughing at me, they’re laughing with me, because it’s funny. I’ve been able to be okay. I’ve been able to not self-judge. I don’t go back and think, “Well, what did I say? What did I do? How did I feel? How did I think? What’s going on?”
Drinking is not really helping you be the person that you want to be. I want you to realize that there’s something else going on here. Behind all the stuff, there’s a real you. It’s behind the alcohol.
Think about the person that you want to be. Who do you want to be with the alcohol? Without the alcohol? What do you like about your person? What is it that you become? Are you funny? Are you relaxed? Imagine that person. I want you to know that that person is in you right now, with or without the alcohol.
That’s the space where you are. It’s the space where you live. You don’t need to drink to bring it out. All you need to do is stop, pause, reflect, and live, without looking at a goal. You can go somewhere right now, and you might be anxious. But instead of thinking you need another drink to get rid of it, you can accept that that space is where you are.
So, start to get in touch and tap into the real you that exists. Because it’s there somewhere. You could think about it. You could write it down. All you need to do is say, “Hey, that’s who I am. That’s who I am between the frantic-ness. That’s who I am in the space.” Remember that you don’t need to drink to become who you are—it’s who you are anyway.
A New Community
Right now, I’m creating a support group for people who feel like us. For those who struggle with alcohol, who struggle with anxiety, depression, all of these things. I’m not a doctor or anything like that, but I think there’s power in all of us getting together.
I want you to go to TalkSober.com/1, and sign up for our community. Go there and join us. There are places where you can chat with other people who feel like you. There are videos and live conferences. If you’d like to talk to me about stuff, I’ll be there as well. I’m here to help you. I’m here to bring out that real person that is you, the one that’s beyond all the chaos.
I hope you have a wonderful journey becoming that person without alcohol, and finding the real you.
For more information, visit TalkSober.com.