As a husband of a friend noted, socializing revolves around alcohol, not food. He can notice this because he is choosing sobriety himself and when you don't buy into the "I deserve this" mentality, you can see the self and societal justification behind drinking.
I feel frustrated and disappointed at the assumed entitlement to use chemicals to manage human life. And I'm tired of hearing the rationalizations for lack of personal insight and responsibility.
It's easy to point the finger at people smoking weed or other more dangerous drugs, like cocaine, warning that "it's destroying your brain" and "it's illegal" among other valid criticisms. However, alcohol is a mood altering substance just the same, and most people brush it off as a "social" or "relaxing" event. Why? Why is it acceptable to dump poison down your throat to socialize or relax or loosen up or de-stress or have fun? It's a chemical that impairs judgment and mood just like all chemical stimulants and depressants.
What a shame that you can't enjoy being with another human, a meal out, watching sports, attending a party, listening to music, or working without also ingesting a mood-altering chemical. What an insult to the people you're with that you should want a mood-altering chemical to be with them — are you the dull one or are they? And if you're incapable of working without an occasional chemical intervention then maybe you're in over your head.
Do you drink or use drugs because that's what you and your friends do when you're together; it's just standard procedure? What friends would you have if you didn't use mood-altering substances? Maybe you're afraid you won't have any friends? I can see why you would want to keep reinforcing the pattern you've established; it'll work well long-term, I'm sure. Misery loves company, as they say. I'm curious, what does someone who doesn't use (alcohol or drugs) say about your use?
Now, if you think I'm harsh or unfair, after all, you just use to "relax," I wonder if you've ever asked yourself why you need a chemical to relax? Perhaps you watched the "grown-ups" engage in drinking, smoking cigarettes, smoking weed, etc. and learned that's just what you do when you get BIG. I ask you; did it ever occur to you that you don't have to mimic your elders (even if they're teenagers)? And to whom are you now modeling the same behavior?
Maybe you want to tell me you like the taste, and that's why you drink or smoke weed. Okay, and how about that first try, back when you were a young teenager perhaps? ADAPTATION. Just like exercise, if you routinely exert your muscles and heart, your body will adapt, and you can eventually exert more with less effort. Congratulations, you've adapted to the taste and chemical response to poison! My kudos to you.
I challenge you to consider your resistance to the topic of sobriety as a warning. The harder you work to justify your reasons for using mood-altering substances, the less control you have. But don't worry, you're a pro at excuses, and you've got all the support you need to carry on status quo.
As a client of mine at the gym said yesterday, "It's easier to take the path of least resistance and sit on the couch eating sugar, but all that breeds is self-loathing. It's hard work to renounce a chemical like sugar and exercise instead, but I'll live a fuller life and feel pride that I'm healthy, and I deserve it."
Go ahead, try giving up your drug of choice and find out who's in the driver's seat. All of your closest friends are rooting for you. Or are they?
While in the gym this morning, my client observed that all clients are representations of their trainers. She posits that if you take the trainers out of the room, identifying which trainer each client worked with is possible based how the clients present themselves. And she speculated that personality similarity happens frequently based on with whom we spend our time.
My question to her was "What does that say about you?!"
My question to you is "Who are you hanging around?"
What habit can you renounce just for today?
What would be the opposite of your habit? Can you do it?
Aloha and pomai'ka'i (good luck)!
What is your definition of failure?
According to dictionary.com, The definition of failure is: "To fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved."
Notice the definition is specific to a task or activity; failure does NOT define the person doing the task or activity.
So, what if it is our expectations that elicit the feeling of failure?
And what would it take to wrap your brain around goals set toward learning and experimentation rather than a specific outcome?
As many of you know, I love my two mountain bikes! Just last week I witnessed a young boy doing wheelies as I was riding to the gym. When I saw him, I thought "I want to do that!" So I set a goal to experiment with something seemingly reserved for young people and professionals. Naturally, while learning to do wheelies, I don't expect to get it right immediately; in fact, I foresee falling on my ass at some point because I don't YET know how to shift my body weight above one wheel without toppling over backward. Does that mean I fail? Don't be silly! It merely suggests that it may be prudent for me to practice on sand or grass rather than pavement. My goal is to learn; I have no expectations, just a fun experiment in progress.
What is your definition of success?
When learning a new skill, do you avoid tasks and activities in which you may not succeed? And what might you try if your focus were on experimentation and learning rather than on an outcome or perfect result?
To follow up the definition of failure with the definition of success: "The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals."
If we could set our goals as experiments, we'd find success in everything we do!
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian