I felt shy without alcohol
I felt shy without alcohol. Not cripplingly so, and not in every situation, but socially, in large groups, and with people I was not overly familiar with. Now, find that I naturally recoil from these types of social occasion, much preferring to be in a quieter environment with a small number of people I know very well. As a boozer, I gravitated towards louder more overtly confident people – the other party animals, as I saw it. The opposite is true for me as a non-drinker.
When not drinking shared interests and beliefs are crucial as social glue because there is no longer anything present to smooth away deep incompatibilities. I could, when drunk, chat away at a bar with a complete stranger with whom I had nothing in common, for hours and hours. Nowadays I enjoy conversations that are interesting, relevant to me, enlightening, honest.
My boyfriends were heavy drinkers
My boyfriends over the years have comprised of a selection of good, bad, terrible, gorgeous, funny, well suited to me, violent, selfish, intellectual and not so. But for the most part, the ones I met when drinking were people I should never have entered into a relationship with. They were, without exception, heavy drinkers, and the alcohol we drank together not only cemented the unions in the first instance but also provided us with vital common ground amongst an otherwise barren tract of human interaction.
I felt shy without alcohol but drink did not help me form real relationships.
Understanding our social relationships
.As human beings we all need to feel connected. That’s the illusion drink gives, that we are connected to other people. In truth drink disconnects us from other people as we can’t really connect on a real level if we are drowning our emotions in alcohol.
So it is important to understand what our social relationships are based on.. Are they based on being a drinking buddy or are they based on shared interests and beliefs?
If the former it can be very disconcerting to find out you have nothing in common. I’ve shed a few friends over the last four years, but I’ve also gained some. And the friendships that I’ve made whilst sober are real, deep and enduring.