Updated: Dec 8, 2020
I often come across interesting articles on Facebook…this one really caught my attention because it speaks to a phenomena that I couldn’t easily explain when I was a teenager. You see, like many teens, I had emotional problems and used marijuana and alcohol in order to feel better in my body and deal with my home life. Later in life this kind of escaping caused all kinds of damage in my relationships with others and my ability to deal with adult circumstances. I simply didn’t know how to be a grown up because I never had a sense of who I was and who others expected me to be. I thought that if I obeyed the “rules” and did what other people told me to do I would be happy. Unfortunately, trying to be someone I’m not does not feel good in my body, and the things I did and new things I do that are deemed “healthy behaviors” still don’t touch the underlying issue. How can I be myself and like myself?
The article is An Experimental Investigation of Drunk Personality Using Self and Observer Reports by Rachel P. Winograd, Douglas Steinley, Sean P. Lane, ... et al, first Published April 30, 2017, link: https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702616689780. Feel free to read the abstract yourself, but this is what I gleaned from it: Your “Drunk Self” is really your “True Self”! Alcohol lowers your level of resistance and your natural personality emerges when the nervous system relaxes. Maybe your experience is like mine in that your inhibitions fly when your guard is down, and you feel relaxed and free to be yourself. It only stands to reason that your True Self desires to be itself!
I think the problem arises when Ego is guarding you and protecting you, but why is Ego guarding you? If your True Self is not appropriate, why? Is it hurt by past events? Unforgiveness? Resentment? Jealousy? Is it immature and it just wants to have more fun than work? Did you have to grow up too fast and now your “Inner Child” wants to have fun and play? Or is the Self sad, depressed and it wants to be alone? Are the stressors of the world too much for you to bear and you want to run away and hide from the world, drinking yourself into a coma every night? Is your True Self bored? Hyperactive? So many reasons to drink to allow the Self to escape and experience the world!
Maybe the answer is to just allow the Self to be here. Choose to be here wholeheartedly. Make mistakes, embarrass yourself soberly, but live to all your heart’s content. Tell that person you love them; forgive the people you despise and give your Self permission to just be a Human. Stop trying to escape your life and live it! It is in the restraint of living that the soul suffers, and pain arises. ~ Diana Ziegler MS, LMFT