Drink too much? Try being yourself in your life… choose to stop inhibiting yourself


Many people find themselves drinking significant amounts of alcohol to uninhibit themselves… there is a simple and perhaps strange question that doesn’t seem to be given enough space or attention surrounding our drinking culture… I am not arguing here that there are not indeed some rather positive benefits of overindulgence, and by looking at these positive benefits we can isolate a need that we might have for ourselves.

I like to walk with no shoes on… I love the feel of life on my feet… sometimes it’s less comfortable… but it is always more interesting… sometimes people look at me funny… my mind suggests that I ‘should’ put my shoes on… I smile at my minds attempt to inhibit my authentic self… and move on free and happy that I’m emancipated from the missed opportunities that arise from my judgmental mind.

Ready for the question?

“Why are you inhibiting yourself in your life? Why do you not allow yourself to be the person that you desire to be… the person that you are?”

This question brings many of us to our common defenses… rationalization, dismissal, avoidance, sarcasm etc… but why don’t we all just ponder this question for a minute.

If you drink to become uninhibited, then doesn’t that mean that your baseline state is a state of inhibition?

Of course the rationalist in you is saying, “Well if I was uninhibited then I would do some really inappropriate things.” The follow up question is, “if you truly believe that whatever actions you would partake in are ‘inappropriate’ then why is it ok to purposefully drink until you  are uninhibited enough to engage in that inappropriate behavior?”

Is it fair to suggest that part of you doesn’t think that many or most of the actions that you inhibit your sober self from engaging in are inappropriate? Who was it that wrote all these ironically unwritten social rules about how we should conduct ourselves?

Would we add a bit more health and moderation to our drinking culture if we all were less debilitated by the social ‘shoulds’ that we allow to constrain our authentic selves.

Why is it that we believe that some actions need to be inhibited while sober… now I’m not talking about all the harmful things that happen while people are drunk, I am talking about the harmless things like:

Dancing, singing, expressing emotions, offering honest opinions, belly laughing, smiling, talking to people, playing a game, doing nothing, being random, enjoying things, showing excitement, being thankful…

We are so afraid of other people judging us that we keep ourselves from being who we are… and so we drink and are no longer affected by their judgments… but wait a minute… that doesn’t seem to make sense.

Why would drinking keep other people from judging us?

The most judgmental person in our lives is our self.

Drinking shuts up that voice in your head that is constantly critiquing and comparing you with what it calls ‘norms’.

Drinking makes it easier for you to stop judging yourself.

Drinking is the justifiable excuse for you to stop judging yourself.

Do you need an excuse to stop allowing the judgments of your mind to inhibit your authentic self?

I want you to think of all the harmless best parts of being in an uninhibited state… write them down if you like.

Now the next time you are craving an action that your mind inhibits your from engaging in I want you to take a minute… take a deep breath… focus on this voice in your mind telling you what you “should” do… smile at this voice… understand its desires and intentions… this voice believes that inhibition will make you normal and happy… you don’t truly believe this voice so you try and drink it away… choose to be yourself instead… you don’t need the drink… you control the voice just as you control the beverage you hold in your hand.

That voice in your head which judges you is the same voice in other people’s heads that will sometimes judge you if you allow yourself to be free.

Have empathy for these people who are captive to their “shoulds”… but do not allow their shoulds to inhibit your authentic happy self.

Dance, love, sing, meditate in public, ask strange questions, laugh at silly shapes, cry at commercials, skip, jump for the clouds, and howl like a wolf… you don’t need a drink to do so… you simply need to give yourself permission to stop inhibiting yourself.

I won’t judge you if you laugh at the brilliance of being on tree line… I’ll laugh with you and add in a couple jump twists with moon burstin smiles.

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

William Hambleton Bishop

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

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