These days you are more likely to find coconut water rather than reisling in my wine glass and I bloody love the stuff!! I was never an alcoholic or chronic binge drinker, but what concerned me when I did go out and have a drink, was the speed in which a glass would go down the hatch. The speed was driven by a powerful desire for the alcohol to 'hurry up and make me relax" a release from jittery social anxiety...
I look at some of the young women in their 20s out there today and the sheer amount they drink is astounding - if you are in the party heart of the city in the early hours, on just about every corner you will find beautiful young women in short skirts and tall heels bent over themselves over the concrete, a drunken friend trying to calm them while patting them on the back.
My drinking story was never at that level, I was pretty much done with 3 drinks and the alcohol would take away the anxiety but it would also take out my sense of timing and loving care with people. I could still sense and feel what people were struggling with, but my mute button disappeared and I would blurt out what I could see, upsetting friends and those who cared about me. Following a night like this, I would spend the next 2-3 days feeling down, cranky and going over and over in my head the random conversations I had had where I had said so many things that did not help that person in anyway, at all. Not a nice feeling for someone whose greatest joy is to see people heal.
I am a big spirit and after a lot of self-work and counselling hundreds of people who have used alcohol as a tool to alleviate social discomfort, I figure it's helpful to know how you can manage being out and about socially without dragging that annoying party buddy alcohol in to help you be more comfortable just being You! I believe that many people who struggle with anxiety are just highly evolved intuitives and rather than medicating with drugs or alchohol, there is lacking a greater understanding of their gift and how to manage it in social settings.
I am not scared of the occasional glass of wine. But I no longer need to skull it down to cope with social engagement. When I saw the pattern, I changed my relationship with wine and my relationship with being in a group setting.
The first step was to recognise that it is normal as an intuitive person to feel anxious about either meeting new people or being in a room with a lot of overwhelming mayhem energy. I realised that I had two choices. I could either hook into the anxiety and stress and feed off it to feel worse and hope that a few glasses of wine would make it easier to cope - or claim my ground and create a space of my own calm - make that the focal point of safety for me.
More than that, as an intuitive you have a responsibility to be a positive interrupt in low energy environments. Whether this is a bar or a busy cafe where everyone is rushed and stressed. You don't have your gift for nothing. You were never meant to join grey murky energy and that's why it feels so bad to just join in. If you are brave enough to stand your ground, and not just that recognise that you have a gift to re-orient the room into a more positive energy, you can be the smiling calm centre - the eye in the storm and watch what happens around you. It's pretty darm cool!!
Here's how I do it, before we get to the coconut water versus alcohol part...
Here are 5 reasons why a tall glass of coconut water might be a good choice to break up a night on the vino...
1. Coconut water is packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, along with five essential electrolytes the human body loves - calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. When I am sitting with someone drinking wine while I am drinking coconut water, I see their glass empty and mine too. I know that what has just gone in is healing my insides, versus a pile of sugar and toxins that my body has to try and battle out of me later.
2. Alcohol builds up a tolerance to pleasure. I was just reading about this and I almost fell off my chair! One of the reasons we drink is it is pleasurable,but when the pleasure centre in the brain is overwhelmed, the body tries to restore balance by releasing a chemical called dynorphin to turn the pleaure button down. The more we drink, the more dynorphin kicks in and it means that everything you do that is pleasurable from hearing laughter, to sex to all the things you once used to warmly enjoy just don't do it for you anymore. This dynorphin rush in the body lasts a few days too between the drinking and that's why you feel so down after a big night out.
When you replace your usual nightly beer or wine with a coconut water, the brain can do a reset on your pleasure centre and all of a sudden things start getting a lot more fun and sex gets a whole lot better. Now if that's not a good reason to take a breather from a pile of alcohol, I don't know what is!! Getting off the alcohol high/sadness rollercoaster is freedom - freedom to live a more joyous life!
3. Coconut is 95% water so is a great way to get more water into your life. If you are bored with chugging out of your water bottle, the taste of coconut water offers a bit of variety. It is such a powerful hydrating fluid that it was used as emergency hydration with soldiers in the Pacific Islands during World War Two.
4. Coconut water contains cytokinins. These compounds do some amazing deep healing into body tissues and skin. Some scientific studies show that cytokinins attack cancerous cells and slow down the aging process. Pretty awesome to feel that you can have a lovely time hanging out with friends, all the while what is in your wine glass - the juice of the coconut - is de-aging you and protecting your cells from cancer!
5. Coconut water tastes good! Let go of any sense of not being part of the party if you are drinking coconut water instead of booze. If you don't make a deal out of it, or judge others who are drinking, I have found no-one makes a big deal about it either. If you bring a couple of big coconut waters to your next party you might find people wanting to share it with you along with a deep and meaningful chat in the kitchen instead of going for skulling down another shot! You might get to help someone with big things going on for them.
We never stop learning as long as we are willing to keep looking at the parts of ourselves that are itchy and uncomfortable. The way we are drinking needs some love and honesty about "Why' we drink the way we do, rather than just simple judgement and criticism.
Have a play with being the positive interrupt in negative environments and enjoy some coconut water people!
Piles of Love
Check out Veronica's global raw storytelling healing project where people are valued for sharing their journey through life scars - come on over! Love to see you there! www.madebeautifulbyscars.com