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I'm digging through my lock up trying to find a pillow. Mercedes (I only remembered the name, because, well, she's called Mercedes) is asking me what I do for a living. She can't leave, because I share the lock-up with three strangers, and Mercedes is there in case I develop a compulsion to steal someone's walking stick. We talk for 30-minutes. Nonsense, boring, fake talk. People believe they need alcohol to function, socially. They feel boring, shy, or a bit of both. When they quit alcohol (which is different than becoming someone that doesn't drink alcohol), this narrative becomes louder. “Perhaps, I am a social butterfly?” I have a theory. People wear masks. Some more than others. They hide our essence. We have been wearing them ever since we became teenagers and decided to ‘fit-in.' We have worn them for so long we have forgotten who we are. Extrovert. Introvert. We don’t have a clue. When alcohol has control over us, we spend a vast amount of hours having conversations we don’t recollect. Surface level chinwags that provide zero value, but fill time. When we quit alcohol, we have more time. And it's deafening. We see masks everywhere. It's frightening. They become more apparent because without alcohol we're experiencing life, and life contains twice as many fake, inauthentic conversations that we had when drinking. At the same time we realise we have values and beliefs, and if we behave incongruently against these values and beliefs, we feel a sense of shame, confusion and guilt. We feel unsure of who we are, and the resistance sniffs our lack of surety and begins telling us that life is dull and how we are better off drinking because life was so much more interesting. Yes, life can be dull, but picking up the bottle isn't the solution. All you accomplish through drinking is to eliminate bouts of time through unconscious actions brought on by the beliefs system known as alcoholism. Time is precious. Let's not hurl it into the darkness. The key is not to drink. Instead, develop self-introspection, and radical self-awareness. We look around, and our friends and family are playing a game we no longer want to play. We don't want to have surface level conversations. They make us feel slightly angry and irritable with the world. We yearn for deep, meaningful conversations. This yearning leads to loneliness if we can't develop the capacity for patience, the open-mindedness to allow the universe to send the right people our way, and the courage to take action when they turn up. Loneliness leads to resistance. Resistance leads to alcohol. Self-awareness, radical open-mindedness, and radical honesty lead to you becoming someone that doesn't drink alcohol. WE ARE NOT BORING. Everyone else is. Join us at: www.thetruthaboutalcohol.co.uk

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