The illusion that getting ‘smashed’ is fun

by Kim Schultz, NSW

With my work Christmas party coming up I tried to wiggle my way out of it, saying that I was too tired to go and that there was no dairy free/gluten free menu, thinking that they would put me in the ‘too hard’ basket. WRONG!… the boss solved the problem in five minutes, speaking with the chefs to cater for my food request and offering to have someone drive me to the event.

At the time I thought ‘Bugger!’ as all my attempts to avoid it had failed. To be honest, I was concerned with how I was going to communicate and what I was going to say to people who were drunk… ‘What are we going to talk about?’ ‘How am I going to connect?’ I was also anxious that I would be seen as a ‘party-pooper’. Still, I did feel the pull to go – and how awesome it was to revisit my past, as it turned out.

During the course of the dinner people got trashed. No-one seemed interested in speaking with me once they’d had a few drinks. I started to feel on the outer; I noticed that when I spoke, they didn’t seem to be able to concentrate and were walking off half-way through my sentences – not seemingly interested in conversation or connection. I didn’t feel one ounce of judgment as I realised that in the past when I was totally off my nut, I would avoid anyone who was ‘straight’ – ‘cause I felt they were not ‘on my wave length’. So on this night instead, I could feel how in the past I would have affected others who were trying to connect to me when I was in this same state.

No-one seemed to be truly connecting. People were leaving the table all the time to go out back and smoke – again I remembered that I used to do this. As I sat there, I felt how others must have felt with my leaving the table to ‘drag back a scoob’ and return to the table, and if not – not returning at all because the scoob would turn into ecstasy and I wouldn’t return home until the next day.

The manager gave a ‘thank you’ speech – whilst holding himself up against the table, as he was intoxicated. Everyone applauded the speech – I clapped automatically because everyone else did. In truth, I did not want to clap; I did only because I did not want to appear like a snob. After clapping I felt horrible, as I had supported something that did not feel right to me. In the past I would not have blinked – it would have all seemed very ‘normal’. But as this was the first time I have ever attended a Christmas function and not used any substances, I was able to truly feel how it felt having someone say ‘thank you’ when really drunk – I was literally thrown back into my chair as the words felt totally empty and cold and I felt unable to connect to him.

Once I got home I felt so blessed to have experienced the night, as it was deeply healing to have the reflection of how I had been living my life – using substances to numb myself – NOBODY HOME IN THIS BODY – so as not to feel how overwhelmed I was with life and the hurts I carried; not to mention the tons of abuse I allowed from others and to myself through not wanting to feel my deep emptiness.

The night also confirmed that I didn’t have to join in just to be like everyone else to feel a part of the gang. It also definitely cured any thoughts that I am missing out on ‘FUN’ – as I could clearly feel how people changed and totally disconnected from themselves and from me after consuming drugs and alcohol.

I felt the pull to go to this event and got a massive healing as I got to feel how I have lived – and the effects my behaviour may have had on others. This is the benefit of getting out there and being ‘in the world’ – not hiding in my own comfort.

The work crew still saw me as me being a stick-in-the-mud and a ‘weirdo’ for not drinking. The most beautiful side of it all was that there was nothing for me to do apart from just to be and feel. Since that night I certainly feel more dedicated to my health and well-being without the use of drugs and alcohol to ‘get through’ life.

As I continue to learn to love me, I look forward to offering a TRUE reflection of how life can be so that others can see that there is another way.

Much love to Universal Medicine and all involved, helping me to re-connect to truth, and to my true self.

162 thoughts on “The illusion that getting ‘smashed’ is fun

  1. Once we connect to that part of ourselves known forever as the inner heart, we can start to live in a way that celebrates the seemingly ordinary, and transforms this into an ongoing joyful life.

  2. Kim, a great reflection to show you that it is much more ‘fun’ to be who you truly are and an inspiration to others that there is another way of living.

  3. There was such a drive to ‘party-hard’ in me and I thought that this was the way I would always be… what an extraordinary turnaround I have experienced, as has Kim… and if this was all that Universal Medicine inspires one to choose in ones life, then that just would be a good enough reason to see what was on offer .

  4. What a learning experience Kim, to see how it may have been for us in the past and to see clearly now when changes have been made, through self care and respect for our bodies. I wasn’t a big drinker and when I finally gave it up totally (what is the point when I didn’t enjoy the experience) I was encouraged to just have one or completely ignored as the conversation became more from the drink talking. I have never regretted my decision to not drink or smoke. Life has always been more enjoyable without the hangover!

  5. Kim I love how you did not judge the behaviour of others, but instead saw a sober reflection of how you would have behaved in the past and felt how empty and disrespectful of others it can be. A non drinker may appearing boring to others heavily under the influence, but being an observer is enlightening. Like you, it just confirms that I never want to get off my face again and treat myself and others so disrespectfully.

  6. What a beautiful sharing you have offered here Kim. There is not an ounce of judgement in your words – not even judgement of yourself. Instead you have simply allowed yourself to accept full responsibility for your choices.

  7. “The most beautiful side of it all was that there was nothing for me to do apart from just to be and feel.” Not reacting feels so good when we do so – also knowing we are not adding to harming – ourselves or others. I too have had experiences like this. I used to judge but now just accept others’ choices – and continue to reflect the truth of who I am – and who we all are in essence.

  8. I love how the unfolding of the evening allowed you to recollect your own past choices and how they affected others. When we are able to see these things so clearly, it makes us appreciate the changes that we have made and how unimposing we can be simply by making different choices.

  9. Kim, you DO offer a true and gorgeous reflection of how life can be so we all can see that there is another way. A way where we no longer need to hide, in full illusion that we are hiding from the world when in-truth we only ever hide from ourselves.

  10. “Nobody home in this body’ is the perfect way to describe how we end up living a vastly reduced version of ourselves that greatly shies away from the gloriousness we truly are when we make the choice to not only stay home, but tend to the fire burning in the heart(h).

  11. Interesting that even when people are really drunk they still have a radar that means they avoid anyone who might reflect a truth they are as yet unwilling to see…

  12. Awesome that you chose to use this experience to feel how you were in the past and to appreciate the different choices that you are now making without judging your work colleagues who are still caught up in the illusion that drink and drugs are the answer to the emptiness they are trying to escape.

  13. This is great and shows how important it is to not retract into our own lives, but be out there and see what is going on in life, getting the reflections we need to heal what is in our bodies, constructing us to be all of who we are.

  14. Not drinking alcohol is the best – and I could also say that drinking alcohol is the worst. I hated the feeling of not being totally there and being straight you can feel how not themselves everyone else is. The funny thing is that when you’re drunk you think you are not too bad but if you were to be recorded and have a look the next day you would probably not want to see.

  15. What an invaluable experience. I love how solid you were in that situation and so non judgmental, and I can imagine it would have been difficult. I also get anxious at the thought of attending alcohol fuelled functions as I no longer drink and find being around drunk people quite tedious. I also remember when I used to drink, that I was actually aware enough to feel that I myself was annoying and completely out of myself when drunk. I recall being very embarrassed at some of my actions, during the process not just after. Scary!

  16. Well you sure smashed that illusion Kim. Work Christmas parties would have to be one of the hardest trials to endure after someone has made the choice to give up drinking.

  17. What a great experience to help confirm that the choices you are making are supporting you to make more honouring choices for how you choose to live Kim. I have also had many experiences that have reflected back to me the choices I used to make. In honesty, it can be hard not to judge others in the beginning because you can now finally see how there is another way and all you want is for everyone to look after themselves.

  18. The work crew might very well have labelled you a ‘stick in the mud’, But I feel pretty confident that before long you would have had colleagues talk to you about your choices and share with you that they wish they could do the same, and that they feel the pressure to join in out of habit. This has certainly been my experience.

  19. I have worked in my new job for two years now and have been associated with Universal Medicine for ten years. I have done four Christmas parties, one for staff and the other is management and for some strange reason after I started this new position there has been a complete turn over of staff in the office. In my first year, all eleven management personnel have left! The way I now live and what I do and don’t eat or drink has just been excepted as the way I choose to live. The staff party’s and the 11 office going away do’s I would have water with a slice of lime, make my appearance for an hour and leave.

  20. Kim I can really relate to much of what you say here about how it feels to be with others who are partying in this way. To be honest I have never really enjoyed that aspect of socialising but felt lesser for my choices, though nowadays I am much clearer and able to be myself. When I party with work colleagues I make sure I have sorted the menu first, and so on so that its not a big deal.

  21. It is such a blessing to see our own present and past behaviours and patterns in both ourselves and others so we can continue to learn and understand ourselves and each other more and more with every lesson our everyday life gifts us with.

  22. When we’ve made such changes in our lives, it’s indeed ‘sobering’ (if I may use the word here!) to look back on where we’ve been, and see it in all of its rawness. What’s especially powerful in reading your blog Kim, is to feel how the joy within you, and care of you, was innately so much greater than any influences that may have been around you, to join in on a version of ‘fun’ that you’d seen through completely. Very inspiring…

  23. How powerful it is, when we don’t judge others for making choices – to drink, take drugs, etc. – that we’ve come to know as being abusive to ourselves…
    I don’t drink alcohol at all these days either Kim, and yet once I used to drink quite a lot of the stuff. What I’ve found is that it’s not about ‘drinking/not drinking’, but rather if we are willing, looking at why we would intake such a known poison into our body? What’s going on, that something known to be so destructive, is consumed with such fervour, especially at ‘celebratory’ events? If we truly want to go there, and stop the ‘damage’ and harm to ourselves, there are deeper questions so worth exploring.
    p.s. I feel fabulous without the stuff – could never, ever go back!

  24. I can totally relate Kim, people at work look at me strangely when they find out I don’t drink coffee or drink alcohol. They usually think when you don’t drink that it means you just have wine – not sure why that is not considered alcohol to some. I still enjoy having a great time with them all at work and occasionally we go out together for dinner but I avoid the wild parties because as you have experienced there is no true connection going on at these times with anyone.

  25. Kim I really enjoyed reading this. Sure it may have felt not very nice, but as you say – this is getting out of comfort and seeing a reflection of choices you once made. It took me a big night out where I got so drunk I went to the bathroom and could not remember how to get back to the table in the restaurant we were at – so I spent an hr aimlessly walking around. I was scared. And that was a wake up call for me. And it was by reflection of what alcohol can do and how awful it can be that I said ‘no more’. I had to learn the hard way to really feel in my body how unloving I was being.

  26. Kim, thank you, I have struggled with being on the outer and have let myself be deeply hurt by those affected by alcohol. This weekend I will again be amongst those affected by alcohol. The difference is I now have a deep love for myself and the ability to understand another’s choices because of the love I hold. I am looking forward to bringing my love to the people I adore, no matter the choices they make.

  27. once we start to leave old habits behind, our eyes are opened, and we start to see what is really going on all around us… It is extremely revealing, and as we see and feel deeper and deeper, is even more startling what is actually going on, and what is accepted as normal.

  28. Having read your blog, Kim, I want to thank you for your wise words. The time is coming up for my work’s Christmas party and I have had feelings of ambivalence about going. You have confirmed for me how important it is to be present in every sense of the word, and go with no expectation whatsoever.

  29. Awesome blog. I too have the fear that I will be seen as a snob or party pooper. There is not a single part of me that wants to join in and so I prefer to avoid events like this. But your blog has changed that. What a beautiful offering to the others, to offer connection. We are all craving connection, get togethers are under the guise of connection yet so often that is not what goes on.

  30. Great reminder Kim, I have found my colleagues over the last year are not drinking as much alcohol as they used to particularly as they have become more aware of the harm that it does, and the work place is beginning to be less tolerant about excessive drinking because it sends the wrong message out to younger members.

  31. It is so obvious really that we think that alcohol and drugs support us to be more sociable but really they are wedges that we drive between us that stop us from truly connecting with each other.

  32. It occurs to me reading this blog that perhaps what happens at a lot of work parties is that the group of staff sense the lack of real connection that has been there all along all year and then because that lack of connection gets more exposed in social setting, the easy fix for this is to quickly head for the booze and drugs to avoid feeling this lack of connection which of course makes it even worse.

  33. It never used to occur to me before I began attending Universal Medicine that I actually had a choice to join in with what the majority were doing especially in situations which I thought were trivial. I also have overridden my body and clapped on numerous occasions but there came a time when I had to pause, reflect and ask myself was it worth it even if I stood out. It can be extremely uncomfortable when we choose to listen to ourselves in front of people who are choosing otherwise but the love in my body is getting stronger and there have been situations where I simply couldn’t follow suit.

  34. Re reading your sharing Kim is a bit scary when I look at how many parties were held over Christmas and will be over the New Year. What a sad state of affairs when it seems our( for some) only way to connect is through alcohol and drugs of some sort, without any effort to just be ourselves and let the connection evolve as it will.

  35. This is a great case study. I remember how I used to use ‘being drunk’ as an excuse for my appalling behaviour, as if being drunk was an accident of some kind that I had no control over. This really makes no sense.

  36. It sounds like the intoxicated people were avoiding you not because you weren’t on their wave length Kim, but because you exposed that the wave length they were on was self harming and not true to the divinity they are otherwise from.

  37. A sharing that we all could read and refresh our memories of so called “good times” we had drinking in the past! This is a great sharing Kim thank you for your honesty.

  38. Once we taste the experience of the enjoyment of life without substances there is no pull to go back to that way of living. There is no contest as to which is the most pleasurable.

  39. It is so interesting that instead of connecting to one another ‘the norm’ is to ‘get out of it’ with people. Having spent a considerable time around ‘out of it’ people when I was young as a four times pregnant or breastfeeding mother I soon concluded that parties were incredibly predictable and somewhat boring and that all the partying was going on in people’s heads as nobody was connecting with anyone. These kinds of parties could only be thought of as fun if you poisoned yourself by also being under the influence of a mind altering substance,

  40. Great to be able to observe all this Kim and not take it on personally. I spent many years being the odd one out, and still am at some family engagements, but it doesn’t faze me in the least anymore either.

  41. It’s great to see people not being to0 ‘precious’ and avoiding things that actually bring them more awareness about what is going on for them. People often hold themselves out of things because they believe or make a judgement call on what they perceive will be there. You don’t need someone else to connect, this is something you can do yourself and from there you don’t hold the world to ransom if they’re not there with you. We think we know the ‘right’ thing for everyone because it’s worked for us and yet this comes off as a pressure and actually stops them from seeing what they need to see. Living in the world and yet not attached to how it is is a truly freeing way to be for us all. There is much we can learn from any situation or relationship, no matter where you are or who you’re with.

  42. I loved what you shared Kim and the great healing you received from seeing more fully your past way of being and where you are now in you life. I too have had my past reflected to me recently, it wasn’t in drugs or alcohol but in being the good Christian, the not so “good” ugliness was revealed giving me a deeper understanding of how I had lived in the past and its effect on others. In our loving ways we can now offer a true reflection of how life can be when lived from the love we are and come from.

  43. The choices of others are a mirror to our own, even if they are past choices. We learn so much from each other.

  44. I love how as you learn to love yourself and live a different and more loving way to that of your past, you are inspired to offer others a true reflection of another way to live… without this it is more than likely they will continue with harming behaviours because they haven’t yet been inspired themselves to bring love into their lives… so your reflection is greatly needed.

  45. Saying no to the things that smash you and so going home at night feeling absolutely amazing and untouched is one of the best feelings ever, you feel like an invisible superhero because you chose what you know is true over what is there to bring you down.

  46. I’ve never had an experience where I was drunk and was talking to people who were ‘straight’ but I can imagine from being on the straight side, it’s so clear to see how alcohol affects people and it wasn’t until I really let myself see that, I realised people are not themselves. General day to day conversations and life can be racy and tense hence why people seek alcohol to have an altered experience, but once getting to own life without this buzz the true settlement becomes quite appealing.

  47. Isn’t it interesting that we can so easily just go along with applauding even when we don’t want to just so we appear to be fitting in. You’re right Kim, it does feel awful because in that moment we are completely dishonouring what we feel and as you pointed out Kim, are tacitly agreeing with and confirming what has been expressed with our applause.

  48. It is very interesting how we consider smashing ourselves as ‘fun’, as it is so clearly not fun at all if we allow ourselves to truly feel and observe what is going on. It seems that we just don’t know another way and how amazing and beautiful an alcohol and drug free evening out with friends or colleagues can be when you allow yourself to open up and connect to each other.

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