Social drinking – is there more to friendship than alcohol?

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Social drinking – is there more to friendship than alcohol?

At college I had friendships that were based around drinking. In fact, this was my introduction into the world of alcohol, an activity that you did with friends. Once we all turned 18 it got even wilder as we were given free rein and drinking wasn’t something we had to hide from our parents.

I remember distinctly that once my friend’s college course had finished, drinking without them wasn’t quite the same – the fun and crazy excitement wasn’t there anymore. On my own, drinking alcohol (often cheap spirits) was painful without the distraction of friends . . . the sense of feeling connected and social through an activity was no longer there. The burning sensation was my only companion and eventually it didn’t feel worth it anymore, so I stopped drinking.

Over time I have noticed the difference in the quality of relationships between people when sober or when affected by things like taking drugs, alcohol or certain foods. Small children naturally form bonds and friendships and can be very open to people they meet – they don’t need to chemically alter themselves in order to be sociable. The exact same can occur in adults when we choose to live as who we truly are, when we connect to the innermost within us, which is the same in every person. It is a connection that requires no words or actions but can be seen in our eyes and felt through our words or actions.

Have we accepted these altered connections because there is a lack of true connection in our lives?

There are many ideals and beliefs that we are sold about drinking, such as alcohol is a way to unwind, be more sociable or confident.

The idea of not drinking when planning on hanging out together can appear to be an alien concept at times because many of the pictures of hanging out include alcohol. Cutting out social drinking can be a time of allowing ourselves to see and feel if our connections are true. As in, are we friends because we enjoy spending time with each other even if alcohol is not in the present moment, or can we only be together if there is alcohol involved?

The fact is we were already born super confident, open and free without substances. And we can be open, loving and confident as an adult, just as we once were as a child.

When we connect to our innermost essence, we get to experience that joy and fun that comes with connecting to ourselves and others without the need of an outside substance such as alcohol and all the effects that come with it.

The more this is practised the more obvious it becomes that there is a difference in the quality – a tangibly felt experience – between the altered, alcohol induced craziness and the sober, clearer, warmer and more heartfelt connection to another. The appreciation of the latter way of connecting with another allows us to see and feel how much more natural this truly is compared to the socially accepted norm of drinking with friends.

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Healthy relationshipsConnectionFriendshipAlcohol

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    By Leigh Matson

    A lover of exploring everyday life and what there is to be discovered each day. Waitress, cook, writer and so much more.

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    Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.