Sobriety Is My Superpower
Learning to shed past beliefs in favor of curiosity so that I can reach my fullest potential
The first time I drank alcohol I was 14 years old.
It was a foamy room temperature Bud Light from a beer ball.
I had scored the winning goal for our varsity hockey team in the championship game of a New Year’s tournament. My parents let me (read as trusted me) go to a New Year’s Eve party with the upperclassmen on my team.
It was a sleepover.
I was the only Freshman there.
I slept in a bed with two Seniors. Females. One was a peer advisor.
The next morning we went to an iHop, drowned pancakes in syrup and used orange juice to take Tylenol. I learned what it meant to have a hangover. I also learned how to fix a mimosa. A teammate made them for us under the table with the 6oz bottles of cheap champagne he snuck in through the kangaroo pocket of his team issued sweatshirt.
The table toasted me, “Happy New Year!” I scored the winning goal, I was the only freshman at the party, I hooked-up with her.
This installed a series of narratives that would direct the next decade of my life.
That drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and partying was what popular, well-liked, and admired people do.
That drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and partying attracted women to me, or suppressed my insecurities enough that I could perform and attract women to me.
That drinking more alcohol, doing more drugs, and partying more than peers, would lead to wilder stories. At the time creating an identity synonymous with wild was my goal.
Attention was the reward. Rejection the punishment.
I feared rejection so much that I used alcohol to continue developing into the person that got attention, even if deep down it was out of alignment with who I was.
Today, I’m embarrassed that this was aspirational to me. Not only did I subscribe to it, but I promoted it. This what was I sought, what I encouraged, and demanded of our others.