We’ve just got our mammoth ‘Why do we drink?’ qualitative survey results back (thank you to all those who persevered through it!). Out of it all, there was one word that really stuck out consistently through a large number of the responses – confidence.
Firstly, ‘Confidence’ and relating terms such as ‘talking’ and ‘dancing’ were mentioned most frequently as a positive outcome from drinking (61%)… no real surprises there… However, interestingly, ‘Over-confidence/over-trusting’ was the most frequent negative outcome in the responses (38%). So, does that mean that what we like and don’t like about drinking are often extensions of the same thing?
Each time we drink, we toss up a ‘confidence’ coin and hope that it lands on the side we want. Sometimes it’s heads and we are ‘confident’ sometimes it’s tails and we end up in a bad situation. The point is we choose to take that chance. Actually, we choose alcohol to take that chance for us.
To those that ever drink to get confidence, like I definitely used to, this is my question…
If someone were to wave a magic wand and, shazaam, all that endless mind chatter in your head was gone. You now had the confidence to approach anybody, you now had the confidence to dance anywhere you wanted to, you now had the confidence to do anything you want – with or without alcohol. How much/how often would you still choose to drink? For me, I reckon it would probably be around 10% of the times I would normally.
I want to qualify this statement. As much as people like to think that Hello Sunday Morning is about promoting sobriety (you know who you are), It’s not. I believe that alcohol has a place in society. I treasure the times I share a beer with my dad and brothers at sunset. Or having a rum and coke on a Sunday afternoon. These are things that I love to do. I don’t think that anyone should cut drinking out of their life, unless (like in my case) it helps them get some perspective. I just want to know that I am drinking for the experience, not the excuse.
I would like to see Hello Sunday Morning grow into a community that supports young people (like myself) that want to learn how to be able to turn on the ‘confidence’ switch, without having alcohol as a prerequisite. Have the confidence to talk to people, to go for my dreams in life, to grieve properly, just to sing and dance, to connect and trust, without needing alcohol to facilitate the process.
I honestly don’t really know how to do that yet, but we’re pretty determined to try a few things until we find out. I do know however, that it’s going to take more than a clever TV ad and a change in drink prices though.
For starters, I think having new experiences that put me out of my comfort zone always helps me build confidence. I want to start doing different and interesting things on my weekends. With people that are on the same page and are keen to have a few new experiences, outside business as usual on Saturday night.
I’m happy to say that last week was the first of those adventures. I was fortunate enough to go for a walk up Mt Glorious at Sunrise (after only 2hrs sleep!) with a group of awesome guys. It was incredible to get that kind of perspective on a Sunday Morning.
I believe in a better way. 🙂