I started thinking about this the other day. I was out running around and went into a Nordstrom Rack-one of the great American discount stores. While I wasn’t looking for a watch, one caught my eye. To be honest, I could use a new one as I’ve been wearing the same designer watch for about 8 years-which I bought with my CostCo rewards points! I do love a deal! Anyway, I really liked this one. And it was a great price. But, I did what I do in situations like these-“these” meaning trying to avoid impulse shopping. I walked away. This is what I do. Then, if I continue to think about it for a day or so, I go back. Oftentimes, I forget about whatever it was that I had to have and that’s the end of it. Well, not this time. So, I went back-looked at it again, tried it on again and still loved it. So I bought it. We’re talking under $70.00 here-by no means a Rolex! I got home and showed it to my SO. He was “nice” but I could tell that he didn’t really like it. Now I have to be clear here, I realized a long time ago that we rarely have the same taste in jewelry. To be honest, I’ve made it clear to him that if the time comes and he wants to buy me an expensive something, he is by no means to do it without getting me involved in picking it out! This may sound bitchy, but A-I don’t imagine that time will come anytime soon and B-I don’t want to feel obligated to wear something I don’t really like. Just trying to cover my bases here! Anyway, after his reaction, I started to doubt myself and wonder if I really did like it. After angsting over it a few days I realized that YES I do like it! So, I’ve kept it-worn it a few times and love it.
But, this got me thinking. About “Being Under the Influence”. In my case, I was allowing my SO’s opinion to influence my own. Now, I’ll admit, at times, this is a good thing-but not in this case-and not all the time. So, I started wondering just how much outside influence I allow in my every day life-I mean do I like Chanel because it’s cool and expensive and seems to be the yardstick for good taste and wealth? Or do I really love the design of the clothes? If a Mercedes didn’t have it’s trademark logo on the hood, would we still think it was a great car-something for many to aspire to?
We are influenced every day by millions of things-by the weather, by the news, by other people’s opinions or reviews, by what someone looks like, by religious teachings, by certain colors, by energy, and on and on and on. It really takes some thought and consciousness to dig down past the outside influences and get to the core of what one really believes. To get to what feels right for each individual person. I suppose there are so many people that just let any and all outside influences dictate their lives. And of course, there are some people who have no choice. Say people living under a dictatorship-or even in Puerto Rico right now.
So of course all this is coming down to “Being under the Influence” of alcohol or drugs. Why in the world, with all of the outside unwanted influences would we choose this one? I know, I know- it numbs us out from all of those other things we can’t control-all of that BS. But in reality, it just adds to the muddle and mix of all of those other influences. It keeps us from being able to come out from under the influence. To surface from that deep place that is truely US-truely ME. To really own who we are and to be okay with that. To understand that we all have flaws and we all have attributes. We all have something to offer and that it’s ok to go against the current at times if that’s what really feels right for Me. At times, it takes courage to do this. To stand up and believe something that one’s peers don’t-to walk away from something that many are participating and believe in. I wonder how many Neo Nazis would feel differently if they’d had different influences in their lives-How many teenagers (me included) would not have started years of chemical abuse without succumbing to the peer pressure of their friends. I wonder if how maybe, we were all encouraged by society and those with the most influence over us starting at a young age to be aware of and really ask ourselves, what is right for us. How it would be to live in a society of such consciousness that all of the outside noise of everyone elses opinions were acknowledged to be just that? Noise? EVERYONE ElSES OPINIONS.
My aim is to try to be a little more conscious every day. To really question myself in a situation-to ask myself “Is this really how I feel or am I being influenced by x,y and z?”
Naturally there are times, when I will be influenced. And that’s okay-if I’m conscious of it. And, there will be times when I’m not aware of it. But at least one of the things I won’t be inluenced by anymore is alcohol. That in itself casts a shadow over everything else. Over all of the other influences. Because it’s always there-lurking. Whether it’s acknowledged or not, it comes into play. Drinking has become a “normalized” influence. For example, the other night I was watching a new TV show-The Good Doctor about an autistic doctor. It’s pretty good-anyway, in this episode a man was awaiting a liver transplant. It was going to happen, but then when they did his blood work, it showed that he had a low amount of alcohol in it. When confronted the man admitted he’d had one glass of champagne at his daughter’s graduation party-so “he could be normal”. Why do we think that it’s normal to drink????
There are so many subtle influences in our lives. Why choose one consciously that at some point will have no positive consequences. Driving Under the Influence. Operating Under the Influence. Being under the influence does not have a positive ring to it. Below is a definition of being under the influence:
- An altered state of consciousness, attained through the ingestion of psychoactive drugs
Psychoactive Drugs! Now there’s a thought! I mean when I think of “psychoactive drugs” the first thing that comes to mind is a picture of someone who’s really mentally disturbed! I wonder if I’d read this definition while I was still drinking what effect it would’ve had on me.. I doubt it would’ve made me quit, but I’m sure it would have been added to the list of things that contributed to my mental distress over my drinking. And, in thinking about it, there were times-many-that without putting a name on it, I was really metally disturbed! The more and longer I drank, the more mentally disturbed I became. God! I’m so glad that’s over!
And with that, I’ll say goodbye for now!
3 thoughts on “Under the Influence”
Becoming aware of what is my choice or desire and what is an attempt to please someone else continues to be part of my life.
Generally I am happy o focus on my own wants, but when I am tired or anxious the pleaser appears. Fear feeds it.
As an aside, I chose my one engagement ring many years ago. I wear it every day. I wanted something I liked. It was a good decision.
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Fear feeds it! Yes! You’re so right! Good for you picking your ring!
The longer time I spend sober the more I can see how my life was totally on autopilot when I was drinking. I was never fully conscious! I was either drunk or hung over or wishing my sober days away until I could drink again. Sobriety feels like freedom – freedom to choose a life (and a watch) you love. xxx