Nowhere Left To Hide

Alcohol. It’s been around in one form or another for 10,000 years, and has remained inextricably intertwined with almost every major culture that the world has produced. The appeal doesn’t even seem to be limited to humans amongst primates – monkeys love it too. People who declare themselves “teetotal” are often regarded with some suspicion, as if they’ve just sprouted an extra head. There is clearly some deep-seated itch lurking in the nether region of our hindbrains that alcohol just seems to scratch.

For me, and I may be projecting here based on my own experience, it strikes me that the main appeal of this ubiquitous substance is in its socially disinhibitory (fuck you spellcheck, that’s a word if I say it is) qualities. By suppressing activity in the frontal lobe, our reason and inhibitions are lowered, resulting in increased sociability, confidence, and drunken hookups. After all, who doesn’t want to be a chattier, more daring version of themselves, bowling into large groups of people and effortlessly  being the centre of attention? It is an introvert’s wet dream, tapping into a deep seam of extroversion that had previously been denied, only observable in those possessed of its enviable properties from afar with covetous gaze.

There is a “golden zone” of inebriation, when inhibitions are lowered, yet one is still sufficiently in control to be making conscious decisions directing ones actions. In my own case, amazing feats of social bravado and braggadocio were performed whilst in this zone. Totally unconcerned, I could saunter into the middle of a group of 5 girls, and dominate the conversation, effortless holding court whilst meting out generous portions of jocularity to all concerned. I could stalk the fringes of the dance floor in a predatory fashion, before swooping in on my intended prey, proffered hand engaged with their willing grip, a flawless twirl bestowed upon them, before lips locked in a passionate clinch, all in less time than it took to even conceive of the deed.

However, this golden zone more often than not proved elusive. Sometimes, so eager was I to find it, that I would consume alcohol at such a rate that I would completely overshoot, reducing myself to mute insensibility, unable to even string a coherent sentence together, yet still in possession of just enough awareness to realise the state I was in, and crippled with the resultant self-consciousness. For some reason, whenever I found myself in this condition, the only possible solution that occurred to me was: “I know what will fix this problem. I must drink myself out of my drunkenness.” Logic at its finest, Aristotle would have been proud. This thought was usually swiftly followed by an attempt to rid the shelves of the bar of all of their contents in the shortest time possible, and before I knew it, I would have consumed the equivalent of a litre of whiskey and spent £300, with the resultant 3 day hangover and depression. Not to mention potentially waking up with a 5 in my bed who thought all her Christmasses had come at once. Indeed, despite giving me the ability and disinhibition to effortless pull 7s and 7.5s, the very act of doing so when reflected upon the following day would erode my inner game, as I knew that I had shot way beneath my own level, and let myself down.

I tried on any number of occasions to have “a few drinks” – it never worked. If I’ve learned anything about myself in my 31 years on this earth, it is that I am an “all or nothing” character.

And so, wearied of the physical, mental and financial costs of my uncontrollable drunkenings, I arrived at the decision to give up drinking about 6 weeks ago. In the weeks following this decision, rather than feeling better, I found myself actually regressing in terms of self-confidence. Without realising it, since the age of 16 when I first started drinking, I had been relying on my weekly binges to provide an opportunity to truly “be myself”, to take the brakes off my self-restraint and allow myself to really cut loose. The person who I was Monday to Friday was but a pale imitation, a shadow or spectre of the glorious individual that I knew I had the capability to be if I could but find the “golden zone” at the weekend. I did not push myself in social interactions, didn’t take opportunities to speak to girls, held myself in check without even realising, simply because I knew that I could blast it all away come Saturday night.

Suddenly, robbed of this mental safety net, I became disquieted and out of sorts. There was nowhere left to hide any more. I, and I alone, the sober version of myself with all of my self-doubt, was responsible from this point onwards for the success or failure of all of my social interactions with women. There was no easy way out. The identity that I had formed over the years, that was intermeshed with alcohol, was denied to me, and initially I quailed in the face of the situation. What if I couldn’t do it? What if this marked the end of my development, and I’d reached my optimal level?

As I’ve learned to do in my latter years however, I suppressed the urge to panic. I tried, as best as I could, to put these thoughts to the back of my mind, and continue to do the positive self-developmental activities with which I fill my time these days. I lifted weights, worked on my projects, studied and indulged my hobbies. Indeed, I actually found myself with a lot more time on my hands to partake of these activities now that I was no longer losing half of each week to the deleterious effects of booze.

And the world did not end. I did not retreat several years in my self-development back to a more beta version of myself. After a few weeks, I found that I was developing the courage to push social interactions further than I had ever done before. I was opening complete strangers everywhere and radiating confidence and value. The meeting with Steve Jabba came at exactly the right moment, and now that I know what is possible with sheer, naked confidence and self-belief, has provided the catalyst I needed to spur me on to the next level.

The best part of it all is that I am now able to give myself full credit for the actions I take. It is me, not the effects of some ingested substance, that is achieving this new found social success. A positive feedback loop has been created, whereby each new reference point attained serves as a base for pushing myself on to the next. Without even having to consciously make an effort to do so, I’ve started complimenting pretty girls to their face, without even a hint of self-consciousness. To some, it may not sound like much, but who out of anyone you know has the confidence to see a girl they find attractive and tell her to her face, without any attempt to conceal their true intentions in case they receive a negative response?

Having made the decision to only pursue girls who literally blow me away with their attractiveness and act in a purely authentic fashion, I’ve still not yet found the courage to march up to a 9.5 in broad daylight and make my best attempt at hitting on her – indeed, I don’t even think I’ve seen a 9.5 in the last week they’re so few and far between! But for the first time in my life, I know in my bones that it’s only just around the corner. I’ve got a date with a girl who I consider to be an 8.5 lined up for next week, but upon showing her picture to several of my friends, they were absolutely blown away, saying she was easily a 9 or 9.5. Of course it’s only my own opinion that matters, but I haven’t even felt the slightest flicker of apprehension about the prospect of meeting up with such a high quality girl, sober, and having to push the interaction and sexually escalate – I know now that I am capable of it.

When there was nowhere left to hide, I came through with flying colours, despite all my misgivings. And there’s no reason to think that you wouldn’t too if you gave yourself the chance. Take away the alcohol crutches. See what you, and only you, are capable of, if only you permit yourself.

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13 thoughts on “Nowhere Left To Hide

  1. I really identify with you on this. Luckily, I have success in moderating my intake (and have learned from a couple bad incidents otherwise). About three drinks on a weekend night can make me the life of the party and fearless in approaching. But I prefer day game because I don’t need to drink, precisely because game should not be perfectly tuned at 2 pm.

    By the way, this is a fantastic line: “Not to mention potentially waking up with a 5 in my bed who thought all her Christmasses had come at once”. Good grief, how true this is… Like Heartiste is fond of saying, you spoiled her and she won’t be happy with the lesser betas that try to wife her up and provide for her! … As soon as she got home, she probably Tumblr’d about the “wealthy and successful” “movie-star hot man with chiseled Adonis body”, which she deserves, damn it, and she’ll only be happy with from now on! heh.

    Somewhat off-topic —

    You’ve mentioned in previous posts both a feeling of morning grogginess that can keep you sluggish all day and a lessening of libido recently.

    Before you step too deeply into supplements and self-experiments, you may want to check into a couple medical possibilities that are linked to both sets of symptoms:

    1. Sleep apnea frequently contributes to both daytime tiredness and reduced libido. Apnea is also one of those problems that can easily develop in the late 20s/early 30s.

    2. Endocrinological problems can also cause both problems. This is a wide range of hormone systems, including thyroid, prolactin, and testosterone/estrogen. It likewise can become noticeable at your time of life.

    As far as self-diagnosis of apnea, there are free Android and iOS apps that can record and monitor your sounds at night and graph the volume levels, so you can detect snoring and pauses in breathing and listen to see how often your breathing stops during the night.

    With both possibilities, talking with your GP/primary care physician and asking for a referral to a specialist may be your best bet.

    On the hormone front, blood work can look at a wide range of factors: testosterone levels, free testosterone, estrogens E1 E2 and E3, TSH, T3 and T4, LSH, FH, prolactin, dopamine, etc.

    Hopefully they may be able to pin it down for you.

    • I envy you the ability to find the golden zone after a mere 3 drinks!

      After being out the last couple of times sober, I’m beginning to wonder what I ever saw in night game. Bitch shields are up, validation whoring is everywhere, girls are seldom alone, and being hit on repeatedly by other guys. Day game is a walk in the park by comparison!

      Really interesting points there on possible causes of low libido. You’ve studied it before? In honesty, it’s not something that had suddenly developed, I’ve always been like it to some extent or another, it’s just took even more of a nosedive recently.

      I’m pretty sure I don’t have sleep apnea – when I wake up, it’s normally because a slight sound has disturbed me, I’m a very light sleeper. I’ve used sleep tracking apps in the past to try and monitor my quality of sleep, so I’m more than willing to give a sleep apnea one a go just to double check.

      I had my testosterone levels checked a couple of years back, and they were within the “normal” range. Although I’ve never considered getting a full range of my blood work checked. I’m due my annual visit to the doctor soon, so I’ll ask them to look into it for me.

      I’ve taken ZMA before bed for the last 2 nights, and I must confess, I’ve slept a lot more deeply, if a little groggy upon waking.

      Also, I think something in the cocktail of natural testosterone/libido supplements I’m taking is having an effect – I do actually feel a little better in that department than for some time, even if I’m still not exactly struggling to control urges to rip random girls’ clothes off!

      • 1. Night game: night game can be a lot of fun when you’re drinking. Alcohol removes verbal inhibition, which seemingly increases creativity. I even amuse myself with the stuff I come up with when talking to girls after a few drinks.

        And the alcohol makes you forget the nonsense of the bitch shields, the attention whoring, and just how few of the women were desirable enough to meet daytime standards.

        But it gets old. There are only so many nights of that nonsense, late-night pizza, and the high level of flakiness from nighttime numbers that a body can take.

        2. Light sleeping: I’ve lived with noisy roommates and in neighborhoods with weird early morning noises before and found that silicone earplugs are very helpful. Noise is almost entirely eliminated but I’m still able to feel my phone vibrations from its alarm clock or a nearby real alarm clock with a loud sound.

        With foam earplugs (which are inserted into the canal), my ear canals get irritated and I unconsciously pull out the plugs during the night, so the silicone is much better because it mostly stays out of the canal and just seals the opening.

        I like Flents and Macks.

        3. Supplements to boost testosterone/libido can give you a temporary increase but frequently it can dissipate after a brief period of time. That’s why searching for a more structural answer can be so useful.

        The lab work may be expensive so your doctor might not be eager to order it, but having a comprehensive set of numbers can at least indicate what may be changing in your body.

        Unfortunately, each of those numbers is basically another test that has to be conducted so you may have to be insistent to make it happen.

  2. Excellent post.

    “Take away the alcohol crutches. See what you, and only you, are capable of, if only you permit yourself”

    Makes me think of what I said to Dr. Illusion regarding the Book of Genesis:

    “Who told you that you were naked?”

    I trust you take my meaning.

      • Not quite but you certainly internalized the teaching.

        Remember, it was Satan that said such.

        Best not to listen to him.

        [I am of course, speaking more metaphorically than literally.

        Evil influences will make you feel you are flawed in areas you are Truly not.

        Again, why I stated in my interview that, whether atheist, agnostic or theist, the Book of Genesis is the best work human hands have ever penned.]

      • I was referring to my own extremely self critical nature – I make things far harder on myself than they need to be at times!

        As you say, there is no shortage of other people willing to do the same job for me also. I’ve never really cared much for the opinion of others mind you, only my closest friends and family.

      • Our respective statements are not mutually exclusive.

        Regardless, as I told a close friend long ago:

        The world has a gun to your head.

        The least you can do is not load it for them.

  3. You were describing my own experience with booze. I finally quit the toxic best friend about three years ago.

    Good post and congrats on pushing yourself socially. I know I relied on the booze for that too, but still will need to get out into more social sitiations in the future.

    • Cheers dude. It’s a slow social rehabilitation process, but it’s extremely rewarding. I feel about five times the man I used to when I was still relying on the booze.

  4. Fuck me I could have written this about myself ,its so uncannily similar to my situation its ridiculous.Gave up alcohol 7 weeks ago for first time since about 15 ,been hitting gym hard and in last 2 weeks noticed a deeply felt sense of self belief starting to come through ,probably because I lost the gut and starting to look like I lift ,but yea was compelled to comment as reading that post seriously hit a note.

  5. Good work man. The best part is keeping your wit when you need it most. But if you still feel like a disinhibitor every now and then, a little tramadol or high dose GABA.

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