Happy December 1st! Party season is upon us and it is the most wonderful time of the year. My inner child is singing Christmas carols and woke me at 7am so she could open the 1st door of my Liberty Advent Calender!
You have to check this bad boy out!…It’s an advent calender full of beauty products. THANK YOU BABY JESUS! (Or my sister, who bought it for me.)
The Promises We Make And Break
Have you braced yourself to consume large quantities of alcohol over the next 4 weeks? Like so many people I bet you are planning to take it easy, not overdo it. You would prefer to drink in moderation or maybe not drink at all.
The hangovers, the regret and next day fear, it’s all too much to bear. Lost conversations, fuzzy recall and broken rules. You swear that every time you overdo it will be your last or at least the last for a long time.
Will you keep these promises? Probably not. Alcohol is 2 faced and has no qualms about broken promises. You will most likely drink again, too much, too often and without any real intention to do so.
So you tell yourself a fresh story….Life’s too short to stay in! I’m sucking the nectar out of it. I’m really living! At least I am having fun! It gets less convincing the more you say it, trust me.
My Inner Child Can Be A Little Shit
I’m not talking about me as a child, I am referring to my inner child. The part of me that demands and sulks when she doesn’t get her way. Like Verruca Salt in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, she wants a party and she wants it now!
Of course that makes me sound like a horrid person but it’s not my fault, it’s my inner child! Our inner children love the same thing all children love – fun! And their voices can easily drown out the more sensible adult voices in our heads. They can lead us directly into temptation. Little shits!
Up until I decided to live without alcohol my inner child just wanted to feel good all the time, which generally led to me making poor choices. You may relate.
You have an inner child too, we all do. They can be very demanding – needy, scared, impatient, angry, insecure, jealous, greedy, over-excited, stubborn etc.
The inner child wants a good time. She wants to feel skippy, happy, bubbly, excited and loved, preferably all at the same time. But like all children she doesn’t really know what’s best. She veers from,
’Aaaaah, don’t ever do that to me again. I hated it!!’
’When can I do it again? WHEN!!??’
’Aaaaah, this is so much fun, I just want to do this forever!!’
’Why did you make me do that? I hated it!!’
She’s A Good Vibes Junky!
I recently went to an amazing birthday party, which started at midday and finished some time close to 24 hours later. It was an incredible party and I spent the night chatting to interesting people, laughing heartily and dancing my ass off, which I love!
At around 2am, with a head full of deep house and a belly full of birthday cake, I went to bed.
The following morning at around 8, while venturing back to the marquee for coffee I spied a stoic group of 15 or so people hunched round a camp fire. They hadn’t slept, were still on the booze and were eeking out their last cigarettes.
Oh how many times I have been one of those soldiers, marching on ’til dawn, first in, last out. A small part of me felt jealous. A small childish part, who was saying,
‘They saw it through. They survived! I have missed all the fun!’
Seeing myself from their perspective, I was sensible, straight and sober. I have never wanted to be any of those things! Oh god no, what had I become?!?! I was feeling decidedly Verruca Salt.
But then I had a word with myself. Was I ACTUALLY lamenting the fact that I wasn’t still up at 8 o’ clock in the morning? Summoning my last watt of energy to get home. Gathering my possessions from atop the PA speakers – my shoes, my coat, my remaining brain cells. Good god no!
It was that pesky inner child pulling at my sleeve, demanding to be heard.
What do children need more than anything? Love. They need to know that above all else, whatever happens, they are loved, unconditionally and without end. A child who knows that is a more rounded and happy being than a child who is unsure. You may have been missing some of that in your childhood. Perhaps your mum, dad or carers were somewhat lacking in parenting skills. Or perhaps their love was so overwhelming that it was smothering or came with unrealistic expectations.
Whatever your childhood you are your best parent now. The love you show to yourself must be real, which is why self care is so important. Like a child who is uncared for, if you don’t show your inner child that she is worth your time and attention she will seek that love and approval elsewhere. She will seek other highs and ways to escape.
I hate to get all Oprah on your ass but loving yourself is so important!
When you learn to recognise that younger self then you can stop and ask what she really needs.
There’s a good acronym for this. HALT. Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. Just ask yourself if you are any of those things and if rather than a drink, you need some downtime. Rather than overworking, you need sleep. Instead of having a complete blow out what you could really do with is a chat to an old friend who really gets you.
SO I have To Listen To The Inner Child But Also … Not!?
Right. The child doesn’t know what’s good for it but you do. You are the adult. So when she says,
‘PARTY HARD!! NOW!!’
‘Well we can’t party hard ALL the time but maybe we could do something else lovely, like have a bath, watch a film, drink hot chocolate, see some friends or all of the above.’
And hopefully she feels listened to and loved, knowing that you are strong, reliable and solid. Imagine that.