Last night I attended a divorce party for one of the nurses I work with. It was at a pub with good food, drinks, and a mixture of people I knew and/or recognize from work and people I didn’t know.
It was pleasant… but here’s my problem. Something I realized last night…
I have this desire to be social and included with my coworkers. I would like to get down and hold my own with drinking with them. I’d like to be more extroverted with these people I know, and also with the people they know. They all seem such good friends – many of the health staff at least having been friends even prior to working together.
The problem is, I find myself thinking I might just drink more than I initially planned to; thinking it would harm none if I just let myself go more. Inevitably, I then immediately think back to my drinking buddy days of my mid-20s. I think in general terms about the festive times with Dane, and David… and I feel a crippling anxiety related to the situations, bad decisions, and abuses that were made in their company.
I let myself go plenty in the years after them – I partied pretty hard still with my friends in Australia and for the most part no bad situations or decisions occurred because of the alcohol or atmosphere then.
However, I think perhaps now this fear arises in me because I’m relating men in uniform to Dane, David, and the rest of the crew of Army officers with the other types of officers that now are prevalent in my career choice. Many of them being military veterans in any case.
Obviously, they don’t wear their uniforms to party – just as Dane and them didn’t – but for instance one guy last night wore a shirt with the backwards American flag on his sleeve and “Embrace the Suck” on the chest. This is very much something I could see David wearing back in the day.
I could still drink comfortably with my friends in Australia, I’m sure.
Some years ago, I could still party with my High School BFFs when I went back to Sweden…
Perhaps I am reading too much into this. Perhaps my anxiety is just getting worse as I age. I’ve always been very Swedish in my approach to social interactions – I’ve always been very reserved and observational until I become completely comfortable in an environment. Then my humor carries me. Perhaps I’m just not completely comfortable yet owing to everyone having worked together so long and been friends for even longer – and I not knowing quite how to fit in yet. Sigh, I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. Perhaps I’m just finding it more difficult due to them actually being connected through my job and knowing if I make an ass of myself I’ll have to see them everyday at work. Maybe it’s as simple as that, lol.