Who is Alcohol?

Nov 01, 2022

Who is Alcohol?

 So often we hear the words ‘Relationship with alcohol’.  It inspired me in my early days of being alcohol-free to uncover just exactly who I was in a relationship with.  Unfortunately, I’ve had some dysfunctional relationships in my time, eventually, after one particularly bad one, I called time out. Enough of letting someone else dictate how I felt, enough of compromising my self-worth and respect. I created a list of non-negotiables, and now I am married to a wonderful man, not perfect, but one who supports, respects, and encourages me. I decided to do the same thing with alcohol.

I wanted to know who alcohol was.  Who was I in this dysfunctional relationship with?  I spent some time creating a character that personified alcohol for me and I got really clear on the things they represented, things that were simply relationship deal-breakers.

Since then I’ve used this with coaching clients and recently, in a group, everyone brought their ideas and creativity into identifying the following characters. 

Have a read and see if you recognise any of them.

The Toxic Ex

The toxic ex is the person we go back to, time and time again, despite the pain and drama it causes.  The toxic ex is seductive, dangerous, and alluring. We always believe we can change them and the highs are SO great we often forget the lows.  When we take a break from them we feel lost, like we are missing out, terrified they might change and someone else will get the ‘new improved version. So we keep going back, but the story never changes. Addicted to the drama, the highs, the denial? Maybe alcohol is your toxic ex.

The Mysterious Musician 

He’s sexy, mysterious, and enticing. He plays with flair and keeps the band on rhythm. He controls the pace, and the mood. No one knows his name, he spins his magic and leaves, quietly, out the back door. His mystery draws you in, and you keep searching for the next time he plays, you’ll always show up, in the front row. What you don’t see is that he gets into a beat-up van, he doesn’t shower, he lives with his mum and he has no real charisma, he's down and out. He takes from you, but he doesn’t give back. He doesn’t know how to. It’s all just a show.

The Tease


Attractive, teasing, and flirtatious The Tease embodies excitement, fun, and abandon. When we feel bad about ourselves the tease flirts with us, makes us feel good, and encourages us to play in the shallow end, ignoring anything serious or painful. She/he makes us laugh, telling us not to worry, just have fun! But the tease isn’t in this for the long haul, the tease is a fair-weather friend, around only for the good times but never when things get tough. When we turn to them for support they’re nowhere to be seen, or they simply say ‘lighten up’ which equates to  "go on, just have a drink"

The Seductress

 Seductive, sexy, powerful, and commanding, she is bold, daring, and filled with self-confidence. She’s the one everyone looks at, admires, and wishes they were like. She stares into your soul, beckons you with her eyes, come here, I’m yours, you can have me. For a price.

When she’s with you you can think of nothing else but her, you want to be with her, you want to be like her. She makes you feel worthy, special, and important. But unbeknownst to you, she’s doing this to everyone, she doesn’t care about you, her goal is to lure you in and never let you go. You are added to her vast collection of admirers, all wondering how they fell under this spell. You’re not special, you’re just another victim.

The Fast Talking, Slick Salesman

 Well-dressed, accommodating, confident and persuasive, the salesman has his features and benefits down pat. He’s quick on the upsell, making all kinds of promises, tapping into your fears and vulnerabilities. He is committed to getting you to buy, and spend big.  But he’s not so great on full disclosure, selling false positives and hiding the terms and conditions in very small print. Often he works on a subscription model, taking from you month in and month out. He’s also pretty quick to disappear once you’ve signed up, and he certainly doesn’t offer refunds.

 These are just a sample of the characters that came up from this creative group. We also had aliens, monsters hiding behind seductive facades, devils, and demons ( it is Halloween after all).  But the fact is, not one of these characters is someone we’d want to be in a relationship with. None of them support us, encourage us or inspire us to grow. All of them are selfish, immature, and focused on one thing. Taking only what they want, when they want it, and disappearing into the wings when times get tough.

So the question is what do you want?  Do you want to hang out with these blood-sucking characters? Maybe at first, it’s fun, exciting, or a great way to escape. But if you really knew them, knew the truth, would you choose them to be your friend?

 I know there are some people who can use this type of ‘friendship’ without getting caught. They can be as selective and engaged as they chose.  They are far and few between, because even if they can, there is always a consequence to hanging out with these types. Always. Because none of these characters care how you feel the next day when they are not around.

 And mine?

I visualise Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Simply a disgusting, selfish, lonely creature whose sole mission in life is to take my power.  No thanks.


Thanks to the Project 90 Legends in Alcohol-Free Lifestyle for the inspiration and laughs.

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