If you are a drinker like me and when I say drinker I mean alcoholic, then you can probably relate to 'shut out mode'. Shut out mode is exactly that, we shut out and switch off from the rest of the world. It's that mindset we go into when the only people we give two fucks about are ourselves and those in the next shout. I would focus all of my time and energy on these people, as if I had blinders on to anyone else. The drinking partners, the strangers and the drink would get my full undivided attention and take priority over loved ones, friends and whoever else was not co-located with me at that particular time or place. There were times when I enjoyed a social drink with mates, but the majority of the time, particularly in my later years, I was drinking with people that were just after the same thing I was, massive consumption. As my mates grew out of it, I grew into it, looking for every opportunity I could to turn a few quiet beers into a weekend festival and in doing so avoid answering to anyone, including myself. The difference for me was that most people enjoy the company of others when they drink and it is purely a social event with healthy interaction, however I grew to hate it, the going out for dinner, the family events or social bbq, all these occasions disrupted my drinking, If I did attend then I was completely on edge the whole time. I couldn't relate to why people chose to eat a meal or have a chat over getting wasted, drink or move the fuck on, It drove me insane and I grew to resent people for it. This resulted in me making up excuses and lies to not attend, and again I was shutting people out.
I had developed this ability to just shut myself off from the outside world on cue, I didn't care who I hurt in the process but once I started drinking I only cared about how I could keep drinking, if you were not contacting me to drink then you got nothing. I didn't want to be disturbed or harassed when I was trying to party, really I was just too dame ignorant and self-centered to care. It had nothing to do with having fun, fun was code for I am up to no good and if I take this call or reply to this txt then I am going to have to answer to someone. I knew what I was doing was wrong but that’s just it, it's only wrong on the come down or when it came time to make amends for the destruction I caused on the weekend; Then I saddled up and went back out to do it all over again the following week. It was just one vicious cycle, however at the time I could justify every action and believe every lie. I found the more positive influences I shut out, would allowed for more negative ones to be let in. I was replacing people that didn't support my habit with those that did, I was creating an environment that was filled with other people who shut out their own influences and by doing so we created a nice little bubble that supported our cause. For me my addiction survived by shutting loved ones out, if you want to kill addiction you need to let your loved ones in. Who are your loved ones? They are those people still hanging around after you've had your last drink, they are the ones you trot on and so quickly hung up on when you didn't need them.
I remember someone saying to me once, that they didn't care how much I drank as long as I answered the phone whenever they called, I chose not to on three occasions, there wasn't a fourth. Shut out mode doesn't exempt you from your responsibilities; it doesn't give you the right to just pick up on Monday where you left off Friday. It is a method I used to support my habit, and a habit that killed my support. I again chose to adopt 'shut out mode' when I made the decision to quit, however this time I shut out all those who were a negative influence on me and supported my addiction. Unlike the loved ones they have never missed me nor have I heard from many since.