"I can be the party, but going to the party's difficult." That line says so much for how I've felt for most of my life. When people ask me what it was like when I was drinking, they don't always seem to understand the isolation that was a part of it. Going all the way back to high school when I started drinking - I felt I had to drink more to be comfortable around other people at bars or parties. There was no way I could just be there and be myself, as if I had any kind of idea who that person was. I had to be extra, and that meant drinking more.
Many times I'd write a story in my head about how it was socially acceptable to drink more when at a party, or that the social etiquette of a party called for certain people to drink extra hard to help balance the room out, and certainly I was willing to help the group out by carrying the burden of that cross. But that's just it: I could be the party, but I could never be part of.