I began what we call “night club hopping” as soon as I turned nineteen, the legal drinking age here in Canada.

My friends and I had a circuit. We loved to dance. We loved to drink. We laughed harder and louder and met new people every night and genuinely enjoyed being together so much.

So we worked our circuit every freakin’ night, for about a year straight.

Every bar had “its night” that was busy, you see ... (keep in mind this was over 20 years ago now if you live in the Lower Mainland and don’t recognize any of these) ... China Beach on Mondays. Richards on Richards on Tuesdays. Cat N The Fiddle on Wednesdays. Tommy’s on Thursdays. Mirage on Fridays. Saturdays were for trying “new” clubs, even country bars, since every place was busy on Saturday night! The Roxy on Sunday’s (hello famous hockey players mingling and having fun with us!!).

We rode the dance club circuit train like travelling executives who wouldn’t miss a beat. It was part of our identity! And while I can only speak for myself here, there was a lot more going on in all those drunken nights, nights I couldn’t drive home, some nights even stand at all …

You guessed it ... trauma (hello you’re on my Success After Trauma blog lol).

I was trying to cope with the impact of a major trauma that happened when I was 15 years old, personally - which was just four years prior to that dance-club-every-night era, and twenty-eight years ago from the time I’m publishing this article.

I don’t drink at all now, haven’t had a drop of alcohol since I was twenty-eight or so (which even then had gone down to vodka in our green smoothies once a month or so) and that says something. 

Not because, looking back, I thought I was an alcoholic back then (was I 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️??) but because I never was a person who ate processed food, let alone bright drinks with coloured dyes that no healthy mammal would touch. I did look for “natural” wines and experimented with sulphur-free wines for the longest time, so I could have an option for alcoholic beverages that resonated with me, when I felt like it - but none of them suited me. So I’ve been totally dry for twenty plus years now.

So what did that uncharacteristic behaviour (for me) of drinking do to “help”that unresolved trauma I was struggling with so much deep inside?

—I was drinking to quell the inner demons and I knew it.

—I like to eat foods my body recognizes and that’s how I have always functioned best, and I knew it.

—I drank because I felt so lost and confused and scared on a deep level - the level all the unprocessed trauma lived on in my body - and I felt like I didn’t really belong anywhere. 

In other words, I drank to avoid the darkness within, because I didn’t know how to manage it otherwise.

Unresolved trauma makes us do ALL KINDS OF things that don’t resonate, that are off our value system, and that can throw us off compass completely, if we’re not careful.

I was lucky enough not to get addicted, for example, or experience more interpersonal trauma common to the night club scene, especially when you go as much as we were! These include sexual assaults, having your drinks drugged or poisoned, and physical violence, among other things.

If you’re in the space of drinking or doing anything to cope, I validate you!!! It’s a helluva lot to manage and I get it, 100%.

I’m not here to lecture you, or tell you what you “should” be doing instead. I’m here to share my story, the insight I’ve gained over three decades of dealing with this stuff, and provide you with tools to move to the next leg of your unique journey, at your pace, as you see fit.

One thing I’ve done diligently during these three decades, is research the impact of trauma, and research the healing modalities available, as well as experimented with them first hand.

After I learned about the way trauma affects the brain, the social networks especially, I had so much compassion for my teenage self, who went through what she went through. I can hardly believe she even left the house to be honest, because trauma devastates parts of the brain responsible for managing and mastering social networks. I certainly understand why she felt she needed to drink to socialize!!!

When I learned about and really understood the magnitude of what my fifteen year old self was experiencing, I just wanted to spend the rest of my life pouring nurturing energy onto her (which is really a wounded part of me) and giving her WHATEVER she needed to heal and thrive in life. Much like a mother does for her daughter - in fact many women like me doing this work end up not having energy to give birth to children IRL (in real life). Healing trauma takes a LOT of energy, and can take decades.

So…this is what I now do! Live my life filling up those once wounded parts of me, and doing things that deeply fulfill me and allow me to thrive in life, like running this mentoring business I so love and adore.

Because my Inner Traumatized Teen deserves it, and so do you.

If you fall into one of these patterns, whether for a day or an hour, months, or years like I did, remember my story, then remember who you are.


And give that to yourself, forever.

XOXO Success Coach Gina 

PS. Bosses in Pajamas is now open! It’s a no-judgment, all-accepting zone where we work through blocks to success, just like this one! CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Gina Silvestri