Can We Talk? Please? — Nicole Sallak Anderson

Nicole Sallak Anderson
12 min readJan 29, 2023

A month into my alcohol and social media free experiment, and conversation has been on my mind.

Actually, it’s a lack of conversation that’s on my mind.

Hmm, perhaps it’s better to say, it’s a lack of sober, deep, and meaningful conversation that’s on my mind.

Let me explain, I’ve done Dry January many times in my past, but normally my husband and I shelter in place, avoiding all parties, eating out, and happy hours, longing for the end of the month so we can have that glass of wine and rejoin society. This time, while we still long for that glass of wine at the end of the month, I decided to find tools to help me explore why I drink. I was blessed to find the author Annie Grace and her books, The Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment. Using the latest in neuroscience and cognitive behavioral theories, I’ve been able to dive into my relationship with alcohol, starting with that first taste of peach schnaps that led to my first kiss, up to the past three years where somehow between the Covid lockdowns and my house burning down, a bottle of wine most evenings had become the norm. In addition, I added a reduction in use of my smartphone this month, for hours upon hours have been wasted since the pandemic started on that device and I want to explore my addiction to both the fermented grape elixir of life as well as scrolling endlessly on my phone, searching for something, but not quite sure what it is.

Could there be a connection between these two things? It appears there is, and connection through conversation is the heart of the issue. Not only since the pandemic, but from the moment I learned to speak, I’ve longed to connect to others via the word, and yet finding someone to meet me in the space of conversation has never been easy.

You Talk Too Much

As a child I was always told to be quiet. Chatty Cathy, they called me. I just today looked up the official definition of this slur: “ A chatty Cathy is a person who talks incessantly without saying anything of consequence. The idiom chatty Cathy is derived from a toy that was manufactured in America from 1959 through 1965.

Reading this brought a deep sense of pain within my heart. Rather than close myself to it, I allowed the pain to wash over me…

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Nicole Sallak Anderson

Author of 8 books, California wildfire survivor, essayist. All books available @Amazon. www.nicolesallakanderson.com