I wrote this a few weeks back – at the beginning of my ill advised experiment with controlled drinking. (A spectacular failure by the way) It’s worth sharing it now for my own reflection and learning.
I’m delighted my experiment is over. Last night was the best sleep I’ve had in several weeks and this morning I feel wonderful. Thanks to all here – one day at a time.
(Written on August 8th)
We are dealing with the real world here. What matters is how you’re going to deal with this situation right in front of you and whether you’re going to be able to move past it and onto the next one. That’s not saying anything goes – but we can’t forget that although theories are clean and simple, situations rarely are.’
The Daily Stoic
And the world at present is anything but ‘clean and simple.’ So many uncertainties and yet so many ways to respond.
For the most part, the only thing I can shape with certainty is little ole me. Despite my ongoing search for a job and concerns about our financial future, I will maintain what’s got me to where I am today – daily meditation, reading, reflecting, exercise, good coffee, music and laughter.
Now, I also took the most unusual step of visiting a pub with two old friends the other evening. It wasn’t a rash decision. I’ve been thinking about having a drink for over a month now. Again, I journaled, reflected, talked with my partner about my decision, and then explained my rationale with my old friends. We yarned about alcohol, addictions, habits and so forth. Once that conversation was had, I had two mid strength beers! The first alcohol I’ve had in seven years.
As the Stoics often talk about, theories can be ‘clean and simple’, but reality rarely is.
It was so very strange to be in a pub having a beer, and I did thoroughly enjoy it. It was my reality for that night, but what next?
I feel like the qs is, can I now cultivate a new relationship with alcohol – an adult to adult relationship? Can I put into practice all that I have learned these past seven years? Time, as always, will tell.
I was listening to an addiction specialist recently, who said sobriety is all well and good, but it doesn’t automatically mean you will be a better person. It won’t change your perception of the world. It’ll change others perceptions of how they see you, but how you interpret things won’t necessarily be altered. Think of ‘dry drunks’, as they mention in AA. Yes, they don’t drink, but they are negative and miserable sods!
That got me thinking. The key for me is to maintain consciousness. Sobriety alone won’t ensure I’m a conscious or awakened soul. Sobriety can and has certainly helped me significantly over the years, however for a while now, abstinence feels as though it’s become an obstacle, rather than an ally.
Food addicts can’t abstain from food, nor sex addicts from sex. They are called to learn a new way of managing and responding to those situations and triggers. So how do I nurture a new way of being with alcohol? Can it even be done? I honestly don’t know. As I told my partner, if having the odd drink doesn’t bode well, then I return to abstinence.
The decision to explore this relationship further, feels like a good and necessary one. Either way, growth and development is guaranteed. Be it a positive or harmful development waits to be seen.
I have to say though, I do feel very uncomfortable posting this here, as so many of you are consciously not drinking, which is obviously the right thing for you to do. If it’s working for you, please keep going. I’ll support you all the way.
As for me, I’m approaching this like a curious scientist. It’s an experiment. The outcome is unknown.
‘Maintain consciousness’ is my mantra.
I’ll keep you posted,
(The pic is of a recent walk where I continue to ponder on life)