Year One is Done

Hello, everyone. I am a few weeks into year two.  The "high" over that accomplishment seems to have passed for now.

I am the same person as before: I still get anxious, have trouble sleeping, and recoil from conflict. I simply no longer self-medicate with alcohol. Why? Because every time I think about a drink I also think about the consequences. I think this is all a version of cognitive behavior therapy: training your brain to remember to think along a different, more enlightened pathway. This is intentional living. I choose, I keep choosing, to live this way. Come with me...it has gotten easier.

Yes, sometimes I am so tired, so excited, so "this" or "that," that I think about a nice big glass of wine. But I remind myself, that is just the "old" way of thinking. Now I have a new way to think. I still use a trick from my earlier days: I treat myself to a nice glass of fruit juice. Not often, because that sugar is no good. But occasionally. Because for me, the alcohol urge is usually when I am tired, hungry, or stressed. A nice glass of unsweetened cherry juice does the trick for me. All better.

I shared my news with a friend who has been in AA for many years. She says alcoholism is a disease you are born with, for which there is no cure. Her definition excludes me. (I was a normal drinker for most of my life). That's ok. I am still proud of what I did. I know where I was at with my drinking a year ago, and I know where I am today. (And I think in addition to my friend's use of the the term "alcoholism" that there is a continuum of drinking for many of us, that it is a slippery slope, and that I could have become dangerously ill and got off just in time.)

I know what my demons are, by now I know them well. My unwelcome visitors. You probably have some too, or you wouldn't be reading this. You are not alone. I am here too, on this journey. I am struggling, I have weaknesses, I have insecurities, I feel self-loathing and self-reproach in the middle of the night. But I am building up: I am headed upwards. The trajectory of my life is positive: I am one year alcohol free!

Now I meditate, call a friend, count my blessings, take a walk, read a book, do yoga. Have I transformed into a person without flaws? I wish, but no. Still fully human. More human, actually. More in touch with myself: I am in relationship with my demons, not running from them. Heck, I am blogging about them! I am talking about them "in real life" too, and people are helping me manage my life, grow, be more mindful, more self-loving.  I even have a vision for where I want to be: I want to grow in love and peace...it is a rock solid vision.

How are all of you?

Mere




Comments

  1. So happy for you! Congratulations! Me too! Still a human, but now I know how to cope with life situations way better! xo
    Wendy

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