Wowser! Two whole months without alcohol. My aim of 30 days has rolled into 62 and counting. I have noticed of late that I hardly think about it and it is beginning to feel like the norm for me not to drink. Abstaining for me is easier than moderation but when I really think about why that is it clarifies why I needed to stop drinking in the first place.
Take food for instance. We all need food to live and in a way we kind of moderate our eating naturally. If we feel we need to get healthier, lose a few pounds then we moderate what we eat in order to do so. Now I know that is an extremely simplistic view of things and I for one know only too well that moderating eating habits can be a real slog and for some can be very complex in terms of emotional connections with food but the bottom line is we all have to face our relationships with food as it our life force. Alcohol, on the other hand is not a requirement to live. It only becomes that when you become so addicted to it that your body would most likely die without it.
I suppose after drinking alcohol on a regular basis since my late teens I developed a connection of social happiness with it along with fun, peer acceptance and… well …. that’s just what you do. It is only in the last 5-7 years if I really think about it the connection has developed into a psychological one with alcohol required to help me forget, feel happier, become more carefree, calmer, tolerant,naively nicer and more likeable. Even as I write this now I can see that my thinking that alcohol was a necessity to achieve those parts of me seems crazy. I am all those things and more …sober. I just need to see them and believe in them. The square puzzle I wrote about in my last post with its missing piece could have a point. The bit that I always thought I had lost or had been taken from me I always seemed to try and fill it with things outwith me. Perhaps alcohol was one of those things? What I think it did though was temporarily blocked any change or natural growth, introspective thinking and put me on hold until the “party” was over. Then all the effort it takes to start the work after the event seems like an insurmountable slog. So why bloody bother!
There is a line from the play ‘Road’ by Jim Cartwright that was in during my final year at drama school,
” It’s like walking through meat in high heels”
It wasn’t my character that said it but as soon as I heard it it stuck with me. The character was referring to the struggle of life and that no matter how you try you never get anywhere. The play is not a laugh a minute – set in Bolton in the 1980’s during the age of Thatcherism with high unemployment, apathy, depression, no hope and growing hatred- but it was an experience I will never forget being a part of.
When I decided to abstain initially I did feel a sense of grief, loss, of saying goodbye to me. In many ways subconsciously I used alcohol to fill the missing or lost gap but the space needs to be there for me. That is my breath. When I use alcohol to lose myself for whatever reason in a way I stop breathing. I put me on hold. I press the pause button. I stop being in the moment. I get a taste for it. I like the feeling it gives me so I want more and more and more. I want the feeling to intensify. I want to feel like this person not me. I want to lose myself when in reality what I am trying to do is fill the lost part.
There is a lot of obstacles out there. A lot of meat.
I am kicking off my high heels and going barefoot.
Till next time x