Oh how I long for yesterday – well not really. With the utmost respect for Paul McCartney this wistful phrase does not particularly apply to me and to other alcoholics as far as I can tell. Sure there are moments from the past that I would like to repeat, and others I only wish I could do over.
Every day I read from inspirational books, quotes, and blogs. It’s very helpful, highly recommended, and part of the programs. However no results come if the action piece is not there. Wishing, dreaming, and even believing are good starts but without action nothing changes.
I must have dozed off at the portals of my mind recently – although it still happens, it is happening less frequently, and for shorter periods of time, so for that I’m grateful.
A whole lot of negativity can flood in during a little bit of dozing. The undertow of the wrong kind of thoughts can overpower quickly and with great force.
About a decade ago, I weakly attempted to broach the subject of alcohol with my former doctor. I had summoned the courage to confide that I thought I might be drinking too much.
She stopped writing in my chart, looked me in the eye, and said, “Are you drinking every day?” “Yes,” I said, averting her eye. After what felt like a very long pause but probably wasn’t, she went back to writing in my chart and said, “Well they say a glass of red wine every day is good for you. It’s not like you’re drinking a whole bottle.”
Ginger Ale and Gratitude: my new cocktail of choice. Make it a double.
I imbibed in it with some colleagues recently following a large corporate event that wound down to a table in the hotel bar. Hotel bars still occupy a soft and loving spot in my heart as long as I am strong in my program, and my sobriety is affirmed by my inward thoughts and outward actions. Proving (to myself) that great times are indeed possible with soft drinks is a satisfying and reassuring experience, along with the bonus of being free to observe the “entertainment” evolve in front of my very eyes.
Each month when I turn the calendar page, I mentally celebrate a mini milestone. My sobriety date is a first of a month – May 1 (Day 1) and while that part is easy to remember, with time zooming so quickly a full running tally is not at the tip of my tongue. Instead I’ve taken to saying ‘I am 4 and change.’
Peeling the onion – one giant onion comprised of seemingly infinite layers of thin, translucent resistance, know-it-all-ness, habits, misunderstandings, misinterpretations, the BS of erroneous Belief Systems, and just plain growing beyond the point I have arrived at so far – that is my objective.
Staying awake is a full time job. But payday is every day and the payoff is huge.
Practice and repetition makes this easier, as it always does. Living in awe while looking for inspiration in every situation snowballs into serenity. Looking for crap and crud also snowballs, but in a way that pulls me down. Training my mind to focus on empowering thoughts and turn away from disempowering thoughts is possible only when I am awake to it.