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.
Insane activities were a dime a dozen in the days before sobriety. Binders of bad behavior could chronicle my life before opening up to a higher power and the understanding that life is a cause and effect experience.
Intention: Roll seamlessly into a positive future. Grasping that if my thoughts and feelings create my experience, then my present-moment thinking – strong, positive, and optimistic – is the way to go.
An alarm clock was one of the presents I gave my son on his 21st birthday. “Useful and symbolic,” was his response. I felt proud he picked up on that.
Flashing back to my age 21 radar screen, no one seemed awake to the magnificent unseen power available to us, at least no one who actively talked to me about it. I take that back – some I knew probably did walk and talk it, but in my world, it absolutely would have gone right over my head… I was the one not awake; utterly clueless.