Home alone

I love the moments that reflect so clearly how different my life is now. I get to see how my life has turned on its head, how I’m so much more peaceful now.

(Though I do have this nagging addict bitch inside me who thinks the best thing possible right now would be to start having beer sessions again. But anyway.)

My partner is gone for several days and I’m home alone. For the past few years, I’ve lived here with him part time and lived in my old, beloved city the rest of the time. It used to be half and half, and now I’m more here.  I think that the back and forth lifestyle had its benefits with regard to my drinking — I drank there, alone, and didn’t here, or at least not very much. (When I would leave here for “home,” I couldn’t go even one night without a trip to the liquor store.) It was good for me to have Continue reading

Ah, caffeine

I wasn’t going to do this now. I love my morning coffee. Love, love, love! The promise of those mornings has been such an important part of quitting alcohol. I drink dense French press coffee, half caff, with heavy cream. My god, it’s good. My morning sit-and-write drink.

But. A few days ago I was driving along the highway and some small part of me said it wanted to talk. It wanted to talk about my alcohol situation — the quitting thing. (This is a part of me that’s vehemently on my side, so I wasn’t worried that my inner addict had some brilliant plan to get me drinking again.) Okay, what? I’d been feeling vaguely edgy or rigid, was waiting for some softening to occur and have been just going along, focused on the not drinking. She said, quit coffee.

Really? Yeah, quit coffee.

That Adrian, she really knows how to keep a reader wanting to know more. I can hear all of you clicking away to Google news 🙂

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4 months without alcohol: 4 ways of staying put

I had my last beers on Christmas eve, more than four months ago. The new year came in, the winter persisted one, two months and part of a third month, and then spring broke through. I’m being driven further into my own mind and body not having that alcohol escape anymore. The tensions that I reacted to by drinking now lie out in the open. Some of the triggers weren’t even tensions, they could simply be the fact of the day drifting around to 3 p.m. and a bar and grill nearby.

In March I wrote about my selection of ways to repel from discomfort, and today I’m thinking about ways I’m learning to move toward discomfort. Continue reading

Excuses

A major way that the blogosphere helped me as I was inching my way toward quitting alcohol was in people’s descriptions of their excuses. I started seeing my excuses popping up all over the place. I would have thought I was a little original. But you guys helped me see through the flimsy rationales I was using to stay stuck.

I started this blog out of a concern about relapse, and I’ll list some of my excuses here in case I need to read it in some future moment of distress/temptation. In no particular order…

  • I don’t drink that much compared to other people. Comparisons are a) meaningless, and b) carefully designed by my inner addict to make me look good.
  • No one is questioning my drinking. When you take scrupulous care to hide the extent of your drinking, you can’t exactly blame your friends for not questioning the extent of your drinking. Continue reading

Discomfort #5: Contentment

Over these last four months without alcohol, I’ve seen more and more clearly my drive to block my own joy. I go round and round, splashing cold water on my joy and delight and contentment wherever they pop up. It sounds crazy to say that joy is threatening, but it is. Why in the world?

Deepak Chopra advocates healing addiction through finding one’s bliss, but in my opinion he misses a major element of addiction, at least for some of us: we have intense internal reflexes against bliss, euphoria, pleasure, contentment. I have a reflex that reacts very strongly against my own naturally occurring joy. It sniffs out contentment or pleasure 500 miles away, and it acts lightning fast to destroy it. (This discomfort with comfort joins my other known four. Still counting.)

Eventually, drinking alcohol became my preferred method of self-sabotage. The alcohol was screwing more and more with my physiology and nervous system. As I reached my mid-40s, I still was only circling my work, my calling, vocation, whatever you want to call it. I was wasting time, and the time wasn’t going to come back. Continue reading