I’m coming back to these pages. Thanks to you who (according to Google Analytics) continue reading my thoughts from the past year and a half, and thanks to all of you deep in your writing stream — for giving me a place to read and think and participate quietly.
I’m coming back despite the fact that it requires honesty, with you and myself about my journey. Arg, honesty, fuck. I have to, though. My professional-level secrecy has to end somewhere, and cyberspace is a great place to start. Despite my complete lack of interest in moderation in alcohol use (both practically and philosophically), that’s what I’ve been doing. I don’t want it; I need to be utterly alcohol-free. But I’ve been stumbling around in it, most recently on a 12-day trip with inlaws that completely traumatized me-the-introvert (and me the blissful solo traveler). Most of it was social drinking (for what that’s worth, which is very little). But I’m home now, in my own quieter space, and am shifting myself back into the habits that a year ago proved quite resilient in my quest for a life without alcohol. I need to find a lifestyle with a quiet, still center. I can tell that it’s right here; I just can’t see or touch it. I know that gravitating to it requires staying with myself, physically and emotionally, and I know what my main modes of blasting that presence all to hell are.
I know a lot of things now. The self serves up a lot of repetition and eventually we perhaps accept that the same repetition is going to continue. Sounds so easy! Yet it isn’t. And yet it is.
The practices that worked so well for me in my original four months away from alcohol (the first four months of this blog) are:
- no alcohol
- no sugar (of any kind, whether naturally occurring, the little crystals, the bizarre physiology disrupting syrups)
- oil massages
- limited email checking
I laughed at that last one at the time and didn’t attempt to regulate it. But on those days when I did put my email on a schedule (once per hour, with an eventual ideal of once every two hours), the days had a much, much calmer feel. (I’ve now discovered a book that digs into this sort of structuring as part of a lifestyle that produces work of value — Deep Work by Cal Newport.) Web surfing per se isn’t a problem for me, but if it was, it’d be on my list, too. They’re basically practices that leave me a mentally more content person and that impede compulsive distraction.
So I’ve gone back to those, as of yesterday.
Like life without vodka rocks said, I don’t drink to escape anything — nothing very obvious on the outside. I have a wonderful home, partner, community, freelance work. My task as I see it is to melt into my own energy and do my work and my play freely and without fear. There is a knot of fear in me that considers easy, contented time in my own space to be a mortal violation of something. But “fear” is too easy of a word. It seems more complex than that, as well as more toward the terror end of the scale. But my task (one of them at least) is to unhook from the idea that all is a race and by embodying more of my soul I will slip behind in the race. Not clear what the race is. It’s a complex that got constructed in childhood and needs to be allowed to melt, or to have a strange lovely gangly sculpture with sharp points and blinding glints of light hung on the old steel girders that are simply not practical to melt and that’s okay. Still working on the metaphor.
Have a good one!