I’ve come to see quitting alcohol not as a thing in itself, but as an element in the larger human project of quieting ourselves and calming our logistics in order to reveal our deeper connections — to ourselves and our surroundings.
For people with problems with alcohol dependency, quitting alcohol is essential. It’s such an insanely powerful introducer-of-chaos and numbing tool. But peace is not found in the absence of alcohol. It’s found when we find our own way to access the quiet, joyful, unworried self inside who knows we’re safe. Intrinsically safe and whole. Accessing that involves discontinuing other self-medications. We each have our own custom set! One reason I love the books Potatoes Not Prozac and Deep Work, one about quitting sugar and the other about productivity, is they both recognize humans’ strong tendency toward distraction and immediate-comfort-seeking. For both, a central element is delaying the distraction (whether sugar or email/Facebook or something else), which leaves you sitting there in your own brain space, present and still. Squirrelly maybe, but present and somewhat still.
It’s a life built on these moments that reveals that silent center where peace resides. Pulling away our other self-medications once we’ve stepped away from alcohol can feel really awkward. But new rhythms await, and they are delicious, and they turn out to give what the alcohol buzz never could, the first time, the 500th time.
peace to every one of you on this journey!