One of the biggest casualties of alcohol: Deep rest

On Friday, day 130, I was taunted and tormented by cravings all afternoon, unlike anything I’ve felt since the first couple of weeks without alcohol back in November/December. And I am home alone for a few days. Oh, ugh.

While I sincerely appreciate the little cravings for their reminder that my mind-(and body-)set can change in an instant — going from contented, grateful, and finding it impossible that anyone with years of sobriety under their belt would ever go back — the big constant flashback rattling ones I can do without. Ugh.

I was Continue reading

Hey there

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 Continue reading

The myth of strength and clarity as selfishness

This is interesting. Below is a post I wrote a long time ago, probably last spring. I had voices telling me that being comfortable in my own skin was selfish and that selfish was dangerous. (This was very internal. On the outside I have the appearance of being pretty dang comfortable following my own drummer. And I am. But the deep resistance and fear associated with that was real, and debilitating, and encouraged self-medicating.)

Note the past tense. This stuff seems actually pretty far away now. I’ve shifted out of that energy. It’s so cool to see how far I’ve moved from that mental space of last April or May, and I thought I’d put this out there despite its being out of date. Hopefully all of my words on this site will be out of date some day. 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 🙂

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

Contentment as selfish: Myth-busting

A while ago I was puzzling over the oddness of having contentment be a form of discomfort. As with a lot of things, this dynamic has roots both in the twisted human psychology and plain old daily life.

I have strong attractions to specific things, and I imagine that was true of me as a kid. I’m drawn to things I like and love and savor, and the flip side, I reject – sometimes vehemently – things that offend my sensibilities. I love simple, interesting, quirky, beautiful, odd things. I like shapes. I get bored by boring things and I despise ugly things and places. I know, doesn’t everyone? Probably, but I managed to suppress my rejection of these things, I think because it didn’t seem permissible. You accepted what you got, and you didn’t have any power to change things — this went for kids but also for adults (as far as I can tell).

My mom was of the opinion (again, as far as I can tell) that one must not be attached to the things one wants. Continue reading

Trained to resist my self

Resisting my urges became second nature early on. It turns out I’m an exacting person. One with powerful desires and urges and ideas that I never figured out how to handle and wasn’t taught how to by my parents. (To say the least.)

I trained myself to accept conditions (inner and outer) that weren’t what I wanted or needed.

I wanted quiet, and I had to live in a noisy world. I wanted shade, and I live in a world where nice day equals heat and glaring sun. Continue reading

My knock-down drag-out fight with discomfort

During these almost two months of not drinking, I’ve had a chance to see more clearly what’s up with me. What my demons are. Over the last many months and years I’ve gotten bits and pieces of the story, seen light flashing off odd corners of my mind and emotions (yes, my emotions have odd corners — and yours??). But in the quiet of these mornings and evenings that I experience with a clear mind I’ve come to see the various parts and how they fit together.

I’m a ruthless systematizer, and while that serves me well in Continue reading