Fear as a fact

I was walking home this evening from a restaurant after dinner with an acquaintance/former client who I really like. As I walked down the sidewalk a few blocks from home, in my favorite neighborhood in the world, lawns and gardens now in full bloom, the loveliest spring evening one could want, the buzzing in my brain wanted to drive me mad. A weird anxiety that very specifically wanted a drink. My brain was really riled up, I’m not sure why.

It was still roiling me when I got home Continue reading

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

Self-medication is the real target

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. Continue reading

On alcohol as not the only escape

Continuing from a couple of days ago… one of the aspects of drinking that I found most troubling is the quick, easy deflation/escape, the ease with which it helped me escape from being present in myself. This is separate from the health/relationship/productivity issues involved in being drunk and picking oneself up and dusting oneself off after an evening of drinking. The escape itself, and the habit of escaping, is the bigger deal for me.

Alcohol was not my only mechanism of deflation/escape Continue reading

A cabin in Vermont

The more time goes by, the more I see into my idiosyncrasies and understand why it was so hard for me to care for myself, for so long.

The other day something in me was screaming that it wanted to be all alone in a cabin in a distant forest, drinking myself into oblivion. The urge, in the form of this thought, was so strong. I held it. I went over to it to try to see and hear and feel more closely what was up. Why the tantrum? What did it consider so insanely important to get?

Here is what I slowly saw. Continue reading

Why that first beer was so alluring

I don’t entirely know. But it’s one of the things I mull over these days when it occurs to me to mull over my relationship with alcohol. That first half hour gave me something I desperately craved. Liberation. Freedom from some belief I had (and still partially have) that said I couldn’t feel free and be myself with abandon and be socially acceptable/accepted all at the same time. (“Be myself with abandon.” What exactly is being abandoned?) The first beer gave me that sensation of floating happily in my own self, uncramped.

So I’ve been asking myself what was up with that. What am I craving and how do I Continue reading