I have been without a drink since last Friday. I don’t drink to excess (I haven’t been drunk, since 2010), but I have been drinking almost everyday since the end of April. I made a decision, this past Saturday, to begin attending meetings again. I’ve been to two, and they went how I expected – not bad, encouraged to succeed. I have apprehension about “the program” – as members of Alcoholics Anonymous affectionately call it – but I know it was working for me, previously.
For some reason, I’m not escaping those things that are pulling me down and I felt that I needed to do something, if I’m ever going to change. I am tired of repeating the same behaviors (i.e. the definition of insanity, right?) and not pulling myself out of the proverbial gutter I keep laying myself. And I felt the only way to do it is to clear my mind and allow myself to think. That’s right…think!
I have always felt my greatest asset was my ability to rationalize anything. But for some reason, I have allowed emotion and feelings to override that ability of mine. So, I decided that I needed to clear my mind – something that the beer I was drinking was hindering. I know there are other obvious benefits that can be achieved by refraining from drinking, but I felt a clear mind was the most important.
So, what’s the problem? You might ask.
I begin remembering the things that frustrate me. I begin to think about the things that prevent me from being successful. I begin to feel. I hate feeling. I hate emotion. I struggle with the ups and the downs of my life. I feel like every time I latch on to happiness, it is squashed like a repulsive bug. I see all the complications and drawbacks to the solutions I come up with. I begin to have a “fuck it” attitude and my negativity begins to creep in to the cracks in my mind, widening them to proportions that are unbearable.
Yes, the problem is that I begin to feel.
I remember a session I had once with a therapist. She asked me, who my child hood heroes were. I mentioned that growing up, I always admired scientists and one of my heroes was a fictional character on TV. I always admired Mr. Spock from Star Trek. His fictional heritage lacked emotion, but being part human, he was conflicted with being able to master something that was innately part of him. But he knew that mastering emotion meant he could think clearly and solve challenges and problems without worry of the impact others would feel. I wanted that ability to make the right decision and not have to be concerned about feelings and emotions. I needed there to be a ‘right’ answer.
But that’s not real life, is it? Real life is complex, conflicted, torturous in its ambiguity.
Yes, my mind is clear and conflicted.
Today, I am on day 4 without a drink.
I went to the store last night and bought more canned vegetables, mandarin oranges, kiwi, multi-grain bread low in calories, almond milk, multi-grain cereal with now sugar added, lean turkey slices, granola bars.
…because I don’t like to complain; I want to reacquaint myself with my ‘why‘.