Day 17: Reflections

Some days it is a fine line between laughter and tears. Today, let’s choose laughter.

 

After the fourth whiskey, I swear, I heard it whisper, “Now is the time to tell people what you really think.”

Scientists announced that they have located the gene responsible for alcoholism. Scientists say they found it at a party talking way too loudly. Conan O’Brien

Sometimes the floor likes to mess with me when I’m drinking…it moves and I fall down and I’m all, “Oh Floor, you got me again”…and we laugh.

If I didn’t drink, how would my friends know I loved them at 2 a.m.?

I got so drunk last night, I walked across the dance floor to get another drink and won the dance contest.

I can’t afford a vacation so I’m just going to drink until I don’t know where I am.

Can you put vodka in a humidifier-Asking for a friend.

We hope you enjoyed this comedic break. If you’re still hanging in there and smiling, you’re doing fabulously. Onward to today’s post.


“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.”
― Yvonne Woon, Dead Beautiful

Dryuary has begun and not a minute too soon. Primarily because as usual, the Holiday season was one big drink fest. It’s as if a collective hypnosis moved us to poison our bodies and minds with copious quantities of booze and wine. I was, as expected, so disgusted and worn out from drinking that Dryuary represented a much needed break from the madness.

It shouldn’t be that way. Dryuary doesn’t simply represent a relief from my excesses, but a means of regaining control of my life. Throughout the year, I experienced varying levels of success and failure in my quest for moderation. Dryuary allows me to take a step back from the roller coaster, learn from my experiences, reset and clarify my goals, and to evaluate my relationship to alcohol through sober eyes.

My hope for Dryuary is that if I can abstain the entire month, I will have a much healthier relationship with alcohol during the rest of the year. Statistics show that participants do drink less. I realize that there are no universal guarantees, but I believe it will give me a fighting chance.

As I look beyond Dryuary, part of me is saying, this can be a jumping off point. Ever since I recognized alcohol as a potential danger to me, I have had this internal struggle within, one side saying, get alcohol under control so that I can enjoy it without self-harm. The other side of me is saying, why am I trying to negotiate a relationship with a toxic, poisonous substance? Dryuary is an opportunity to wage the battle once again.

In some ways, I wish that I could view Dryuary more simply and be a happy drinker, who happens to be taking a vacation from alcohol to renew my body and mind. I could then happily return to my life Feb 1st. For me it’s not that simple. I tend to open-up to current research that sometimes goes against the very fabric of what marketers have conditioned me to believe. On my way to a huge wine tasting event, I listened to portions of This Naked Mind which educates us on how we have been duped and manipulated to believe that alcohol is good for us. Also, the author teaches that alcohol is an addictive substance that can potentially be a problem for anyone that consumes it. I noticed with some irony that it did not curb my excess that night, which shows that either I did not fully believe her, or my addiction to alcohol is heavier than I thought.

I approached Dryuary with some trepidation. It required me to stop on a dime after New Year’s Eve festivities. Though not physically dependent in terms of the classic definition, it was not without effort to drink throughout the holidays and then stop abruptly on January 1st. My body thanked me, but my mind fought me tooth and nail, especially during New Year’s day and several days after.

Despite the difficulty, I look forward to the full Dryuary. While drinking, I cannot conceive of life without alcohol for more than a few days. However, once I do stop, I realize that as much as I enjoy drinking, I enjoy being sober as well. I love the clarity of thought. I love the fact that I automatically lose weight and that I go to bed and wake up earlier. I love that I don’t have to force myself to read versus watching television. My personality is more vibrant. I am actually more outgoing while sober, because after a few days, I am far more secure in myself and happier overall, and it shows. I am far more interested in others, as alcohol moves me toward a more selfish existence. Dryuary reminds me of times before drinking when I didn’t need extra chemicals in my body to be happy.

During periods of sobriety, I ask myself “Why go back?” I experience far more joy and wholeness, so it seems irrational to go through this period and then go back to the same old struggle. Aside from the obvious truth that on some level, I am addicted, and constantly bombarded with messages around the benefits, desirability and necessity of drinking, I get restless with the status-quo. I invariably tire from drinking and need a break. While sober, it is nice for a while, but then life happens, and I need a coping mechanism (or at least I think I do) to deal with it. Facing life head-on becomes a struggle, and a drink instantly shifts my focus. I have not achieved perfect maturity, but perhaps the highest level of living is to stay sober and transform the difficulties in my life as growth opportunities, experiencing joy in every experience whether good or bad. I am not there yet, so the struggle continues.

Dryuary represents an opportunity to take a fresh look at my life, and to assess the role alcohol should play. Recently, I began practicing Transcendental Meditation. I looked forward to experiencing an entire sober month while committing to the practice, which requires 2 times each day for 20 minutes apiece. I have been consistent to a fault since October 19th. During the past few days of sobriety, I have noticed that the meditations seemed deeper and more fulfilling. As a fairly skeptical person, I don’t like predicting that some practice or another will provide benefits without experiencing them. It makes me think I am just buying into the hype. But I really do believe that meditating for an entire month without alcohol was transformative, and enhanced my Dryuary experience immeasurably. Regardless of whether I continue sobriety beyond Dryuary, or get back to drinking on February 1st, I believe that it is nothing but beneficial, and will lead to an increasingly balanced life, not just as it pertains to alcohol, but to all important aspects of life.

Post Submitted By: Byrd Man, MM Member

4 thoughts on “Day 17: Reflections

  1. Hazel S

    This.
    “My personality is more vibrant. I am actually more outgoing while sober, because after a few days, I am far more secure in myself and happier overall, and it shows. I am far more interested in others, as alcohol moves me toward a more selfish existence. Dryuary reminds me of times before drinking when I didn’t need extra chemicals in my body to be happy.”

    Wow. Very powerful.

  2. Rauzo

    “Some days it is a fine line between laughter and tears. Today, let’s choose laughter.” Appreciate the post!
    Glad I’m off the roller coaster, it feels great to take life on as it comes free and sober. I didn’t think I would ever say this but Dryuary is going fast day 17!

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