“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” – Anonymous
2020. The more time I spent at home alone with myself, the more I realized how much energy and time I spent on fighting against things and began to call into question some of my personal practices. When planting my garden, I fought against the light and space because it didn’t fit my inventory. I fought against letting a close friendship go when it needed to die and be grieved. I fought against airlines when my exchange student got stuck here during the pandemic and my own trip canceled. My new car has an automatic shut off when stopped, and I fought it every time. I fought against the boredom of a normal, stable romantic relationship. I fought work changes. I railed against life, bucking and snorting, feeling like some kind of magnificent wild mustang, but in reality looking like my crazed cat when he accidentally got his head stuck in an ice cream tub.
Somewhere around the end of the year coinciding with my birthday, I found myself evaluating my lifetime of straightened, processed hair and pondered in isolation boredom if I should let nature have its way for a change. I then evaluated how much energy I spend fighting other things and imagined a whole different way of being.
When drinking, I also fight myself. Denial, combating cravings, endless numbers wrestling and arguing with my Inner Negotiator, kickboxing the fear of being an abstainer or moderator, making amends for misdeeds while drunk, I struggle against my urges and throttle myself incessantly when I fail. It’s a lot, and it takes energy. But it’s really not a huge leap going from a self chokehold to a hug, I just have to stop resisting me so hard. Sobriety gives me the gift of freedom and the peace to lean-in to my truest self, and it’s challenging, but ultimately rewarding. Alcohol-free, I can let go of my own stranglehold and gently fall into myself, love me for who I am, who I can and will be, faults and wild natural gray curls too. When I stop fighting so hard, it brings a wash of relief and acceptance that is like no other, even when I unearth parts that aren’t wonderful. Now, this doesn’t mean letting myself go, being a doormat, or giving in to cravings so that I continue drinking to excess, no. It means making and holding space for all the things that I impulsively fight against, especially when they’re scary, and deciding whether or not my energy, time and money could be better spent elsewhere.
Instead of punching her in the face, I kindly acknowledge my Inner Negotiator is here visiting, but I firmly turn her away from a long term stay. I say hello and no thanks to visiting, but I firmly turn her away from a long term stay. I say hello and no thanks to cravings instead of ignoring them. I strive to recognize when I have CONTROL, Control, control, or control. And I give grace and love myself enough so that when I screw up, I’m not flattened by my own fists. I will always fight for social justice, equity, my family, and personal growth–everyone has things that are worth fighting for, and against. Sobriety helps me compassionately and firmly evaluate, redirect my energy and save the unnecessary struggles for these important things, all with a clear head. Tools that I use to best help me do this today are journaling, meditation, and some kindness mantras.
Dryuary is a time for reflection, without the mind-numbing blanket of booze. As you navigate Dryuary and the year to come, consider for a moment what you fight against in yourself, how much precious energy you spend fighting it, and if there are things you can compassionately let go of as you focus on sobriety. Life is going to happen, whether you fight it or lean in. So tell me, what’s holding you back?
Yours truly in fisticuffs or freedom,
Post Submitted By: Christy Dee, MM Forum Member
Suggested NA beverage: Salted Caramel White Russian Mocktail