A Dangerous Liaison

Still here.  Still sober.  Still appalled at the politics going on here in the U S of A.  My intent is not to go on a political rant.  However, I find myself in an almost perpetual state of agitation, anxiety and anger-and of course all fear based. Which comes from things not being the same as I’ve experienced them for the majority of my life.  Many of the the so-called norms rapidly changing. Seeing injustices done and seeing that so many don’t see them as injustices.  On and on and on..

I did watch the testimony of Dr. Ford-felt that I had to as a form of supporting her as well as the realization that many of us have or could be in her situation.  After watching her, I stayed tuned and watched Kavanaugh’s testimony. Without going into all of my thoughts and emotions about that-one of my first oberservations-within about 5 minutes of him beginning, was, “that man has an alcohol problem.” To be honest, I hate to think that I have or had anything remotely in common with him. But, he was doing something that I know I’d done many many times while I was drinking. Trying to normalize it all.  Trying to find a common ground with people through connection to alcohol.  He did it repeatadly. I used to to do that.

It’s funny, that slippery slope of having a drinking problem.  On the one hand, we try to hide it-not admitting how much we’ve had to drink.  Denying any kind of black out.  Saying the words “went to sleep” instead of “passed out”.  Expending a ton of energy to deny it to the world that surrounds us. Jumping through all kinds of hoops to hide it.  Sneaking.  Lying.  And yet, at the same time, trying to make it all sound so normal.  For instance, I’ve got a friend that’s been sober for like 35 years.  We drank like fish through high school and college-but she eventually stopped. Got in to AA-and is still very active in it.  I would find myself, in conversations with her, bringing up alcohol in some way.  I would be conscious of it. Almost as if to say, “see, I’m still drinking, but it’s just normal drinking. I don’t have a problem.” I will say, that she never once said anything negative to me about my drinking-or tried to step in.. But somehow, for some reason, I would bring it up-The thing is though, while I was talking about drinking as if it is oh so normal, the voice in my head was telling me that I was full of shit. That I know that I drank way too much..I mean I don’t normally talk about how much water I drink in a day-or coffee.

What I saw Brett Kavanaugh doing-and what I was trying to do-was validating it.  Normalizing it.  He was trying to get Senators to say what they drank-how much-whatever..

So we go on and on and on. Trying to normalize it.  Looking for validation.  Always on the lookout for someone “who really has a drinking problem!”  Always comparing – so that we can feel better about ourselves.  And even when we’re doing that, there’s that internal struggle-that voice that knows the truth. The voice that’s constantly pulling at us and driving us crazy until we can medicate it away again for a few hours.  That voice is always there.  Does Brett Kavanaugh have that voice?  Who knows.  Denial works until it doesn’t. What was interesting was seeing and identifying that behavior on the stage it was on.

I do know is that with almost 3 alcohol free years, I never talk about alcohol.  Rarely think about it.  There’s a behavioral aspect that just changes when we stop and have some sober time under our belts.  We’re not always thinking about it. We’re not looking for normalization or validation of our drinking. I get a picture in my mind of someone in a situation that’s unfamiliar to them. They go overboard in several directions because they don’t know how to act.  That’s how a drinking is when they’re trying to act like they don’t have a problem. It gets to the point that it becomes such a huge, ingrained part of our lives that it seeps out into every aspect of it.  It’s a noose around our neck and our psyche. It’s unbelievably freeing to be rid of it. And oh so easy to recognize when we see it.  Like I did the other day. One of the things that alcohol does is unite people who have absolutely nothing in common. It can make us complicit with people and situations that would otherwise be abhorrent to us.  It’s a total mind fuck!

With Love

#IBelieveHer

 

 

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Self Serve

When I was thinking about what to write about today,  I had this kind of split second flash that “I used to be a drinker”.  And almost couldn’t quite believe it.  I mean there are so many people that have so much more sober time than me.  But even so, in some ways, there’s a big disconnect between “then” and “now”.  Time wise, not so much- 2 3/4 years- or 32 months. 32 Months!! Wow! When I think of it like that, it doesn’t seem like that much.  But oh! It’s a lifetime.  I could list all of the positive things that have happened with this 32 month change of life.  But that would feel redundant. I mean, I’ve written about them as have so many people- much more eloquently than I.  However, having said that, I  have noticed a few things.  The first being that I’m really glad not to be drinking during this time of political upheaval here in the U S of A.  I’d be ranting (more than I do if that’s possible) and probably having crying jags every few days.  But there’s something else, and while I’m not sure it has to do with my sobriety, it might.                                                            It’s hard for me to articulate, because it’s so subtle. At least to me.                                         So, if you’ve read much of my blog (and I apologize for not writing more often recently) you know that I followed a dream and lived in the Mexican Caribbean for a time.  And while I moved back, because it was the right thing to do at that point, I still had a deep love for that little island that I used to live on.  I still continued to visit it when I could and keep in touch with some of the remaining friends that I have there. So, this past July I decided to go visit.  Mainly because my SO needed to go to London for the sale of a house he owns.  He didn’t want me to go with him because he didn’t want me giving him directions on how to clean out said house, attic, etc. Moi???  Ha!  So, I decided that I needed a break from all the crazy here-all the news-all of the awareness that there are so many people that are really fucked up making laws as that effect me and millions.  So, I decided that I was going to Mexico.  A budget trip. Well guess who wanted to come? My SO!  I was stunned as he doesn’t really like it there.  I was clear that I was only contributing so much and anything else he was going to have to pay for.  We weren’t doing anything fancy that might appeal to his London lifestyle esthetic.  He agreed.  So off we went to Mexico.  For 10 days.  We did decide to spend the last night in Cancun where we did all the fancy shmancy stuff he likes. I like it too-just wasn’t what I was thinking of in the beginning.  And, here’s the thing, by that last night I was ready to leave that little island.   That place that had been a part of me for so long.  The place that I thought was “the home of my soul”.  The place that gave me solace in bad times.  That place that I was in love with longer than any other relationship I’ve ever been in.  It didn’t do it for me anymore.  The love affair was over.  Yes, it had changed some in the 2 years since I’d been there-and not in a good way.  Not for me anyway.  Without listing all of the changes, let it suffice to say that for me, the energy no longer gave me the same feelings that it has for the past 30 or so years.  I was hyper aware of an almost constant party vibe.  Much of the cultural draw for me has been lost.  Have you ever seen that movie, “The Beach”? About a hedonistic place in Thailand?  That’s what it felt like to me.  I fell out of love.  (Funnily, my SO liked it more this trip than any other!  But he got what I was saying.)  And while there have been numerous things that have changed-as well as a huge growth in their tourism because of the likes of TripAdvisor, it was an undercurrent of something that just didn’t feel right for me.                                                                                                                                                  Would I have felt this if I’d continued to drink these past 32 months?  I don’t really know. Maybe-at least a little. But as much as that little island has changed, I think the main thing is I’ve changed!  And it’s been so ongoingly gradual, I haven’t really noticed.  I guess it was kind of like when you’re going to see the person you dated for years in college or an ex fiancée and then realize that there was absolutely no reason to get nervous-they’re not who you’d want to be with.  I feel lucky to have lived on that island when I did and to know it before it turned into whatever it is now. Lucky to have followed a dream of mine.  And grateful for all that it gave me.  But now, it no longer serves me.                                                                                                                                                            It no longer serves me.                                                                                                               Now there’s some words.  Kind of like-or exactly like- drinking my nights away. So here’s the thing to think about-and as I write this it’s not so much for you but a reminder to myself.  The goal is to have the consciousness to ask ourselves if something is going to serve us.  Is it something that will enhance our lives or something that will impair our lives?  Are we doing things to help our healing process along and enable us to live at our fullest potential?  Are we allowing ourselves to truly feel all of our emotions, all of our pain and discomfort as well as our joy?  Are we experiencing our best self?  Are we open to overcoming our fear of being who we really are?  Not who we were told to be by our parents, or family members or other facets of society-but who we are at our core-where that Truth is always patiently waiting for us to embrace it, to own it.                                                                      So, don’t be afraid to acknowledge when something no longer serves you. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation that’s not enhancing your life.                                                     Will I ever go back to that little island? I don’t know-maybe. Not anytime soon. It served me so well, for so long. And now, that love affair is over.  One more breakup.

Namaste❤️