I’d Rather Be Home with My Dog

It’s kinda weird being in a pub on a Saturday night watching people drink and having a hot pink non alcoholic drink.  That’s what happened this last weekend when I decided to go with my SO to watch his soccer team play a friendly.  The Spurs supporters group always meet up at the same pub to watch the games.  Now most of the time, when it’s football (soccer) season, because of the time difference the games are usually early on Saturday or Sunday mornings-they can be as early as 6:00 a.m.  There’s no way I’m going to get dressed and sit in that place at 6 a.m.  Besides, I’m a die hard Chelsea fan and that group meets up in another pub.  Anyway, because it’s off season and Spurs are traveling and playing in the US the timeline fits and they were playing Juventus-my fav Italian team, so I agreed to go.  WHAT a bore! First of all, the game itself was boring.-Well, not for the Spurs fans, because they won, but even so, it was a boring game.  We sat at the bar and I told the cute, barely dressed bar-maid that I wanted something limey and non- alcoholic.  So she concocted something and it was really good.  I actually noticed her making herself one and then saw about 4 or 5 more being ordered from around the bar-so no feelings about missing out whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, after watching several people just order shot after shot, and drink after drink, coupled with the boring game, I told my SO I’d rather be with Bentley-my Doxie- and that I’d come back and pick him up later.  Which I did-and Bentley got lots of compliments.

What’s interesting is that if I’d been drinking, I would have been knocking them back too- and the game might-maybe-have been better for me.  When I lived in Mexico and I’d go out at night-which was a a lot when I first moved there, I had a little rule that I complied with.  If I had the thought, “I’d rather be home with my dogs” 3 times, I’d leave and go home. 3 times! The first time should have been enough but, no, I’d keep on drinking just to see if it all got better-or whatever it was I was looking/hoping for.

Why is it that we/I will keep on doing something when we know it’s not working for us?  Not just drinking-but staying in a relationship, staying in a job that we don’t like, whatever-there are tons of things that can fit that bill.  I get that there are times when it’s necessary to do something that we don’t like-say attending your SO’s award luncheon-which I do every year.  BORING!!! But that’s like 2 hours so I can just about stand it.  And, I can chit chat when I need to.  I think some of it is about a disconnectedness from our spirit.. I really believe that whatever it is you want to call it, our highest Self wants all the best for us.. Our highest Self doesn’t want us to abuse food, or booze or drugs or other people. For me at least, my highest Self scared the shit out of me!  So I did my best to squash it-drown it out.  But then, around 2:30-3:00 a.m. She’d show up.  Wake me up.  Whisper in my deepest part that I shouldn’t be drinking like I did.  Screaming at me to quit.  Telling me how much damage I was doing to both my physical and my mental state.  And, I’d promise Her that I’d quit. That day-or after my vacation or at the beginning of the New Year.  Over and over and over again.  She and I would go round and round and round.  I was always letting Her down.  Lying to Her.  Well, it wasn’t really lying, because by 4:00 in the afternoon, I’d forget that I’d ever made Her a promise. By the time I’d remember-about 3/4 of a bottle down, I’d remember. And we’d start all over again-doing our dance.  She trying to get me to be my best, purest Self.  And me being scared shitless of it all and wanting to numb it out.

She won.  And you know one way that was again confirmed to me?  Because the other night, the first time I thought,”I’d rather be home with my dog,” I got up and left.

With love

Self Sabotage and Determination

There’s a lot of football/soccer on right now! The Euros and the Copa America!  They all are played during normal waking hours here in Texas-so if I wanted, I could veg out on like 4-5 games a day!  Trying not to do that though!  Of course I have to watch England!  I’m an England fan because of my SO. But I’m really a Spain fan!  Of course I like to keep up with France and the Italians are always entertaining.  In the Copa America, for the most part, I go for Argentina, but being in the US,   I can’t help but root for the US team-which have made through to the semis!

While watching the US play last night, I noticed several things that I can relate to drinking and getting sober.  For instance, getting cards-both yellow and red.  For those who don’t know- you can get 2 yellow cards in a game, if you get a second yellow, it becomes a red and the player has to leave the pitch and go down in the tunnel.  Can’t even sit on the bench and watch the rest of the game. They also have to miss the next 2 games.  If a foul is bad enough-say a bad tackle that could break an opponents leg or flying in with their studs up high or even cussing out the ref-the player can be given a straight red card with the same consequences.

Now, all of the players know the rules.  Some players are extremely skilled at committing fouls that don’t exactly look like fouls.  Sergio Ramos is a pro at hand balls.  Fellani uses his elbows as weapons.  Others dive, make bad tackles, etc.  Sometimes one of the officials see the foul and don’t call it-bad ref-and other times they hand out cards like it was confetti. However, I liken these players to drinkers that are really good at covering up the extent of their problem.  Sometimes they get caught, and they sit out a bit, but are back in the game doing the same thing until they get caught out again. Over and over and over.

So, last night there were several cards handed out including 2 reds. They were both stupid offenses by each player and they were deserved. One player from each team. Now their team is a man down and the player is disqualifed from the next couple of games.  In my opinion, they’ve let the team down. My first thought-as it is often when I see these stupid fouls-was self sabotage! The player sabotaged himself. And, it made me think about how when we drink and try to quit over and over and over, we are sabotaging ourselves.  Setting ourselves up to lose.  There are 22 players on the pitch. And, most of the time, not all of them get booked.  They play by the rules.  They don’t sabotage themselves or their team.

When we have a problem with additction and we keep backsliding, we are letting our team down.  Our team can be our families, our friends, OURSELVES.  Continuing to drink when we know it’s a problem only sets us up for more guilt, more health issues, more Day Ones.

For mainly this reason, I truly believe that it is really important to get to the deep psychological issues that are responsible for making us behave this way.  For keeping us in this horrible cycle of self flagellation. If a person drinks too much, too often and finds themselves having to apologize for things, going to jail (jail can be in many forms) losing and or hurting loved ones or themselves-this is all self sabotage. Why???  What is it in us that makes us hate ourselves so much as to continuously set ourselves up for more and more discomfort? More jail time?

The other thing about the game last night, was that the US won. They won by sheer determination.  Ecuador (in my opinion) was much more skillfull on the ball than the US.  They had much more finesse.  But, the US was determined. They won on true grit.  And that grit and determination got them a big win.  And to be honest, it’s possible that that same determination could carry them through to the finals-even though they may be playing Argentina-which if you know anything about soccer, the’ve got the skill sets and the finesse.

The other type of player I would like to mention is the one that takes a really hard knock, or splits their head open, or fractures a jaw or a wrist.  They don’t go off-they get treatment and go back into the game, determined to play. To play to win.  This, to me, is like the person, that in spite of many day ones, continues to keep on trying for sobriety. Who continues to give it another shot. Who keeps trying.  Who, somewhere within, is determined to tackle the addiction.

Sheer determination is what it takes to stop the insanity of alcohol abuse.  I can’t buy into the theory that a person with a drinking problem is powerless over alcohol.  While that theory may work for others, it does not work for me.  All that does is to make me feel weaker than ever.  Hate myself more.  My power lies in having the determination to stop.  To being determined even when life wants me to foul.  Determined to stop with the self sabotage.

Being determined means finding whatever tools are needed to win-therapy, blogging, support groups, detox, new friends, changing teams- whatever it takes. 
Being determined means to dig deep no matter how hard or painful it may be.

Because at the end, there’s a loving cup filled with Joy and Freedom and the Knowledge that you have loved yourself enough to live the fullest life possible…Sober.