Monthly Archives: October 2013

Taking risks

Sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway.  That’s how I felt about stopping drinking.  My mind crowded with all the reasons not to stop rather than the positives to be gained.  I tried to negotiate with myself, buy myself more time, offer excuses as to why it was a bad idea.  My grip on the glass got tighter and my drinking more urgent knowing that the end of our time was approaching ……

Today I was reminded again of that feeling and it ‘gave me a thirst’.  I wrote a blog on Soberistas and the kind folk over there said some really nice things about it and encouraged me to stand up and be brave.  Again all the reasons why I shouldn’t went through my head.

But I took a deep breath and shared it with Belle.  She concurred and said ‘this is good’ and you should share it with a newspaper and see if they might be interested in publishing it.  And again all the negatives swirled up and the thirst reappeared.

But I didn’t drink and I sent it.  And now they’ve agreed to publish it and I can’t quite believe it.  Alcohol sucks your confidence and makes you feel not capable in so many ways.  You become your own worst enemy.  But it’s easy to fix if you just put down the glass.

If you had told me 40 days ago that stopping drinking would have led to me being published in a UK national newspaper I’d have laughed and said I’ll have what you’re drinking!  What might you achieve if you stop?

So what has The Matrix got to do with giving up drinking?

For me the film ‘The Matrix’ (which if you haven’t seen I really recommend you watch, the following two sequels – not so much) is a metaphor for the effect that giving up drinking has had on my perception of the world and reality.  In the film Neo chooses the ‘red pill’ which means seeing the somewhat painful truth of the now revealed reality.  Equally if you prefer the film Total Recall the red pill analogy is in this one too as “a symbol – of the desire to return to reality”.

Everyone’s reality is different but for me it meant dealing with life that felt more edgy.  No way of softening the sometimes harsh reality of emotions, hard days, stress, boredom, whatever ailed me a drink always seemed to solve.  Before I stopped I believed that I wouldn’t be able to cope with life without my reward at the end of the day or the end of the week.  How would I celebrate life’s little triumphs and big occasions like birthdays and  weddings?  The week-end just gone was my birthday.  And I celebrated it just fine – with cake, cups of tea and my family, just no fizz.  The world didn’t stop turning and I had a lovely day.

It’s easier than you think, and so I continue, day 39.

Warming up

First things first, day 38.  Almost 6 weeks.  Not the first time I’ve gone this amount of time without alcohol.  I used to smoke and in the many attempts to quit would always stop drinking as the two were so closely associated in my head.  So every time I stopped smoking for the first 3 months I would stop drinking.  So my personal bests begin once I get beyond 90 days.  That’s part of the reason for doing Belle’s 100 day challenge 🙂

Another part of the desire to start this process was because I believed I wasn’t creative.  This belief came from not being allowed to do Art as one of my school exam options.  I was told I wasn’t good enough.  Ergo – I am not creative.  It was only many years later that I said this to a manager of mine who then complimented me on my creative problem solving skills.  Oh so maybe I was a bit creative after all.  So this blogging experience for me is about warming up and stretching my creative muscles to see just how true that statement still is.

The first step ….

Where to begin?  Firstly with thanks to www.Soberistas.com and Belle @ http://tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.wordpress.com.  This community and person gave me my first introduction to sober blogging and the encouragement to quit the booze (day 37 thanks for asking) and in doing so freed up some confidence and time to start to think about and do things differently.  In the days since stopping I have visited so many other blogs, learned so much and have been inspired by what they were doing and achieving  and so I thought –  I could do that, hell why not, let’s give it a try 🙂

The initial plan is to blog for 28 days to get me into the habit of thinking and doing and then to re-assess from there.  There are many good sober blogs already in the blogosphere so this will be part sober blog, part alternate view on the world.  I’ve been trying to extract myself from ‘the matrix’ of societal and cultural thinking on so many things for the last 5 years and this will be their repository for the next month or so.

Electrum is described in the Bible three times as ‘a type of glow seen in visions by the prophet Ezekiel’.  No I’m not religious, but believe in spirituality, and I’m not saying that I can see visions or am a prophet but we need the glow of visions.  For now the vision of life for me is one not dominated by alcohol.