So I was thinking about the fact that I run the Friday sober jukebox and why music (turned up ear bleed loud) continues to be so important to me as a way of getting out of my head. This also then tied in with some wisdom from Focus12 and another sober bloggers writing about impulsivity I read recently (thanks Rachel for sharing the links!).
I was driving along for work and had the stereo turned up really loud belting out a tune when I remembered some of the rules that Focus12 had for their clients during treatment.
There were a list of activities and substances they were not allowed to have or engage in while resident and working on their fledgling sobriety. These included:
- Speakers for playing loud music
- Henna or ink tattoos
- Red Bull or similar energy drinks
- Permission needed to go to the cinema
- Permission to go the gym more than a couple of times a week
- Too much non-food shopping was challenged
- They were encouraged not to spend too much time watching television
- No laptops, tablets, gaming systems or e-readers
- Restricted use of mobile phones
This is because these are all ways of changing the way we feel or allowing ourselves to escape in some way. The counselling team felt with music systems and mobile phones if you were distracting yourself too much or becoming too involved with the ‘outside world’ that it would be to the detriment of the programme of treatment. And I have to agree because the reason I love loud music is for that very reason – it assaults my ears and takes me somewhere else, either deep in memories or thoughts away from the here and now. It gets me out of my head!
As Rachel writes for Sober Nation, “How about tattoos? Getting ink can be impulsive – but I absolutely love it, and oh the tattoo high fills in all kinds of voids.” So not just me with my music then?
She goes on to say, “Anything done in excess has the potential to be an issue. The purpose of all this is to get you to think about the impulsive behavior and how it relates to alcoholism or addiction, and to let you know you’re not alone. It’s not weak to have cravings for some adventure you’re lacking in the present, in fact, it’s completely normal for those in recovery.”
Wanderlust? Adventure you say? Again ringing bells for me too!
She ends her piece with this really good question:
What’s filling that void, the itch you can’t scratch? Is it healthy?
I would argue that if you aren’t doing it to excess and it gives you joy and it isn’t booze – all power to you, go get out of your head! 😉