I am a start over girl. A table clearing, burn it all, leave in the night, kind of girl. It is a dysfunctional by-product of anxiety, perfectionism, curiosity and restlessness, but as of late I have been feeling like there has to be a better way. Sometimes it’s mild, like re-writing my To-Do list until I like my handwriting, or changing the color of my hair. Other times it’s more drastic, like in a fit of fashion frustration, putting everything in a bag as it comes out of the dryer and driving it straight to Goodwill. Once, I even got in my car and left for work, only to drive straight past it and never look back. Now somethings are meant to be wiped clean, as that job was at a Bob Evans, but the point is more that it was a decision made from compulsion rather than a conscious and intentional change. An option that, as I mature, only seems to carry greater loss. So this feeling I’ve been having, this desire for an uprooting” of sorts has me in a unique situation. Unique because, somehow after years of compulsive starting over, taking few things seriously and doing my damnedest to not get attached, I have still managed to find myself with a collection of pretty great circumstances. Great enough that I am not willing to just walk away from any of them. Great enough that I am pretty well attached and yet, my insatiable wanderlust and rumbling hunger for brand new surroundings, anonymity, adventure and variety is far from curbed.
But with decisions about careers, relationships, family, dreams, money and friends looming about, I can totally see how this is where so many people get stuck. Either surrendering to the idea of settling down, making commitments, signing contracts and growing old or deciding to never care about anything. It’s easy to feel like it would be selfish, or irresponsible to walk away from any of it or risk instability just for some curious desire to know more but for me it’s equally as heavy to consider this as being the best there is, no matter how good it is. But my default to take the easy way, to sneak out and bail, doesn’t feel right to me any more either. Goddamn adult hood.
So what I am left with is accepting that there is not going to be a clear path when it comes to changing course or picking a new direction.and I am encouraged when I remember that no decision is more right than the one made in love and no love is more important than that which we feel for ourselves. That those of us who live with courage in our hearts will be bound together always, and those who do not…..well, that’s their problem. The “rules” of growing up are all fucked up anyway and as far as I can tell doing things traditionally isn’t going to bring me anywhere close to what I want. I envy none who have followed the marked trail and am inspired by those who forge their own way. I will gladly be a single feather loose in the wind and live committed to being free, finding comfort in the truth that there is always more to be and that those who are able to understand us, do so because they understand themselves.
So Whole Foods Market has finally graced this town with it’s presence. Whoo-fucking-rah. The parking lot has been like a beehive since it’s opened and to call it ‘pretty busy’ would be an under statement. None the less I am very glad it’s here. It’s been something I know many people have been waiting for for a long time as there really has been no place in town that you could get all of your groceries if shopping organic, gluten free, or vegan is something you’ve committed to. At least it’s always been a multi-stop & shop event for me. and often included trips to the city to load up on the varieties of things just not available in these here parts. So no doubt there has been a buzz around town and it includes mixed reviews, but what it’s reminded me is that not everyone was lucky as I to be raised in a health conscious home and I often take for granted the things I know about shopping, cooking and eating healthy. So I thought I would put a 6 Tips together that touch on the most common things I’ve been hearing from people. But before I do, I want to mention/remind that Whole Foods is a great resource and I hope it helps to expand the number of people who make the shift to more conscious eating since it is practically a silver spoon for health food shopping, but our local stores are still here and need our support. I believe that there are plenty of people in this town and surrounding areas to support all of our markets and can’t help but feel like if more of the people who are packing the isles at the shiny new Whole Foods could have been doing more of their shopping at the local joints all along, but with the remarkable success of the new Golden Corral Buffet it seems there is some more work to be done on finding value in healthy over heaping. Either way I just urge us all to remember the little guys that have been here for us all along. So these tips apply to shopping at any health food store and making healthier choices in general. And as always take what you need and leave the rest for someone else.
*photo of Emma Roberts*
The issue of cost is the number one thing I hear when people are talking about shopping at health food stores, especially Whole Foods and especially if they are comparing the receipt to the last one they got from Aldi. Yeah yeah, so it’s called Whole Paycheck and there is no doubt that I’ve bagged some serious loot into paper bags in those checkout lines, but for me the value is in how I feel over all. So for starters you’ve got to determine a personal value to what you choose to put in your body. Next, shop the sales. Sales are a real thing and they do make a difference. Not to mention by using what’s on sale to determine your meals for the week it can keep things different and interesting. Now I know this next one might seem sarcastic but I mean it…..don’t buy the $10 dollar Salted Dark Chocolate Carmel Truffles. Or do buy them, but don’t bitch about your bill. I am using these as an example for how shopping novelty foods like this gives shopping healthy a bad name. So if keeping a budget is an issue, than stick to the necessities. Lastly, follow the serving sizes. Actually I think this point is relevant enough to be it’s own tip……
This seems obvious to read and yet so few of us really do it and nobody likes it when I bring it up, but it is so relevant to not only saving money, but more importantly BEING healthy. The way that portion sizes have mutated over the years is really grotesque and yet it is such a hard habit to break. I could probably do a 6 Tips on this alone. But for right now I offer this. Start with just 1 day and not only read, but also EAT the serving size for everything you eat. Get out the measuring cups and do it for all the ingredients you are using. Because although you may read the nutrition facts, those numbers are irrelevant if you are consuming 2, 3 or even 4 times the amount of food they are talking about. If you are out to eat order a to-go box when you order your meal and put half of your food in it before you even start eating. This way you won’t leave stuffed AND you have another meal which just cut the cost in half or use smaller plates and bowls when eating at home.The first day is really just to bring awareness to the places where we are really going over board, like when I actually measured what a serving size of cereal looked like…….ey ey ey. (let’s just say I had to retire my mixing bowl) Or when I noticed that my favorite $9 drink was actually intended as 2 servings making it more bang for the buck. So once you’ve made it thru day one you probably feel hungry and that’s okay, you will survive I assure you. Have a glass of water…or eight. Make a cup of tea. These are great ways to combat hunger. because the goal is getting thru at least 3 days, but ideally a week of of this to really see how much MORE we’ve been consuming than we even realized. In this time you will be challenged no doubt, but ultimately you will be rewarded. The rewards come different for everyone but can, in a pretty short amount of time, include some serious weight loss, more energy, better digestion, healthier skin and more money in your pocket. All things I think most of us would welcome, but they don’t stop there. More and more information is circulating about the bigger picture and long term benefits of eating less. Like lowering the chances of disease, pain and premature aging. So give it a try and let me know what you discover.
Food isn’t different colors just for show. Color represents nutrients and every color has a variety of benefits. Keeping in mind that you want lots of color on your plate and it starts with what you put in your cart. Here is a really great article on Eating the Rainbow from Wholeliving.com
Shopping from the outside in was a tip I learned in the nutrition portion of the Natural Health Practitioner program I did a few years ago and I think it’s the best way for someone who wants to eat healthier to get started. It means, do the majority of your shopping from the perimeter of the store as this is where all the fresh food is and really only enter the maze of the food isles if absolutely necessary. It’s in the process of packaging and preserving that food really gets messed up and typically the shorter the shelf life, the more straight forward and nutrient rich it is.Typically. Which leads us right into tip four.
The assumption that if you buy it from a health food store, or it says ‘All Natural’ on the package than it’s good for you is, to put it plainly, wrong. It is unfortunate both that, this is not the case and reversely, that we’ve become so lazy or gullible (maybe one comes with the other) to believe such a thing exists. But I do understand that if you just don’t know, then you do the best with what you do know. I’ve been there. Both naive and lazy, so I get it. But common sense would tell you that a cookie, is a cookie is a cookie. Buying it from a health food store might mean you are getting higher quality ingredients, or that it fits within an otherwise restricted diet due to allergy, but unless you are really paying attention to the contents of these items than you’re not necessarily ‘eating healthier’. In fact, outside of the time I’ve spent being drunk and using drugs, the time that I spent as a vegan in my early 20′s maybe the most unhealthy I have been. I was uneducated and lazy and ended up just eating a bunch of shit because it was ‘vegan’. Oh the irony. So be sure to educate yourself and use your integrity when making the switch to a more natural diet. It’s sad but true, we just can’t trust everything. So seek out information from multiple sources and see what matches up and always run it past your common sense. You know more than you think you do.
This is one that’s hung me up multiple times and often takes trial and error to really figure out. But as far as I am concerned, the most valuable resource for knowing what is good for us is our own body. One of the other very important pieces of information I’ve gained through my education, is the holistically based idea that symptoms are the bodies request for a change. And much like the way we learn to understand our pets by the way they move around or to be able translate whatever the hell it is a crying baby wants, we need to be able to do this with our own bodies. The power of knowledge that is gained by understanding what it is that causes negative reactions and positive responses within us is immeasurable. The tricky part is finding the baseline for what feeling good even is. You know it in hindsight, after giving up soda or quitting smoking. But what about the things that are intended to be good for you? Carrot juice gives me a headache, too much sugar. But how many times did I drink it because it was ‘good for me’? My mom is allergic to mangoes. Near death experience allergic, so it didn’t take repetition for her to name them not good for her. But still I am amazed at the number of people who choke down gross shit, get a stomach ache, feel bad and then do it again because it is supposed to be good for you. Pushing your comfort zones and torture are totally different things not to mention using something that your body doesn’t respond well to, good or bad for you, is abuse. So as you introduce new habits and foods into your life pay attention to what it is actually doing, not just what it’s supposed to do.
This last one is another one I could write a solo piece about as this one applies to so much more that just food but for the sake of this that’s what I will focus on. The tip is to rewrite what we consider a reward. Our personal reward systems are, in my opinion, one of the biggest mind fucks that exist. The things we tell ourselves we ‘deserve’ and the steel cable of attachment we create with these things is really remarkable. But to do the work to rewrite the mental code for what we consider a treat or reward, so that it reflects and honors whatever it is we just worked so hard to do results in such a better feeling of accomplishment. There have been so many deals I’ve made with myself over the years it’s absurd, but some that I know are common for other people too are things like ” I worked out so hard this week, I EARNED this piece of cake” or “I had such a stressful day at work, I DESERVE to get drunk tonight.” And in the moment it might feel like a kind of victory, but if we are really honest with ourselves I think it pretty likely that after it’s all said and done we feel far less rewarded. So where does one even start? What we buy while shopping can play a huge part in starting to make these changes. Now I can only speak for me, but if it is in my apartment I will eat it and so if I don’t want to eat it, than I just don’t buy it. Even if I had ‘special plans’ for something, if I come home tired and hungry and seeking comfort I will eat what ever is easiest and seems most satisfying in that moment. So it is while you are shopping that you must think about not just what something tastes like, but what you will feel like AFTER you eat it. It’s like taking care of your future self. This is why I stock up on fruit and veggie juices, healthy food bars, nuts and fresh fruit. Things that are easy to grab not feel bad about later. Changing compulsive habits takes time and to expect yourself to change your habits without changing your environment is torture and self sabotage. Be good to you.
I took the day off today. All the way off. I slept in, drank tea, caught up on writing, wandered the grocery store, took a nap and have just gotten out of a long shower and have crawled into bed. A day like today has been long over due and I feel like I need to commit more of them to myself. I’ve known it to be true, but really decided it while I was in the shower tonight. I was standing in the steady stream of hot water, with no hurry to get out and found myself massaging my stiff, sore shoulders. The heat felt so good and the pressure of my hands working the tension out of my neck was so relieving. Eventually I worked down my arms and used one hand to massage the other. I touched my lower back and hips until I felt the ache I have been carrying there lessen. I wrapped both hands around my leg, holding firmly and pulled back from my knee and up my thigh. I did this over and over again until I could feel my circulation start to move. I brought my feet up, one at a time, to rest on the edge of the tub. I again held myself with both hands and worked through the places of tightness in my calves and ankles. I picked up my foot and pushed my thumbs into my arches and pushed all the way down and off the tips of my toes. I did these things until the water started to cool off. When I got out I gently dried myself off and repeated this over again, this time using my body lotion to allow my hands to glide easily over my skin. I considered how many bodies I’ve touched thru my work as a Massage Therapist and how, of those who I’ve seen the most in the last 7 years I would recognize them just thru touch and I compared this knowing with the number of times I’ve put lotion on my own body without paying much attention at all. Such a shame.
Touch is powerful and universally understood. It is also something I use everyday to convey messages of care and appreciation to others. To sooth and reassure. To relax and relieve discomfort. But it is so seldom that I give myself even a portion of this attention let alone with the intention to communicate tenderness or affection. It’s all just reflex, routine or utility and this just will not do. What do you do to show yourself you care, or calm yourself down when you’re upset? Brush your hair 100 times or give yourself a hug? What ever it is be sure and do it with purpose and really touch yourself.
So that’s it for tonight. I am all tucked in to bed, feeling relaxed after such a stress free day, refreshed after my shower and cared for after my massage. Now all that’s left is to do is let my candles burn and fuck myself to sleep. Good night.
These are some of my favorite and most rewarding sensations and I crave them all on a daily basis. And yet, despite my eagerness to feel them, there are times that I struggle to even know where to find them.
Things go bland. Monotony settles in and before I know it I am getting ‘excited’ over the latest episode of some mini series. Shit. Now I do accept that my expectations for everyday to feel like a wild love affair, filled with adventure and passion is a tall order, but I am also not striving for some kind of ‘nympho hippie on ecstasy’ type of awakening (although that sounds like a great Halloween costume) What I am doing is refusing to believe that its inevitable that life gets boring. That adulthood means less of a spark and I am fighting this subliminal idea that being sober means my wild days are behind me. The reckless maybe…..but not the wild. I am serious about there being a way to defend against the mundane by making room for the stimulating.
Now it has really only been in the last couple of years that I have begun to give any real thought to what it actually takes to see these cravings satisfied and in the last few months that I starting taking real action to do so. But it has been in the last 10 days that I have gained the most clarity on the subject. I can totally agree that yes, it is necessary for me to have these feelings alive within me no matter where I am, but now I can see that I’ve been going about it all wrong.
For starters, let me back up just a bit and say that I don’t think anyone would be surprised if I described myself as a sensual person. I know this to be a fundamental part of who I am and it’s directly connected to my creativity and desire to experience life.That being said, I don’t think it can be argued that once I catch a buzz this inherent sensuality turns straight sexual real easy and as it turns out this can cause some problems. Somewhere along the line I got my wires crossed about being sensual and sexual and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a sexual person,the fact still remains that sensual and sexual are complimentary but not the same. Sensuality is about using our senses in order to become connected to our environment. To communicate through touch, explore through taste, be drawn in by a smell or to learn more from hearing. It’s about being stimulated on many levels and THIS is what I was really after.
But like I said, at some point I got confused about the two and quickly named getting buzzed as my one way ticket to sexy town. Which is another thing I had confused….. That being buzzed is sexy. Its not. As it turns out and despite how it felt at the time, the MORE buzzed I would get the LESS sexy I would actually become. I mean seriously, what kind of cruel fucking joke is that? Never the less it makes total sense to me now, that having spent the last years on a crusade to get in touch with my deepest desires I inadvertently regressed right back to my adolescent mentality that partying was the best way for me to unleash my ‘true nature’
So at this point there is no reason to count how often I believed myself to be some kind of high priestess in an ancient order of sex kittens, slinking around all cunning and hot. Thinking I had tapped into to deeper existence and was making real connections with people, being touchy and leaning in close. Because in hindsight, I know it more accurate to describe myself as a slob kabob who would end up with a drunk face, lazy eye and saying annoying shit. To which I say Goddammit that’s embarrassing. But what’s even more, is the irony that fact that the more buzzed you get, the less your senses actually work. So there you go, the whole point of the mission lost, right along with my annunciation and fine motor skills.
Nevertheless, I’ve spent years not willing to let go of something that was hurting me, embarrassing me and never really delivering on getting me any closer to what I wanted because I was convinced that it was the direct link to some ‘truer’ part of myself. Well at least until the next day when I felt like I wanted to be anyone but me. But it’s been the promise of that feeling, even if temporary, that has been enough to keep me stuck doing the same shit and coming back for more.
So now, I’ve made the decision to be sober for good (it’s been two weeks now and the details are still sinking in) and am prepared for it to be hard but more importantly, I know that the only way this will stand a chance to last is to uncross those wires so that I can finally have access to that genuinely uninhibited, fearless and sensual feeling of really being alive. All senses go and all on my own. I want an instant access pass. So just the same way I untangle a mess of real wires, I track my favorite sensations back to their root and arrive at the most basic and elemental connection to feeling alive. Pleasure.
I prefer mine organic and wild. Raw and unrehearsed.The kind you feel to your core. The kind that leaves no room for thinking. Just feeling. Basically what this comes down to is being present and awake to whats happening right where you are and being able to suck the tasty marrow right out of the bone of every moment, licking your fingers, saying Ah and reaching for the next one. (I just made this analogy up, but it makes for a great visual eh?)
So how does one learn how to suck moment marrow? You practice. Just like anything else you want to be better at.
The details of pleasure are different for everyone and to really discover what yours are you have to take the time to find out what really trips your senses. To let yourself be driven by curiosity & to listen to your desires. To trust your instinct and creativity in order to discover new things and then to surrender to what feels the best. Sex is an obvious place to start and its true, a really great orgasm, either with yourself or with company is a very effective way to get in touch with what being stimulated, pleased and satisfied feels like. But I am learning that this is where those wires can get crossed. Because being sexual is not at all the only way to feel pleasure. In fact it goes far beyond that.
I also suggest, whatever it is you find that you really enjoy, that you explore it over and over. When pleasure is the measure, repetition only deepens the reward. Let me say that again.
When pleasure is the measure, repetition only deepens the reward.
For as your connection with genuine pleasure strengthens, so does your instinct for what’s good for you. You start to raise the bar for what else you consider to be truly enjoyable and gratifying. Your choices about other things in your life begin to change and you will find yourself drawn more to what really pleases you, because now you know what does. And before too long you’re looking to your pleasure meter to help make decisions about everyday things and actively pursuing your desires to get them in place for the future. Your days start to feel fuller, richer and more like your own. And from where I’m sitting, it’s looking like this is when life really starts to get good.
We are most effective in our lives when we live them moment by moment…..
I really hadn’t realized how far off course my mind had gotten. Priorities all switched around, tricks, lies and this bartering system I have been working on myself is really something. I’ve also made a pretty good mess of some more tangible things that are going to require some mending, so really a minute is all I can handle before I start to stress out.
So living in the moment eh? Taking each moment as it comes, savoring the small things, working through the tough stuff. Giving no Fucks, being untethered from the past and worry-free about the future. Sounds pretty damn good to me, but does anyone actually LIVE like that? I mean is it humanly possible to remain in such a ‘present’ state as not to get caught up in the traps we set for ourselves and each other? Hell no, I call that bluff. I mean there are definitely those who seem to be with it more often than others, and some who can stay longer than most but it’s inevitable that at some point, everyone falls outside of the moment. So it seems it’s really less about staying and more about returning. Over and Over.
Now I’ll be damned if that doesn’t seem like a lot of work, to always be paying so much attention. But I figure it’s like most anything else, the more disciplined and consistent you are with your practice the better you become at it and the less like work it seems. As of late, one moment at a time is the only way I am currently making it thru my days, and it’s working great.
*Not to mention, that whatever staying power made it possible for me to make it through ALL of Bad Lieutenant with Nicholas Cage should be more then enough to keep me alive and awake during 60 seconds of my own life a few times over*
So I’ve put together a few tips to share that I find most helpful for bringing myself back to the moment I am in and as always just take what you need and leave the rest for someone else.
Seriously do it right now. Breathe all the way in, hold it for a second and let it all the way back out. It always feels good and is one of the easiest things we can do to get back in the moment, but making sure we actually do it is another story. Basically our bodies and brains require oxygen to survive therefore making the basic act of breathing practically involuntary, but the breaths that our bodies take without conscious effort are enough to do only that, survive. Not thrive. Truly full and deep breaths will bring your posture upright, bring relief to areas of tightness in your body, calm stress, clear your mind and give you energy. I could go on but ultimately the point is that the simple act of intentional breath, full and slow until your belly and lungs are full, bringing your body up right and even letting your eyes close is often all it takes to bring you right back to solid ground. If you are feeling anxious, sad or angry a deep breath can be the difference between feeling strong enough to move past it or responding badly…..but even when you feel good, taking a deep breath is a great way to relish in and savor the feeling.
This is some elementary school shit but ironically seems even more relevant as an adult. The lesson is of bringing yourself back to the moment and what’s most important in it. YOU. How much time is spent wondering what someone else is doing, or worse, feeling jealous or competitive of what they are doing rather than just doing things yourself? How much energy gets exerted either judging other people’s choices, or trying to fix their problems in order to justify or avoid your own? Well cut it out. Consuming yourself with other people’s bizznass is one of the quickest ways to get caught up where you don’t belong. At the end of the day the only person you have any real influence over is yourself. If you catch yourself talking shit, obsessing, feeling out of control or over extending on someone else’s behalf take it as a gentle reminder to turn your attention inward. Even one moment spent attending to your self is more productive and effective than hours spent focusing on someone else.
This is the other side of the ‘focus on yourself’ coin, which protects us from wasting energy on others. But giving no fucks protects us from worrying about if anyone cares what we’ve chosen to do with said energy. I am a big fan of giving no fucks and there is plenty of information to support why. There’s a quote to the effect of ‘no matter what you do, someone won’t like you for it’ so why end up just driving yourself mad trying? We’ve all had experiences with how trying to impress or please others really only gets us stuck either reliving things that are already done, or anticipating the future. But even with how much better it can make us feel it is still difficult to do since the risks of carrying the attitude of giving no fucks include loosing some ‘friends’ when they no longer receive your attention, feeling lonely and the worst of them all……. just becoming a cynical asshole (which seems to be a growing trend among people who use the term). Ultimately the goal is to be able to surround yourself with people who support your personal endeavors but ALSO give no fucks because they are focused on working on their OWN lives, to feel less need for validation from outside sources because you’re providing it for yourself and to be realistic about human nature but not hardening to the point of loosing hope that there are still great things happening in the world. It should feel more light hearted and care free than bitter and jaded.
This tip expands on the coat tales of the previous two, because whenever I think of how much time I spend just staring at a computer screen, be it on my laptop or phone I get downright queasy. It’s gross how addicted I am to checking updates, just scrolling through random shit and being totally enthralled by the manufactured windows into other people’s lives. I just keep waiting for someone to DO something. There is a thin line between how helpful and hurtful technology is. For as easy as it’s made it to connect with one another, seek out information and help us to accomplish amazing things it sure does seem to be misused to avoid our realities and waste time. Have you ever thought about how many minutes you spend online instead of outside? How different would your days look if you had only limited access to a phone, the internet, or even none at all. Spending quality time with ourselves, friends and family and being inspired by and experiencing what is real and tangible in front of us is what makes our lives full and gratifying. So try it out. Start with just going for a walk without your phone, or not getting on the computer for an entire night. Eventually you might even enjoy regular blocks of time when you are just totally signed off and completely tuned in.
Stuff, stuff, stuff. I am a collector of things, but clutter distracts the shit out of me. I have really had to get organized so all the treasures I like to keep around remain inspiring and not suffocating. I can also be very forgetful, easily distracted and a procrastinator making important “Must Do” things easy to get lost in the mix & making it that much easier to fall behind. Stress Central. When getting started, it helps to not think about it as minimizing, or having to ‘get rid of’ anything. Simplifying is a natural by-product of just putting things in their places. Sort of a survival of the best and most important theory, if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t stay. What can start with fixing up the pile of random shit on your desk could turn into a whole new way of managing the things in your life. Using a hanger for your coat instead of the back of the chair, setting reminders in your calendar for places you have you be, or even just things you want to do so you don’t have to remember. What ever getting organized looks like for you, let it help you to not feel like you have to juggle a million things. Put a system in place that you can trust so you can clear your mind of it.
This is a big one, rituals are sacred things, but they don’t have to look like a seance, or take up hardly any time. By definition, a ritual is an act or set of actions performed mainly for a symbolic purpose. So for the sake of this list and the purpose of bringing yourself back to the present, the act could be just about anything since what it reminds you is what counts. Initially I got all caught up in the ceremonial idea of this, adding things to my days that, although were well intentioned, were too complicated so I often ended up overwhelmed, or not following thru and defeating the whole point. Then one day I was inspired to just make things I do anyway, everyday, mean more. Stopping at stop lights became my reminder to breathe deeply. Stepping up my skin care regime when washing my face in the morning and before bed became a time to feel loved by myself for taking such good care. Even just these subtle changes have made such a difference. Essentially setting rituals thru out your day gives you check points, that remind you to check in. Whether it’s giving symbolic reason to which of the side of the bed you get out of, letting the cup of coffee or tea you drink every morning anyway, represent spending time with yourself before anyone else, or your making your commute to work a time of quiet and solitude, it will make a difference. It’s a very rich and empowering feeling to do things with intention and in your own honor. Treat yourself……it will only take a minute. xo
After one, two three too many drinks, last calls, close calls, I can’t recall’s. After more than enough mornings/afternoons with head in hands, face in the toilet and dignity down the drain, the time has come to throw in the towel. Actually I think I threw it up, but if it can be looked at in a positive light, I sure did make a solid effort at being a ‘good drinker’ but the results are in and all I got was a shitty hangover and just about lost it all.
The reality for me is really to understand myself as an addict, that the habits and tenancies of an addict reside in the brain and in the thoughts (something I will certainly expand on in the future) and the last 6 months have simply been a super charged marathon of what all the previous years of my life would support. An addict is different than a drunk or a junkie because rather than an acute affliction to something or a chemical dependency on a substance, the compulsive, obsessive mentality of bonafide addiction grips your every thought and transfers into everything that you do. So for me it’s not just about drinking, or doing drugs but it starts there because catching a buzz takes me out of my body, dilutes my intuition and gives the controls to my brain. But my brain cannot be trusted. Not to mention booze and drugs are the most dangerous and the least necessary for life compared to food, money and sex which are all really important parts of a healthy and happy lifestyle, but are also common ‘vices/addictions’ so ‘quitting’ them is really more about adjusting the brain and it’s influence into how you treat these things.
So that’s it. No more. I am sober for good. Today marks 6 days since I officially made this decision, rallied the troops, called for back up and got started with the rest of my life. I have arrived at a place of knowing that for me, living sober is not up for discussion and requires no explanation. It’s just what needed to happen. Of course I am also terrified and feel some serious grief, but as soon as I made the decision I felt deeply relieved. I also have great support.
The best advice I’ve gotten so far was from a friend who said “Step the fuck up, sobriety is hard but you’re capable of lots of hard things, you also make things really hard……..” and they are absolutely right on all accounts. I am capable. Keeping it simple is key and nothing is simpler than a moment at a time.
So cheers to the next chapter of life.
Why do we stay at jobs that drain us and not sustain us, pursue relationships that cause pain and breed dysfunction, down play our deepest passions and desires as silly daydreams? Why does it take being fed up with everything in order to ask, “what really matters?” Or a tragedy, to shine a light on true value. Why is loss the way we learn gratitude? Why must we wait until retirement to live our ‘golden years’? And why do we so often point our ambitions in the direction of escape, rather than discovery, living as victims of our external environments with spirits battered and bruised by our fears and insecurities? I mean REALLY. What is the deal? What ever it is, let’s get the fuck over it. Move beyond it, so we can move into what we really want.