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Disarming the Booze Beast – A Creative Approach to Staying Sober
To most people drinking represents freedom and fun. Feeling down? Have a drink! Want to relax? Have a drink! Troubled by the worries of adult life? Check out with a bit of wine time! You have to look hard to find the opposite message, the message that if you stay sober, there is more joy in life than there is if you keep drinking. It can be difficult not to get pulled under the weight of the decision to live alcohol-free when the world around you is drinking without concern. Disarming the seductive power of the Booze Beast is more easily done when you have a team at your back. That’s why community support to stop drinking is so important for many people.
When I decided that I needed help to stop drinking and stay sober I worried that my only option for support would be Alcoholics Anonymous and that option to me felt dark. The idea of following prescribed steps that were needed and expected of everyone who hoped to stay sober felt confining. Looking from the outside in, the world of AA seemed to be everything that I, by my rebellious nature, resisted. Condescending. Programed. Pedantic. I push back against anyone telling me that I am like everyone else who they determine fits in the box with the label alcoholic. I push back against anybody thinking they know more about me than I know about myself! But I was desperate to stop drinking and was stuck. So I turned on my computer and started searching online for support to stop drinking.
Luckily I stumbled over an alternative to AA that has worked beautifully for me. I found an online community where I was able to share my story and find support and commonality. That was over 6 years ago and for me, hanging out online with a sober support group, was the key to my stopping drinking with a lot more joy and color than I imagined possible. Talking things through without following any specific program aside from staying accountable, respectful, and authentic, has been the key to my not only staying sober but thriving in the process. Staying sober can require daily attention at times, but doing the work of staying sober should be liberally peppered with creativity and joy because let’s be honest – the hopeless, weighty, confining darkness that most of us feel at the thought of stopping drinking, end when you throw out the last bottle.
That is when the possibilities begin.
Come hang out with us a bit if you are drinking too much too often and add your voice to the mix!
Update your operating system, delete booze and reboot your life. I know a great little antivirus program you can download, it’s called Boom.
A Creative Take on Denial and Accountability
Denial & Accountability.
I was thinking about these two polar opposite things this morning on my 35th day AF (alcohol-free).
Denial: Why do you suppose you lived with me in charge for so long?
Accountability: Duh. Because I couldn’t face the truth.
D: Annnnnd that is..?
A: That I cannot drink responsibly and therefore I cannot ever drink again.
A: Ever. Forever. Never again. No more. I’ve had my fill and I want to lead a different life now.
D: You’ve had your fill? Was there a gauge?
A: It’s a phrase. The point is, I cannot drink alcohol ever again. I’m no good with it and it’s no good for me. Some people can and do. I’m not one of them. Never was.
D: Oh, come on. That’s a bit dramatic, don’t you think? I mean, you could early on.
A: Noooo. Remember the vomiting from over-drinking? The passing out, pissing in the closet, the sink, the bed, the blacking out and laughing it off in the morning when others said – ‘Dude, did you know you did that?!?’, winding up in bedrooms and situations I never intended? Remember driving fucking drunk? And how God put his thumb on my car more than once? Alcohol and me? I don’t think so.
D: But you’ve got 35 days under your belt. Why not celebrate?
A: I celebrate every morning when I wake up sober, take my 5 deep breaths, and thank God for another day at the chance to live sober and live well. Now if you don’t mind, Mr. Cognitive Dissonance, I’d like my brain back.
D: What about that Bob Ross poster? Doesn’t that apply to your past?
A: No. He meant that about painting mistakes. Not about drinking mistakes. There are no “Happy Little Accidents” when it comes to alcohol.
D: Well, I’m always here if you need me.
A: Actually, you’re not. And I don’t need you, Denial. So goodbye.
I’m thinking, drinking every day is like hitting the snooze button on life. Get up and live before the day is lost. The clock is ticking.
A Creative Take on the Question :
How do you answer when you’re asked Why you Don’t Drink ?
Today, I walked into the lunch room at work and a few people were eating sushi. They kindly offered me some but I declined since I do not eat any animal products including fish. Right away, one of the guys said he could never give up meat. This is Texas and you can be chastised quickly for being a non meat eater. Someone said: “You are a vegetarian then?”. I said that I did not like that label since it has a certain connotation not fitting with me. I told them the truth with a twist. I told them I did it for a medical reason that my doctor told me that I was going to have to take some pills if I did not change my lifestyle. I had read that a plant based diet was ideal for my condition. It is a partial truth since I have normally high cholesterol and that dropped it down.
I continued by saying (The twist) that one starts with one pill and then ends up with a tray of 0f 20 per day. We started joking around about various ways people took and kept their pills. I was done! There would be no more questions and it was satisfying to their belief. I did also tell them that it was their choice what they ate. I inform without preaching.
It made me think of a standup comic. If you are a really good one, you will feel the crowd with the start of your material and know which direction to take if you don’t want to be machine gunned off the stage. The same goes for teaching. I used to teach physics and I always made sure the examples were related to what the students might be interested in at the time ( I passed a questionnaire at the beginning of the semester).
This can also apply when you are asked why you don’t drink. Gauge your crowd and you will know how it will be. You can be true to yourself and satisfy the group you are discussing your sober life with at the time. If you know the people you are with are young and a little wild, tell them it kept your happy place from doing its thing. If you are with a more proper group, you can use any health reason and still be within the truth. We all know there are health benefits. Say that your liver was so fatty, it looked like whale blubber. You can go from the very serious to the utmost ridiculous depending on the crowd. There is also always a way to fit the truth in it all!
more reading from our community members :
How Do You Tell People You Are Not Drinking?
Get a Grip ?
A Recent Exchange With An Old Drinking Friend
Him: I heard you quit drinking again.
Him: Why? You don’t seem that bad.
Me: I am, believe me.
Him: Well, good luck. I gave it up for a while myself.
Me: But now you’re back at it?
Him: Yep. I have a much better grip on it this time.
Me (thinking to myself): “Why would you do anything in life that requires ‘a grip’ other than handling power tools, throwing a ball, swinging a bat, racket or club, holding a steering wheel, handlebars, a baby, or rock climbing?”
Drinking shouldn’t require a grip. Should it?
I think it’s more like dancing – either you can or you cannot.
More reading :
A Test of Your Alcohol Awareness – What is Normal Drinking?
How do You Know You Have a Problem With Alcohol? Is It Time to Stop Drinking ?
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