Today it’s over 11 months since I had a drop of alcohol. I now associate drinking with fear. It’s not fear about what’s going into me when I drink, it’s fear about what won’t come out. When I drink my truth does not come out. It stays inside and causes inconsistencies in me, in terms of what I think and how I act. A constant state of anxiety is what results. When I’m sober I can be free. I can be clear that everything I’m doing, I am doing with integrity and authenticity.
I don’t want to live in fear. I don’t want to be numb. I want to be fully involved in the life I’m creating every day for me and those around me. I want my thoughts to be curated by me so that my real truth comes out. Not the version of the truth that I wanted to numb. The real truth that is me with no anxiety, being who I am, and being grateful for that. I don’t want to hand the keys to my mind to alcohol. I want the master of me, to be me. No other.
The moment I stopped using alcohol as a vessel for my own fear I started looking inside and I started to heal. The scars had been hiding the real me. I started to find her. I’m getting to know her and I like what I see. She reminds me of me, in a kind and gentle way. It sort of surprises me how good it is to feel this way. I can’t wait to discover more.
There is a duality in authenticity, precisely, which is why it’s hard. It takes both fear and courage. We fear because we don’t know what will happen. We need courage to push through that because what we know is limited. What we believe drives everything so we need to know this. Like the eagle knows when she leaves the nest that she is supposed to soar. She has to spread her mighty wings and allow the force of those to work with the power of the air around her. Hope is not her strategy. Being open to how high her wings can carry her is. She doesn’t mess with pigeons on the ground, though it would be nice to eat from the work of others. She will come down to feed her body when she needs to. The courage is in staying light, and soaring to where her vision is clear. Do nothing or take massive action. This comes from fighting beyond the fear of what we ‘know’ or ‘don’t know’ and remembering who we are.
Authenticity. Driven from what’s real and what’s not and carried by the wings of our inner self.
I was delighted to listen to a Bubble Hour podcast with Nicole Cameron that I recently found in a Boozemusings article The Truth Behind my Façade – Resetting my Sober Motivation. She has done so much work and had some beautiful wisdom to share in such a generous, confident, and calm way. I have also been going into my past to ‘find the truth’ in a similar way to what she describes as ‘opening boxes and taking things out and looking at them again’. Significant things that happened to me in my early childhood, had to be re-examined so that I could understand how those experiences show up in my life today. This is a complicated process of understanding the experience itself which can be hard due to limitations in my own ability to remember and the need to understand what exactly these experiences had taught me to do with my own feelings.
‘The goal of sobriety is not to feel happy. The goal of sobriety is to feel everything’.
What have I learned and what have I felt in 363 days of sobriety?
– I am the best teacher that I have
– My relationship with myself is complex, dynamic and wonderful
– My scars are part of my journey and of how this version of me came to be. They help me to understand healing and to see the suffering of others
– I cannot see others clearly if my own suffering is in the way. I need to heal myself so I can see others
– The universe speaks to me and I need to listen and decide how or whether to respond to what my intuition reveals
– Healing from traumatic experiences requires deep work to understand the filters that I apply to myself and to others
– I can change my own identity and allow space for others to do the same
– I can grow when I curate my own thoughts and feelings with a sense of curiosity, and not blame, shame or guilt
– My emotional state is a function of the thoughts that I allow to impact it. It does not have to be impacted by the action or inaction of others
– I am responsible for my own action or inaction
– Speaking my truth to others allows me to be authentic, even if it’s not what others want from me
– My relationships with others are more fulfilled and nourishing when I am sober, present and kind
– I see myself in others and I see their humanity and mine reflected in my interactions with them
– My journey is exactly that, it’s mine. The journey of others is theirs, not mine. I am merely a witness in these journeys
– None of my experiences singularly define me. I define me, in how I think and act, and in how I see and respond to others
– The experience of others is their truth, not mine
– My thoughts and feelings are deep and intense and I can flow in this and accept the insight it brings
– Living in the moment has many layers of joy and euphoria, as much as it has experiences of pain and suffering. This is the joy of being alive
– Happiness and peace are not states or places or people I am going to find, they are the path I choose to follow. They come from inside
– Nobody is coming to hurt me, and nobody is coming to save me
– I am safe
– I am free
– I am me
– The universe provides
I don’t want to hand the keys to my mind to alcohol. I want the master of me, to be me. No other.
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