It is a glorious afternoon here on Canada’s west coast. I find the warm summer weather to be an uplifting influence on my mood. A welcome inspiration.
I have had no urgings or inclinations toward drinking in the past six months. This is a good thing but can also be a dangerous one. I am at that point where it is easy to become complacent. Where slipping away is a very real possibility. Fortunately, I am aware of this and have begun to adopt a more simplistic approach to alcohol.
I had a very interesting discussion with a friend about sobriety, addiction, our changing relationships to alcohol and the subsequent labels. We both had different histories with regard to our drinking. I was a horrendous drunk. I never drank for social purposes but instead sought oblivion on any given occasion. If I had one drink, I had many. My friend drank more socially. A drink or two then nothing more. There was a certain frequency and not always a clear reason for that drink or drinks. They had lost a parent due to alcohol abuse which left an indelible mark and residual fear. I had quit drinking to save my life while my friend had done so to maintain theirs.
We discussed similarities and differences in our approach to sobriety as well as the labels attached to our consumption and how they impacted our disposition. We talked of symptoms and triggers and the compelling urge to drink in counterpoint to the resolve not to. We found common ground and points where disagreement was agreed upon.
In the end, the resolution of our debate was a simple one. Something that could satisfy us both, dispel the labels and clichés, bring freedom from dogma and self-defeat, eliminate the demons of the past and future anxieties.
Remove the labels. Tear them away. They have no relevance. They can be demeaning and self-defeating. Put aside whatever reasons have brought you to the point of changing your relationship with alcohol. The baggage that comes with that can be very heavy. Forget the future. It is yet to happen and will unfold as it does. You will move through it as you advance. Develop your own doctrine. Sobriety is a very personal issue and only one facet of your life.
Our simple solution? The phrase “I DON’T DRINK”. Not I can’t drink or I won’t drink. “I DON’T DRINK”. It doesn’t matter why. There is no pressure to comply. It is a simple statement of fact. Not a commitment but a confirmation. “I DON’T DRINK”. No further explanations or excuses required. No doubts or ambiguities. No application of time or expectation of duration. “I DON’T DRINK!”
Try saying it to yourself. You might find it very empowering.
I will not drink today because “I DON’T DRINK”.
Will you join me?
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It’s never too late.
More from the Boozemusings Community Blog :
When scared, feeling alone and peering into the darkness, don’t forget that you have a flashlight in your pocket.
This post is by Rob Morton , the self published author of Stuff I Wrote and a member of BOOM the Independent, anonymous, private community inside Boozemusings where you can read more of his writing here