Today while walking the dog I catch myself brainstorming sober ways to achieve a Skip In My Step and/or The High of Superiority. My first brilliant ideas are
(1) some sort of mid-afternoon fresh fruit juice spritzer with citrus or cucumber and apple cider vinegar
(2) lots more coffee, but BLACK (internal voice puts me down for ever using dairy or sugar in my coffee: “That’s why it’s not working dummy.”)
(3) eat enough protein, since I’ve read this will help decrease sugar cravings. (And man do I have those).
As I sigh and suffer incredibly deep disappointment over these being my only unexciting options, I realize the issue is not with my lack of exciting options. The issue is that I’m still looking for that buzz at all. I’m still hoping I can find something benign to afford me the thrill I seem so unable to produce for myself.
Immediately I thought of the people at meetings who talk about their Higher Power.
They say they are only able to stay sober thanks to their Higher Power. They say that’s where they turn when they would otherwise turn to alcohol. People have also admitted sheepishly that their lives may seem a little boring, then quickly follow up with something like, “but that’s okay for me,” or “it turns out that’s how I like it.” Then comes the mantra about their worst day sober still being better than any day drunk. I understand we have to continually remind ourselves of this to prevent reasoning our way back to our addictions.
I do believe that in terms of mental health and a person’s basic need for stability, a boring life may be better. A life made chaotic and unmanageable by drinking doesn’t equal many good days, days where you have the stillness to really live. Right now, though, it’s a challenge for me to have the perspective of many days of sobriety. I can hear the stories from others and that is helpful. I’m grateful for that because it keeps me hopeful, but presently I miss fucking myself up.
When your life is stable and “boring” (but good) it must be because you have inner peace. When you carry yourself through life peacefully and are able to return to your peaceful self whenever times are tough, I imagine it to be the most comforting feeling. I imagine you then crave sobriety since it enables your connection to your inner peace and you tend to like it there. It seems like the surrender to a Higher Power and the state of inner peace are closely aligned, but I struggle to understand how exactly.
If I’m looking inward, isn’t that selfish? But how can I find the inner peace if I don’t look inward?
How do I find a Higher Power if I don’t even know what I need?
If it’s not supposed to be all about me, why do I feel so self-centered all the time and not able to shake it?
If I stop thinking of myself I’ll run out of energy. What if I have a break down?
My own identity scares me, mostly because I’m not at all sure what it is. Having to discover it is happening NOW. I would very much like to delay the discovery with DRINKS – one million drinks, starting with a giant pint or three of sparkling IPA, a bunch of warm whiskey toddies while perched atop a barstool, and ending with red wine and movies in bed after walking in the rain. As the sober days pass, though, I feel the discovery growing ever nearer. I’m freaked out.
Today for the first time I felt Real Me tapping me on my shoulder. Seriously. Tapping. I am avoiding turning around because I know Real Me is there – waiting – and I am ignoring her, for now. Hypothetically speaking, I desire the buzz of feeling comfortable in my own skin much more than I desire any sort of drug or alcohol. I’m going to be cautious, stay informed, stay sober, keep reminding myself I’m right where I’m supposed to be.