Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I was thinking to myself, what has replaced alcohol in my life? What is keeping me rather painlessly sober? Why, so far (knock on wood) have I not really had to white-knuckle it?
Sobriety happened for me like this:
1. Put down the bottle.
2. Give up the idea that you have any real control over your drinking. Any control or "self-will" is just temporary and never long-term.
3. In fact, while you're admitting to yourself that you can't direct your drinking behavior, admit to the fact that you can't direct A LOT of things. So stop trying. Do what you can, and that's all you can do. Go easy on expectations.
4. Find some faith. Believe that things, good and bad, happen for a reason. There's a purpose to your life. Seek it.
5. Forgive people. We're all human and we all do stupid, senseless, or selfish things. Resentments will eat you alive.
6. Be delighted by the little things, for the big things happen rarely, and if that's all that makes you happy, you'll be rarely contented.
7. Align your values with your actions.
8. Be grateful.
9. Help others as much as you are able.
10. Understand that alcohol makes 2-9 impossible.
In short, giving up alcohol is not at all like having the strength of will to merely say "no" to a second piece of pie. It is all about changing the way you look at, and interact with, the world. It is all about changing yourself.