Tuesday, March 29, 2011

571 Days

I was thinking today about craving alcohol and how I really don't crave it anymore. Even over vacation this past weekend in Santa Fe with family, many of whom are drinkers and some of whom can definitely knock 'em back, their drinking didn't bother me. I'd just hang out a while and then go back to the hotel room to play on Facebook or blog or watch a movie. (I watched 300, by the way, which reminded me somewhat of Spartacus, or at least the special effects did, and I finished up the second season of True Blood. I'm really looking forward to Game of Thrones when it premieres next month, and now I see I've totally gotten off topic.)

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.

No comments: