I hate to be all Pollyanna on it but I've had some truly glorious 'HOLY SHITBALLS I LOVE BEING SOBER!!' moments this weekend. Just these magical little snatches of time when I can't believe how amazing it is that I now work my brain completely differently to deal with life, and that I have discovered that booze is completely unnecessary for good times.
I flew to my hometown for the weekend for another wee book launch party for family and friends.. and my Mum invited along a woman who was 27 years in recovery…. 27 YEARS!!!!!! Anyway this gorgeous, amazing long-time recovery person made some comment to me that I was clearly having a 'meaningful recovery'.. I think that's what she said…? Or profound recovery? I can't exactly remember but what I think she meant was that not only had I just taken the alcohol away but I had experienced a significant shift in my entire experience of life.
I think this is the thing that has worked so well for me.. not only have I taken the booze away, beaten cravings and broken the habit.. but I have completely changed my approach to how I deal with things. And it's all this 'emotional management' work that makes me so happy to be sober.
I was having a conversation with my Dad and Step-Mum about Tara Brach and how wonderful she is at helping me think about the world in calm ways.. even when shitty difficult really tricky shit is going down (and yes I have a lot of shitty, difficult, tricky shit go down like everyone does that I keep private and never blog about). I was discussing with them how I think often about what Tara advises about the ways to deal with my fellow humans and our world in all it's messy glory, and how tangibly helpful she is to my day-to-day life, how I love flexing my brain in this way, and how grateful I am to be open to this stuff this nowadays.
I was reflecting on how just 3 years ago I would have poo-poo'd the HELL out of someone like Tara Brach or any kind of self-reflective, meditative, naval-gazing BULLSHIT .. that mumbo-jumbo was for hippies and boring introspective types and I'm not like that thank you very much shall we open another bottle? Glug glug glug glug..
I was so happy in this conversation about Tara.. happy to have just the evening before experienced a lovely party with lovely people.. happy to have driven myself home at 11pm, happy to have woken up fresh and content, just feeling so happy and I suddenly turned to my Dad and said "and people ask me if I miss alcohol??!! ALCOHOL SCHMALCOHOL!!!!!!!!!" I said!
For me being sober isn't about the LACK of alcohol.. it's about GAINING so much. For me anyway.. I have gained so much from changing how I live and deal with emotional stuff. Tara Brach is my guru right now.. I might get a new one next year. A new author or speaker or technique or mojo or exercise or new hobby or whatever is going to lift me up an keep me going and get me through. And I love this hippy-dippy mumbo shit. A lot. It helps, it's real, it's so fascinating and fun.
It's true what they say. Putting down the drink is just the beginning.
And now it's time for a cup of tea...
Love, Mrs D xxx