Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sober Day #40- Disarming the Anxiety-Creators!!

I'm in Georgia- heading home today, I hope- if the ice and snow at home don't delaly/cancel flights!

I used to drink a lot at medical meetings - "everyone does"-  or so I thought, until I looked at this meeting through no-wine eyes.  When I noticed that very few people drank more than 1 or 2 drinks-  and the ones who did more often tended to be reps from the medical device, etc, companies that were exhibiting there, not the docs.  Another drinking myth/excuse shattered, lol!

I planned distractions for myself.  I love colors- so I invested in a new box of 96!!!! crayons.

And a new drawing pad to go with them.  I've entertained myself by watching for color combos and motifs that interested me, and recording them in my sketch book.

I wish there were a systematic, methodical way of hunting down and revamping all the false assumptions I/we have made:  About ourselves, alcohol, how we deal with stress, how we fit into the rest of the world.  But so far the only technique I've found to to pounce on an 'automatic' thought as it tries to disappear around the corner from consciousness.  If I can do this, I can haul it back into the light, and examine it:  Is it true?  Does it serve me?  Is it kind?  Is there a better choice?

This morning the little tail I caught and dragged back into consciousness had to do with aging. I am 61.  And there is a part of me that is apparently ashamed of this.  That feels I have to hide my age, not as far as looks (which are pretty good, glad you asked, lol!)- but as far as function.  If I am climbing stairs and someone behind me is climbing faster, I feel ashamed, defective, I should be able to keep up, to surpass.  Now that I'm thinking, I guess it has more to do with physical performance than mental function (again, pretty good, thanks!).

Is it true?  What?  That I should be able to do anything and everything anyone else of any age and training can do?  Obvious nonsense.  We all come with different physical abilities, and our training choices then further differentiate us.

Does it serve me?  Nope.  It's pretty stupid.  Who cares how fast I climb steps? Actually, the important point for me is that I am climbing them, not just always taking the elevator.  This is something to feel good about, proud of.

Is it kind?  No, it is rather mean. Why should I attack and degrade myself for anything, much less how fast I am climbing the stairs??

Is there a better way?  Sure.  Remind myself:  People come in all sizes shapes and abilities.  People have all sorts of priorities, some including fitness, and some not.  You choose to emphasize fitness- and that's great.  Compare yourself to what you do, how you are meeting your goals:  Can you go that mile a bit faster than this time last year?  Fabulous!!  Can you now do a biceps curl with a little more weight, or hold that difficult yoga pose a few seconds longer?  Good for you!  These are accomplishments that are in line with the priorities you have set for yourself, which is what matters.

What does this have to do with drinking, or rather, non-drinking?  I think it is, for me at least, the steady erosion of multiple critical trains of thought like this that add up to more and more anxiety.  And anxiety and fear of not being enough, these are prime driver of drinking.

I hope catching and defanging enough of these rascals will facilitate sobriety!!


  1. I like this a lot...the examination of thoughts and the decision to change them. Good questions, good idea. Great post!

    1. Thank you! I really like your blog, and learn so much from you!


I'd love to hear about your journey, and hear your take on my journey. Comments are very welcome!!