I was in a bookstore yesterday, doing one of my favorite things- taking my time, browsing through all the different sections, looking for new sparks of interest or things to think about. I bought one really fabulous book Why Olga Runs: about an amateur track and field runner, etc,- which might seem less than fascinating until you realize she is 91 YEARS OLD- a new hero for me.
I always look through the alcohol/addiction section. What struck me yesterday was seeing several books on using kindness to help those trapped in unhealthy relationships with alcohol. This flies in the face of the typical staged interventions with ultimatums, and the tough love concepts. But it makes much more sense to me!
When I was drinking, nagging me about it would only make me put up more and thicker defensive walls: Don't bother me. Go away. Leave me alone. After a number of abortive attempts to moderate my drinking (techniques we are all familiar with: only two drinks tomorrow night! No more than one bottle of wine! Drink only on weekends!) I was finally again in a mood to change how I drank.
This might have ended as all previous moderations had ended- resuming where I left off- had I not found Belle's blog. And then Mrs. D.'s. Belle's emphasis on treats (yes, imagine that, treating myself kindly rather than repeatedly bashing myself for being an inadequate person!) and Mrs. D.'s matter-of-fact pleasures of socializing without the protection/stimulus of booze- these were eye-openers!
Suddenly, I could switch to seeing myself as a good person with an addiction problem to solve, rather than a low-life stupid slacker. And what a huge difference this makes!!
And so here I am at nearly 5 months without any alcohol, observing, noticing and pondering how my life is changing and shifting, always focusing on today, leaving the big question of 'forever?', out there in the future. And for today, that is fine.