Friday, December 26, 2014

Sober Day #424- Happy Holidays! And What Next? What am I?

Happy Holidays!  My second sober Christmas!   Much lighter and easier than the first one!  Last year, the effort of Not-Drinking occupied most of my consciousness.  This year, Not-Drinking is a background habit, freeing me to focus on other things. Which is lovely progress.

So there is it:  Not-Drinking is what happens in my life now, and most days it doesn't feel like a big deal.   I don't write here often because, honestly, I don't dwell on Not-Drinking. It just doesn't feel that important most of the time.   On the other hand, Not-Drinking is one of the most fundamental changes I've ever made in my life, and I am endlessly grateful for and happy about it!  I still occasionally visit my favorite sober blogs because I like keeping up with others, especially those who quit about when I did.  And I visit  blogs of the newly sober to leave some encouraging words, as so many of you did when I was newly sober.  So this sober blogging community is very meaningful to me, and I am very grateful for it.

But now that it's been more than a year since my last drink, and my life is becoming more and more focused on other stuff:  What am I?

There seem to be two basic models of being a person who used to drink to excess:

#1 = I used to drink to excess, so I am an Alcoholic, and will always be, and will build my life around that perceived pathology.

#2 = I used to drink to excess, and now I don't, so I'll get on with the rest of my life.

AA is in the minds of many THE model- and AA's model is that #1 option above.  And that just so doesn't work for me.  Yes, I know it works well for many- but it apparently has worked so well that it is accepted by many as The Only Way that Works.  Thinking AA was the only option for stopping drinking delayed my quitting for years, for the whole concept was a bad fit for me.  It wasn't until I discovered the online world of sober blogging that I was able to face my situation, decide to make changes, and do it.

So:  I used to drink too much, and now I don't.  I am very grateful for this change.  I used the anesthesia of alcohol to hide from all sorts of important things.  I am now facing these things head on, doing what needs doing, learning and growing.  I acknowledge that I have a faulty Off Switch fir alcohol, so I've decided that not using alcohol is the healthiest choice for me.  But I don't feel defined by my use of or avoidance of alcohol.  Alcohol is a crutch I used to need, and I don't now.  It was a tool  that I needed, a form of self-medication-  and I've now found healthier alternatives.  And that's it!

The fact that alcohol is not a big deal issue for me any more is the source of my ambivalence about writing here-  It's nice to visit, and revisit my past.  But spending much time focusing on the mechanics of not-drinking and the issues of not drinking, etc-  seems counterproductive, a weird anomaly in my now other-focused life.  Almost giving alcohol more importance than it deserves in my current life.

Obviously, I don't have this completely figured out for myself yet, and will undoubtedly be back for further discussion.

Wishing all a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Sober New Year!!