Somehow I messed up my sober days in my first post. Today, June 5, is Day 77.
Yesterday was Sunday, so I went to the We Agnostics AA meeting. I’m secretary for that meeting, which means I make the coffee, count the money, and lead the meeting. A girlfriend offered to chair for me, so I didn’t have to come up with a topic, which always makes me very stressed. That was a nice change.
The topic was Life on Life’s Terms..an AA/recovery slogan that gets tossed around a lot. It opened up a great discussion.
Because we are learning to face life on its own terms, we don’t hide anymore from the prickly, uncomfortable moments that, as sure as the sun rises in the East, are going to be out there. If we have stressful things to handle, we take a deep breath and handle them. If we need to, we feel good about asking for help in handling things that we fear might pull us under. We know we are not alone in this journey and we learn to share the ride. Because we can face life on life’s terms, we adapt. If we have one leg, we learn to live life with one leg. We don’t crab and freak about our truck having a clutch: We sell the truck and get something automatic.
Life on life’s terms means that when our bodies scream at us to for fuck’s sake get a bottle of vodka, we slow down instead of speeding up. We ask why on this green earth we’d want a bottle of vodka? We experience the feelings we’re having without running from them. We sit with that pretend need (because it is just pretend, it’s just misaligned memories tripping us up) and *research* the hell out of it. Why now? What is going on in my life that makes me feel so desperate for escape that I am thinking about drinking? And when we’ve excoriated that stupid little voice, we move on. But we don’t move on until that little voice is so damned dissected and inspected that it’s dust under our microscope.
For now, one of life’s terms is that we are going to have random drinking thoughts. Life’s terms means we have to choose whether to deal with them head-on, or pretend they don’t exist and it’s alllll just dandy and nobody needs to work on themselves, not nobody, not nohow. And life on life’s terms means if we don’t deal with our shit, it’s going to stink up our house.
I’m finding my daily meditation is a great tool to have when I’m suddenly overwhelmed and have a random drinking thought. I can now just sit and *be* with that thought, and experience it without judging it or shaming myself for it. I can truly inspect my own thought process and find the itchy spot. I certainly, in my thinking mind, don’t want to drink. So that random thought must have come from the shadows, and I need to shine light on it. If I couldn’t sit still with that pretend need, I wouldn’t be able to inspect it and dissect it and toss it in the trash where it belongs. If I don’t take the drinky thoughts apart before I throw them out, they grow legs and crawl back stronger, like a Terminator machine growing from the molten ooze.
Meditation has given me the tools to sit with those bizarre thoughts and not be afraid of them. It’s one of those habits that you really have to practice, and for me it didn’t feel comfortable for about a week and a half of doing it every day. I use the Headspace app on my phone, as well as Calm, Breathe, and Sober Meditations (they are also all apps).
So…Sunday was a plusplusplus for me. It was gorgeous and sunny and I got a ton done. I didn’t have to chair the AA meeting, and I got 3 loaves of bread made. It’s 1:20a.m. Monday and time for me to head to bed.
Enjoy Monday and Happy Meditations, everyone!