It’s about Sobriety, but really it’s about Adulting

You may have seen this on social media. It about sums up where i am these days:

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 9.59.59 AM

I’m coming up on one year of no drinking. Remember this post? (Sorry about the sickeningly cheery tone.) Well, 2015 has had its way with me as often as I have had my way with 2015. Turns out I’m not exactly Rhonda Rousey or Holly Holm. And I’m not a fantastically prolific, ultra-encouraging blogger who has turned her sobriety into a lifestyle.

About the only thing I am knocking out of the park these days is the “active lifestyle/leggings” look.

I do love spandex so much. Almost as much as I love my non-drinking life.

A few months ago, after about 10 months of weekly attendance, I gave up AA completely. By its very nature, of course, AA insists on focusing on alcohol. And, for me, that conversation started to become redundant. When I gave up alcohol, I knew I wanted to “stay” sober, but what I really wanted was to “move on” from alcohol and find better tools/truths that can provide me with a strong foundation to weather the storms in this Crazy Ass World. The conversation at AA meetings was too much on the “staying” part of sobriety and not enough on the “moving on” part.

Having said that, AA gave me two invaluable tools for which I am very grateful: traction in my early days of sobriety and a glimpse of how to attain peace of mind.

I think one reason so many of us in post-alcohol lives find ourselves studying yoga, mediation and Buddhism is their emphasis on unflinching clarity and love to achieve that ever-elusive peace. A few weeks after giving up AA, I visited the local Modern Buddhist center and attended a workshop on living a stress, worry and anxiety-free life. After the session I bought one of their displayed books, “Transform You LIfe: A Blissful Journey.”

Since I am seeking to live life with unflinching clarity and truth, let me just say that “Transform Your Life: A Blissful Journey” is anything but blissful. There is a lot of disturbing talk of unfortunate rebirths, hungry ghosts and unending suffering. Selling Buddhism as “blissful” requires a leap into suspended disbelief. As someone who used to love over serving herself, I know exactly how to have a blissful time, and this little tome ain’t it.

But, I am no longer interested in good times as much as I want some fucking truths to live by that won’t leave me anxious, nauseous and strung out.

So, while I have no intention of donning gold robes and shaving my head, I am hungry for helpful perspectives and “Transform Your Life” has them in droves. The concepts of self cherishing, self grasping and attachment, all of which are touched on in AA , are given proper billing by the Buddhists. I attended a second workshop last week. The lessons and guided mediations during the sessions left me feeling fuller and calmer. I’m intrigued. It’s as though I have been wandering the grocery store looking for something good to eat and have stumbled upon an entirely new aisle of healthy, affordable foods.  I’m not sure if I will like all of the items, but there are bound to be a few that will work.

Meanwhile the beer/wine aisle remains off limits. Most of the time I think of it as a silly aisle full of silly people. And I am adulting. As we all know, when you’re trying to build a house of brick rather than straw, it requires some serious adult focus.

But there remains a part of me that thinks someday I can walk down that other aisle again and rejoin the silly people. And it would be ok because I am just visiting, rather than taking up permanent residence.

But, for now at least, I don’t want to. I have traded silly for blissful. And happiness.

And spandex.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “It’s about Sobriety, but really it’s about Adulting

  1. I agree. Yoga is my path. All 8 limbs. And Buddhism is very similar and I read a lot of it too.

    I will occasionally go to a meeting, but more because I go with my husband and it is an interesting way to spark open discussion about sobriety and life. I do like to hear the honesty from others. And it is reassuring I could go there any time and be supported.

    But there is a bit too much fear and powerlessness for me.

    I love my life. I love my sober life. I am willing to do the hard work to make it the best life possible. Aa and the 12 steps are an excellent path to self awareness. But to go further sometimes means growing.

  2. I’m so glad to hear you’re doing so well! (Tough times with being an adult notwithstanding.) Thanks for this post. It’s refreshing to hear from someone who has quit and is NOT focusing on drinking, or on sobriety. And this is some of the stuff I have been thinking about, as you know. I am not having an easy time with AA. I have been going to meetings weekly, and I get some small nuggets, but I feel like a fringe player there. Trying to be an adult, I guess, is the whole point, and I’m doing better on that front these days. I don’t think about drinking very often, except for the occasional hour or so of desperately wishing I could chuck the whole thing and drink wine for the evening. I am rambling a bit here. Mostly I wanted to say hello! And thanks. It’s good to hear the different ways people get on with life. Take care. xo

    • My dear friend, thirstystill! I do so love your blog. Each post is a treat for me to read. Thank you for keeping it going and coming back with wisdom and thoughtfulness and interesting perspectives.

      I am glad you are going to the AA meetings. While you might not find kindred spirits there, the narrative of sobriety and intentional action is helpful to gain sober traction. It was very helpful to me. And now I know I can go back there anytime and be comfortable and recognized by their members, even if it is just through a warm glance and a quick hug, rather than a long, meaningful conversation. AA meetings also gave me an alternate place to go, rather than to the couch with my glass of wine. I have replaced the AA meetings with weekly tennis league matches and now this weekly Buddhist class.

      I was just over at Lucy’s (http://ahangoverfreelife.com) site and I just love that Advent Calendar she’s doing. I especially like Jamie Lee Curtis’s message. “Getting sober just exploded my life.” I do think that is true. Sometimes the “explosion” is immediately apparent, sometimes it is more of a slow rumble. But either way, it is so much better than wasting our talents with the silliness of wine and beer.

    • Thanks Lucy! I just love your advent calendar. What a fantastic idea. It is exactly what you intended: very encouraging and something to look forward to every day. I’ll be checking in. Thank you for your wonderful sobriety.

  3. Congrats on your upcoming soberversary. Buddhism and spandex, sounds pretty grown up to me. Love the visual. I have to confess one of the perks of being a grandparent is that you get to stop adulting for a while and grow down to their size and I love that.
    Sharon

    • Do you think those Buddhist nuns are rocking out active wear under their robes? I hope so. I think they could use an extra layer of warmth as they stare down the road of enlightenment.

      Always so nice to have you stop by, Sharon. Glad to see a new post on your site. Huge, massive hugs to you.

  4. One year! Wow. It seems so unachievable for me. You bring up an interesting point. Clarity. In search for clarity, I am trying to stop drinking. In search for clarity, I am starting to look for something different: different hobbies, different routine, different books. Something is changing. Slowly. I am not into yoga. Not into any religion. Spandex however… that’s a completely different conversation. 🙂

    • Spandex as a religion – it’s freedom fabric. Congratulations on Day 19! As I close in on one year, I can promise you with all of my heart that it’s worth the effort.

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