It appears I am dealing with stuff that I usually used ethanol and lifestyle to ignore or suppress. The “issues” have no real names; they can’t be verbalized, which is quite a challenge for me who tends to put words and pictures to everything.
This came as a surprise yesterday. It seems my onion is being peeled, layer by layer, and I’m getting to the core – the place where there are no words, the place where healing happens.
The honeymoon stage has passed, and I am processing a lot of stuff I can’t even put my finger on or explain. Yesterday, even in meditation, I cried, tears streaming down – no actual reason, just feeling grief; just allowing the grief to wash through me without trying to name it and without identifying with it. In the past, these feelings would have been suppressed or explained. I am finding, happy or sad, the tears come so easily, and I am allowing them without resistance. These tears, this sudden ability to simply cry, are connection, not weakness. No drama, simply tears. No explanation necessary. I feel like I’m being washed clean!
In years past, when the low feeling would come, I’d just drink like always, so I never really fully felt it. When loved ones died, we all got drunk. When life handed us lemons, we made daiquiris!
Yesterday was a reminder to be vigilant, and to keep current with the process. Logically I had no reason to be depressed, and I should have been celebrating – I’ve done it! I’m a non-drinker of ethanol! Yeah! But I was down. When I got all depressed, the little kitty monster wound around my ankles hoping I’d stoop down and feed it. No way.
There seems to be a shared pattern among people who have stopped ingesting ethanol. I’ve noticed several Naked Mind and HSM members have blogged about this “low” at the month mark. So, in hindsight, I can give advice on staying happily ethanol-free when that predictable low hits.
After a month, we might get a little complacent and need a little refresher. Go back to the book(s) you read and review the salient stuff. For me, I just read the last chapter of Allen Carr’s Stop Drinking Now. Good reminders.
What I forgot to do yesterday when I felt so low, was say, “Yipee! I’m a non-drinker!” It was more like, “Hey you fucker (little monster wanting to be fed), get lost!” And even though I was totally firm in my commitment not to drink, I was still using avoidance/resistance rather than positive attitude, which is counter-productive and generates more of the shitty feeling that, if not faced, could even build to feelings of sacrifice and longing that could lead you-know-where…
Awareness is the key. Facing feelings fully rather than trying to avoid or suppress them is a skill I am learning. Don’t add a story to the feeling, So, today is bright. Yesterday is history. Yipee – I’m ethanol-free!
Stopped in the middle of my run to add a few more tips. Get outside, get some air, sunshine and exercise. Take some vitamin D. Have some St. Johns wort tea. These little things help too.
Oh, and one last thing: A little thankfulness and gratefulness go a long way.