Yes, I'm still here. I didn't realize it had been so long since I blogged. I made a promise when I started this blog that I wouldn't go away. I wouldn't quit like so many of the bloggers that I had started following had. So don't give up on me, I'll always be back. That's probably the thing I hate most about my drinking, unfulfilled promises in the form of trips not taken that were planned, rotten vegetables in the bin from dinners planned…The other day I looked at my sister-in-law's picture albums on one of those internet sites and there was an album of a trip they had taken with pictures of my brother, my sister-in-law, my nephew and my grandson. Where were the pictures of me? I was supposed to be on that trip but I was too hungover sick to go. I'll never get the chance to take that trip again. I sacrificed all those memories. I hate that! So I'm keeping my promise to whoever reads this blog come hell or high water or hangover.
So let's soldier on. To be fair, I haven't spent the entire last few weeks in a drunken free fall. Some of it, yes, but not all of it. We were tying up the loose ends of leaving MX, having our last fundraisers, a trip from the capn's oldest and his wife, and the round of good-bye get togethers with the corresponding drinking and lack of sleep. But now I've been back in the solitude of CO for 4 day and am well rested and ready to start this party again, minus the drinking. Sort of. I still haven't figured out what my long term plan is but right now I'm moderating. I'm allowing myself three glasses of wine in the evening. I'm waiting until 5:00 pm for the first one, the second one is while cooking dinner, and the third one is with dinner. I'm making each one last at least an hour. I'm not getting drunk, I'm sleeping well, and I'm not hungover. And I'm asking myself what's the point of drinking them. But that's what I'm doing right now and it seems to be working.
As I've said before in my blog, I've been trying to follow the Artists Way for several months. It's a book that helps you unlock your creativity by awakening or reawakening you to your inner artist. It has a strong spiritual premise and the author believes that our Creator, my Co-writer, creates us to be creative. If you don't believe in a higher power, just like in this blog, that's okay, you can still learn a lot from this book. I've found a lot of the principles discussed apply also to my journey towards sobriety. The book says self-skepticism is a big block to finding our inner artist. At this point I'm finding it to be a block for me in finding my way to sobriety. Here is what the book says.
"Perhaps the greatest barrier for any of us as we look for an expanded life is our own deeply held skepticism. This might be called the secret doubt."
I have been feeling this way a lot lately. I've quit visiting the message boards as much because I'm impatient and angry with the newbies that are on there and are having their first experiences of sobriety. They are so happy to have their first alcohol/hangover free days. They think they have found the answer and the trip is over. I hope it is for them. But I'm skeptical. And I'm so discouraged that mine isn't and I wonder if it ever will be. But then the author of AW (Artists Way) goes on to say,
"I like to think of the mind as a room. In that room we keep all of our usual ideas about life, God, what's possible and what's not. The room has a door. That door is ever so slightly ajar, and outside we can see a great deal of dazzling light. Out there in the dazzling light are a lot of new ideas that we consider too far-out for us, and so we keep them out there. The ideas we are comfortable with are in the room with us. The other ideas are out there so we keep them out.
In our ordinary, pre-recovery life, when we would hear something weird or threatening, we'd just grab the doorknob and pull the door shut. Fast.
Inner work triggering outer change? Ridiculous! (Slam the door.) God bothering to help my own creative/sober recovery? (Slam!) Synchronicity supporting my artist/sober me with serendipitous coincidences? (Slam, slam, slam.)
Now that we are in recovery there is another approach we need to try. To do this we gently set aside our skepticism-for later use, if we need it-then when a weird idea or coincidence whizzes by we gently nudge the door a little further open.
Setting skepticism aside, even briefly, can make for very interesting explorations. In creative recovery, it is not necessary that we change any of our beliefs. It is necessary that we examine them.
More than anything else, recovery is an exercise is open-mindedness. Again, picture your mind as that room with door slightly ajar. Nudging the door open a bit more is what makes for open-mindedness. Begin this week, to consciously practice opening your mind."
A load of BS? I don't think so. I, myself, have experienced those fortunate coincidences that happen when I am fully working toward my recovery. I fully expect a small prayer to be answered as a result of writing this blog today. I may not notice it or even know it about it. No matter what, I'm ready to dare to dream the expanded dream of what my life can be and try to make it happen.
So today I'm out there doing my best to swat any of those pesky doubts that fly through my open door and maybe wonder out a little bit and see what the weather is like out there.