Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Voice



No, this isn't about Cee-Lo, Blake, Christina, and Adam, although I just started watching "The Voice" and I love it.  I have to say, "Adam is HOT!"

But instead I'm going to talk about the voice that swayed me off of the MM Moderation message board over to mmabsers and sobriety.  Colonel Parker, cp as he is commonly known on the boards, was a constant peaceful and serene voice amidst the chaos of counting drinks and planning abs days and moderation days and all the mindfucking that went on in my head when I was trying to learn to control that thing that had been controlling my life since my first drink.

He made it sobriety sound so...calm.  As it is.

Here is at what he recently shared about Joy.  I love it, I hope you do too.

One of the things that was discussed in Abs Chat this week was
happiness. Several of us talked about how we felt that was our
purpose. Two of the biggest benefits I have gotten from quitting
drinking are peace and joy. It's worth noting that is not what I expected
to happen particularly on the joy front.
Part of the problem that I have had is that I confused joy or happiness
with exuberance or ecstasy. I associated the buzz I got from drinking with
a happy feeling. I like happiness. A lot. So I chased it. Tried to hold it.
Each time it slipped away like mercury. The tighter I tried to grasp it the more
elusive it became.
When I quit drinking I fully expected a drab, boring, dry (haha) existence.
I was sure that my happiness had come to an end.
But something very unexpected happened. After going through withdrawal
and beginning to heal I began to experience a lifting of depression and
the fading of anxiety. I didn't trust it. I felt like it would only be a short
matter of time before the other shoe dropped and I was overcome by
depression,anxiety, sadness and would go rushing to a bottle. But it didn't
happen. Instead my joy increased. Beyond what I had ever experienced
before.
One of the things that happened besides just the sheer physicality of
quitting was that I had to put in place certain changes in my perceptions
and thought and actions in order to remain sober. But each of these things
not only strengthened my sobriety but increased my joy.
My drinking was characterized by self-indulgence. My thinking was always
what's in it for me. That for me is poison. Instead I began to counteract that
by practicing joy. It arose out of letting go of selfishness and becoming
generous. I felt joy at others success and release of stress. I stopped thinking
of me so much and started thinking of others. Again, I didn't expect the
result. Drinking had caused me to collapse in on myself. Now my world became
more open, free, spacious.
Joy can be cultivated. It is not the buzzy, heady leap of getting what I want
nor is it dependent on nothing going wrong. It doesn't matter. It is natural
that both will occur. Joy is letting go of all that and just being satisfied.
My thoughts .
I like what Nagarjuna had to say about joy.

If there is a remedy when trouble strikes,
What reason is there for despondency?
And if there is no help for it,
What is the use of being sad?

So come what may, I'll never harm
My cheery happiness of mind.
Depression never brings me what I want;
My virtue will be warped and marred by it.
Nagarjuna

P.S.  If anyone is interested in joining us for abs chat tonight send me a pm at karymayhickey@gmail.com and I'll give you details on how to get there.  Also, someone pm'd me that they were unable to comment on my blog from the Safari Browser and since I haven't been able to comment on my own blog from IE for years, I think I need to fix this glitch.  If you're having problems commenting, could you drop me a line at the above gmail account.  Thanks.

10 comments:

  1. Howdy! For some reason it seems the comment thing might just work from an iPad now. Good luck at abs chat!

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  2. Wonderful and wise words there. Thank you for sharing them. I certainly understand what he says about cultivating joy and the difference between that and that buzz, that instant high, so to speak that in the end is an illusion. Short lived. Being in recovery is about that slow and steady and you know what, we do get to have those highs, but they are much different. They aren't manufactured from a bottle, they come from within. It's a wonderful thing to experience.

    Thanks again for this :)

    Blessings,
    Paul

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  3. I think Adam is hot as well.

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  4. Any advice on how to quiet the thoughts when they become obsessive? The thoughts, as they've been described to me as just not stopping? Thanks for writing.

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    1. Time. Is your daughter trying to quit or trying to moderate her drinking? I found the whole time I tried to "manage" my drinking, which was basically the whole 30+ years I drank and then the year in MM where you count your drinks and the days you drink, drinking was all I thought about. Will I drink today? What time will I start drinking? How many am I going to drink? Ok, I'll just have one more. Oh God why did I do this? I hate myself. I'm never drinking again. Ok, just one. I'll quit tomorrow. Repeat the chorus on a daily basis. But when you quit, you don't have that conversation anymore, it changes too, I'm not going to drink. Please, don't let me drink. If I can just get through this day without drinking, this hour, this minute. What am I going to do without drinking? What am I going to do at cocktail hour? What am I going to tell my friends? That conversation goes on until you've faced all of those situations and got through them. Then pretty soon your life starts filling up with other things to think about, you still think about drinking, obviously I think about it every time I write this blog or get on a message board, but I don't obsess about it because it no longer controls me. Most people say and it's what I've seen on other bloggers' blog, that it usually takes around 6 months before the obsession eases enough that the threat of drinking eases too. That doesn't mean it goes away completely, but you're stronger and more able to ignore it. But she's right, in the beginning, they do not stop, from the minute you wake up until you fall asleep. And then you have drinking dreams. It takes time.

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    2. But, I don't think I answered your question about what to do in the "now" when the voices won't leave you alone. People do different things, one thing I did was knit or crochet because it kept my hands busy so I couldn't drink, get on a message board and talk about it, go for a walk, clean out a closet, ...stay busy. Others believe in just sitting there and surfing through the urge, letting yourself feel it and get through it, others meditate. None of those things feel like they are working in the beginning because the voices are so insistent, but you go through the motions until the voices leave you alone.

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    3. Or you could have her read Paul's blog which does a wonderful job about talking about what she's going through.
      http://messageinabottleblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/the-turn/

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    4. Thank you! This all helps. She is stopping drinking. She was sober for two months and then started, again. She said that the urge was like nothing she'd felt, before. She said it just wouldn't stop 'nagging' her. I told her that if she had to lock herself in her room or jog for 50 miles that would be better than giving in. She is going to try, again. I just wanted some 'back up' to talk with her about. What you wrote, that cycle of thinking, sounds just like her. She hates it. Doesn't want to be an alcoholic. Hates how she feels when she drinks. I guess the memory fades too quickly. I don't know. But, you really did help. Thank you, again.

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    5. Assure her that it gets better, it gets a lot better. I don't know that they ever go away completely, but I have been sober for a little over two years and I have been up here in my cabin completely alone for 2 weeks, there is rum and vodka and gin and beer and wine in the cupboard and I have never once thought about drinking. The problem is, I think, that once you drink again, the voices are right back at the same level they were. If she'd like to chat with me at anytime, she can reach me at karymayhickey@gmail.com.

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  5. Congratulations, Kary. I just finished reading your whole blog from the beginning. Very impressive. Kudos to you, and hopes and prayers your way that you continue to be stronger and ever more helpful and blessed.

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