AA told me I wasn’t sober. No more fight. Got on new Flight.

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I smoke pot. Maybe 5-10 times a year. 1 to 2 hits. I don’t count because it’s not a problem. I don’t think about it. I don’t plan for it. I went pot shopping to moss covered dispensaries and didn’t buy if nothing appealed. My life does not suffer in any way. On the contrary, I can gain perspective and lose compulsive thought.

I use CBD. It helps the writing arm and many other things.

I am also on prozac. I meditate. Process most of my feelings instead of getting them on you. Have lost 40lbs and kept it off since my 20s. I have looked at me. Am I saying this so you’ll think Im “good”.? Probably.

I went 5 years no alcohol, and now prefer not to drink, but I can if I so choose. Because unlike cannabis, alcohol has on many occasions, leveled me.

I may lose 5 of every 10 followers for this post *, but then again, maybe Im not hip to the new collective perceptions. If you read my other posts , you’ll read there are things I love and long for in AA meetings. Like PINE for. However, a lot of AA meetings announce “We ask that you do not share if you have had a mind altering substance in the past 24 hours”

That seems ridiculous. No one would be sharing If the rule were followed. And psychotropics like Prozac are mind altering.

“AHA! You ingested SUGAR and prozac!, No share for you!”

“Is that cortisol in your Blood stream ? No Share! “

” Is that caffeine, SILENCIO!”

Where I go to meetings, the overarching belief is that if you smoke weed at all or ingest THC , or other cousins, you are not sober. Well I feel Sober AF. More emotionally sober for talking about this. That has to be enough for me.

Oh and here’s a blurb about Bill Wilsons awakening experience with LSD.

In deference to AA, They still contend “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. ” But it feels like that’s just a script when compared with what I hear from members at meetings.

Can you tell I really want AA to change so I can be in it again ? Well I’m probably not going to pull that off. \So I’ll just write about it time to time. AA was one of the things that changed the trajectory of my life. And with that I am taking off my alcoholic hat. It feels lonely but breezy. I no longer identify as an alcoholic but do believe alcohol to be an addictive substance. I suppose that’s in line with the NIH and their AUD definition. I still offer help and service. It’s weird not to be fooling myself but I don’t want to pretend so I can be welcome in the club. This revelation only took 17 years.

Now. I do know people who have just substituted weed for alcohol. People that I cannot play board games with because they are too damn slow. That’s fine, just be on the other team and don’t slow my roll. I don’t smoke pot daily but that doesn’t mean I abhor all that do. It ‘s not for me. The same way I have a salad once in a blue moon but not daily. Some people eat Salads daily!?? Are you kidding me?

So I guess This blog really IS about defining sobriety in all areas for oneself using empirical data.

As always, Feel free to share your individual experience.

Heres a great article from the The Fix

*Yes I realize that on some platforms, I only have 10 followers.

It’s Official. Drunk or Sober, I’m not Chill.

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This is not a post about The Pandemic or #BlM. Its also not a post about how to appropriately behave at societal rituals and obey decorum. I know how to and have done that. Yawn.

I have been foregoing alcohol for the past 55 days I had years of intermittent alcohol free ness before this. I just joined Annie Grace’s The Alcohol Experiment and It’s eye opening and Non absolutist. Relief.

As I move through more experiences drinking or not : I am in curiosity , discovery and dare I say whimsy about my preferences. My likes and dislikes : what charms me, what alarms me, and what school marms me.

Stillness -Love it. Chillness, No thanks. There are so many other people that do chill better than me. ( or pretend to).

I am an extrovert , I like people but preferably around an event or theme. (large or small) . I’m just not interested in sitting around and ONLY talking. I prefer there to be a game we’re playing, or movie we just saw, or project we’re working on, a book club talk? If we go to a concert I don’t want to sit down. Gross. Conversation or ONLY TALKING will arise organically around these activities and thats when it’s the best and most luminous!

When I was heavy drinking ,I needed to change things up after a couple of drinks. To stop the Chill before it gets frozen. During an alcoholic run/ binge, there would be maybe 1 drink or 1.5 drinks worth of chatter and then I would insist that it was time to dance now , whether in my living room, your living room , or at Oil Can Harrys. That drunk had it right! She suggested activities and drunk people followed. She shook it up. Then some people had kids and stopped following.

This is not a 20 something thing .This still is the case today, 32 years later. I mean, after a while the time for just talking is OVER. Now we have to play a game, sing karaoke, choreograph a dance, go swimming, or pierce someones’ ear.

What if this isn’t neurosis but VITALITY?

Not Infantile but Inspired ?

Before I thought, “oh you just get hyper when you drink and you must be very insecure to have to switch things up/control the situation. But what if I’m a curator of a better time. VARIETY people! People hire event planners to keep things moving. Mock dancers to break dance floor ice. I don’t know if its socially acceptable to continue to curate without the excuse of tipsy-ness ? I mean I guess as long as you’re inebriated, you may be more open to try my switch ups.

Aha! I don’t need to be drinking but I really need you to be drinking.

Whatever this fever is , Im going to follow it and try not to drink so I can be ok with it. More will be revealed.

When your 11-14 year old self fears rule your life. Again.

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This pandemic flavored sobriety has its perks. I can hunker down and withdrawal/taper, go on crying and laughing jags without a major audience.

But oh Boy, the Junior High fears that fire up are debilitating. Tapering of Benzos combined with being in quarantine has been heightening recall of Junior High survival skills. But then again maybe Junior High survival skills are especially being echoed right now with the wolves of divisiveness constantly nipping at our screen doors.

It was 1982 and I was the new kid in school. In Michigan . I was tan (just having moved from San Diego where I was a winner of several Disco dance contests) Before major boobs, Before fear of the Male Gaze.

When incest just meant romance in a V.C. Andrews book.

Fear is Fear is Fear , like I’ve mentioned in the post “Stop Grading your Problems”– your adrenal glands, cortisol levels, limbic system are all talking to each other the same way whether you are in danger of falling off a cliff or you’re 11 years old being terrorized by the girls in your new 6th grade class. It shock/hurts. It feels like poison.

Of course I had lied before. But conforma/lying really escalated for me during this time. The type of lies that ensured my safety and ascent on the Junior High Popularity scale. This scale is now called Facebook /social media platforms.

Back to Ms. Kinzers class in 1982 in pasty Michigan. First day. New Girl – Tan – Only the nerd girls are nice to me.

After class 2 boys approach me. One is a total fox , one his sidekick (unfox).

Hubba Hubba

The Fox: “What kind of music do you like ?”

Tan me: “The Village People”

The UNFOX: “Wrong ! ( makes sound of buzzer) You are so moded right now.”

What is moded? I guess Im not in Disco San Diego any more.

The UNFOX: “Disco is Dead “

FU&K ME! I have ruined my chances for favor with anyone ever again. Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello shame.

Tan trembling me: “What kind of music do you listen too?”

The Fox: “The Knack, Billy Squire”

Tan Trembling: ” Oh yeah, I know them.”

The Fox: “Yeah?”

Beat

I don’t think the Fox is totally done with me yet.

But they left me. Maybe the word “spaz” was uttered. Their exit is blurry due to my Caucasian flush.

Lesson learned. Do not lead with what you believe. It could get you shunned.

No doy.

Be Ferocious in feeling your feelings. Give yourself the shot.

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Oh God. Feel your feelings. Sort of Ewww. Gross in a from the neck up psuedo-spiritual way and just cliche gross but it Fu&*ing works. I have proof it leads to relief. Empirical data, repetition.

Ive been using this quarantine to soften or let go of some behaviors. Delivering my mind and body from habits is ALOT easier when I face the feelings that hide under the habit. Focusing on emotional waves is also a lot easier when I’m laid off and have my head all to Myself. I have the luxury of being an NON essential worker.

This type of ferocity ala Shirley MaClaine is a good illustration of how I binge drank .

Intention: Binge feelings with same ferocity in which I binge drank.

When I “process” my emotions, my burning desire to buffer with Food/alcohol/control/drugs/sex/shopping/add your own fades away. FADES AWAY. Not will power, white knuckling or pretending it ‘s not there , but a cleared feeling of “I can take it or leave it”.

If I am consistent in my attempts , I can actually get a HIT off the release.

There are varying methods with which to do this and I have tried a lot of them. I’ll list some of them at the bottom of this post.

What seems to work best for me is :

locating the physical sensation in my body and allowing the story to unfold -the who or what the why, the feeling – is it Sadness , Grief, Shame, Or I don’t know but It sucks.

Letting myself tell the story and feel the feeling . This is no time to be the ethereal witness, be your kid self. for 1-5 minutes. I set a timer.

Drop the story (the aforementioned who, why ,what ,where) and focus on the visceral energy or weight of the feeling. 3-10 minutes depending on how much time you have.

Feel the feeling in the body. Is is a fat slug sitting in your throat? Or maybe a cuter animal in your Solar plexus? Your stomach? is it leaking out of our eyes? Whatever the weight or energy of it is, give it its due. Ignore it at your own peril. This feeling is a Golden Ticket to more freedom.

The sensation will unravel or it wont . Either is ok.

This can be exhausting but not as exhausting as binge drinking, 3 day hangovers, and years “lost” to inertia and fear paralysis.

I’m doing this to experience more joy not be “nice’ or “good’.

Here’s a list of some techniques , articles, ideas that have helped and if you can afford a coach or therapist – all the better!

Brene Brown excerpt

UFYB Kara Loewentheil podcast

Sarah May B podcast Help Me Be Me

Sedona Method