10 snarky, shallow reasons to stay sober at your next bar outing.

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Lions and Tigers and BARS (reopening) Oh SH!T. You know who needs this list? I do.

Trigger warning – I am trying to refrain from Alcohol only. A little Cocaine is ok. Kidding only because I don’t care for cocaine but not kidding about the Alcohol free goal.

There are so many whip-smart people who write thoughtful books and analysis on alcohol abuse. They can lovingly awaken you to the Grace and Freedom of refraining. I will list them at the bottom of the post. But for now, let’s flip it!

10 snarky, shallow reasons to stay sober at your next Bar outing.

  1. Sonja Morgan* -just watch RHONY and see what the progressive effects are on Lovely Sonja. I relate to almost all her needs and desperation except the Famous and Rich part. And yes I’m picking Sonya not Leah. Because thru our societal lens, mess looks worse on her and me then it does on the younger and more nubile.
  2. I just got fillers and botox- I don’t want to fuck this up because I’m enjoying my filled face and it ain’t cheap.
  3. Smarter than you-My command of the Kings English recedes when I drink . I need my sober, silver tongue. Especially when I call you out succinctly on your passive aggressive behavior.
  4. Hypocrite snark- For All the people that said to me “I think you’ve had enough” , “Are you ok?” or ” I can hear you” :I can’t wait to 1) arrive 1.75 hours later then the outing starts and 2) confirm your buzzed demeanor and zing you with a comment perhaps in a different language. Or trip you in your heels. Easily.
  5. More noble than you- I will interview you if I don’t know you. I’ll develop 4 questions to ask you that are pointed and not about your work and remember your answers. Obviously I do this anyway sober or not but rarely remember 100% of answers.
  6. Mock not Cock- I get to try my first or 3 Mocktails
  7. Discern Boring Commoners- I will know for a fact if you talk mostly about yourself or if your mother taught you to ask questions of others as well.
  8. Do I care ? When drinking, I cared that you thought I was ok because I couldn’t sense if I’d read the room correctly or said anything untoward. I wanted your approval stamp in the aftermath proving I behaved. Now I can be untoward with full faculty. I can decide for me what is appropriate. I can change my mind 14 times too. I can do it wrong. I can sit with the fact that I only wanted your approval not necessarily your friendship.
  9. Sleeker than you – I’l most likely be at a dance class tomorrow and it doesn’t have to be early or late.
  10. More me then you – I glide into the establishment and have an intention for myself. This is for me. Not for you. Although I just cant fathom how you wont benefit.

As promised :Books on Varieties of Sobriety :

Blackout

Sobercurious

The Recovering

Hit so Hard

This Naked Mind

Alcohol is Sh!t

** Sonya Morgan may be as gorgeous and flirtatious and unburdened by alcohol as ever by the time you read this.

**** Of course I’ll do another 10 reasons after a couple of outings with less meow. Im sure 2 people will look forward to that.

When Gratitude isn’t Just a step to the left. Saditude b4 Gratitude

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Some days are “tra lala lala” effortless. Some are “Are you fu@king kidding Me!?”

When dealing with the latter, I don’t fall victim to immediately gratitude journaling. I need a bridge and a guide to Kumbaya. OR a river, a creek , a balloon, whatever. I need help with the transport feeling to get me to gratitude. I can’t Time Warp or Wrinkle in time there. This bridge step is un-skippable when Im ultra agitated or sad. I cant be all like, “Presto! Silken Scarves of gratitude surround me now!”

If you are glaring at an Instagram picture of your friend holding a yoga pose and you think “I believe in Peace Bitch”. Know that :

1) Tori Amos says that same sentence in The Waitress and 2) I’m with you.

So I grant ye permission not to be grateful for 20 minutes or 20 days. You will most likely slide into home plate of grateful much more easily without the pressure. Take however long it takes to do what you need to do to move in the direction of true North/Namaste.

This bridge could be bitching , writing , feeling, scream-singing, punching, crying, cleaning, smooshing, chopping, swaying, hanging, breathing, dangling or kicking , gerund, gerund, gerund.*
It could be none of those. Who says you have to end up at a journal unless that works for you. Some call this acceptance, but to me it seems a titch more dynamic than that word.

Finally you may arrive back where it is “just a jump to the left and then a step to the right.”

*Oh!, and sleeping

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

#2 Stop Grading your problems . Day 23 -“You mean all this time we could have been Friends?”

The last time I drank alcohol was not spectacular or worth a short film. On March 19th when The mayor issued the order that non essential workers in my city go home, I was not unhappy. The part time job was a necessary drudge that I showed up for the best I could. Let me also say I have known of no one in my small circle who has died or been catastrophically affected physically by COVID 19.

Loss. Grief. Fear. Whose is greater? Whose wins? Stop grading and take care of your own first. It counts. If you’re in your 50s and you’re trying to reconcile crepe-ing arms OR you are 40 and going through a loss of a parent OR you are 15 and getting bullied or you’re 55 and getting bullied OR your Public identity is OVER because of COVID 19, the body isn’t making note of the specifics. Do you think your adrenal glands, cortisol levels, limbic system are all talking to each other going , “Actually, lets just fire at a level 2 Fear because she should be over this shit”. No. The monster under the bed is REAL to your body. Whatever age or whatever longitude and latitude coordinates you occupy. #Compareanddespairanddonothing.

When the Pandemic order was issued , I hadn’t had a drink for 20 something days. I could just take it or leave it. My desire for alcohol was further lifted and I continued not giving a shit about it (meaning booze) UNTIL the beginning of May. Then I thought, I’ll have 3 beers. This was not a secret plan it was a declaration. An experiment. I was not “supposed” to be sober. Nobody but me was judging/not judging . I walked and bought a 6 pack of Racer 5 IPA from the liquor store. I still have the receipt.

Ensconced at home, couched with my partner, I took a sip. This doesn’t taste good. My body doesn’t like it. SIP. Its like too bubbly? But I really want this to work. SIP. Sort of tastes toxic. SIP. Its not that bad. SIP. It will be fun to host virtual game night with my friends tonight. REST-no sips. Game Night began, the sipping tripled. I was chasing the dream.

Later at 11:20pm after 4-5 beers and an Ativan , I laid on my carpet and drooled. Alone. My boyfriend was snug as a bug in bed. There had been no judgement or altercation. I imagined myself floating away and wanting to sink into the carpet ala “Trainspotting” This isn’t me. This is a sort of death but I’m not ready. I knew what I had to do. Purge and Primp.

I went to the bathroom and induced regurgitation. ACID extravaganza. The next day was lost to physical pain but I didn’t really experience the second arrow of shame which was UNUSUAL.

I’ve gone 5 years and 9 months and 2 months and 6 months without drinking in in AA but the large percentage of that time just felt like I was holding my breath and waiting for a reward from GOD.

On May 2nd, There was a monster under the bed that I skated over and I drank. I’m psychologically astute enough to know I don’t just drink because …whatever. I have no external problems compared to some and maybe a lot compared to the other “some”. As a human (most likely), I have the ability to face fear/loss and the requisite emotions that tap my on the shoulder and then throw bricks if I don’t pay attention.. If I stop grading and comparing my fear, “problems” then I can see them or it. CLARITY. Ohhhh!!! Fiona Fear how are you? Come to Tea this afternoon ( Buddhist reference I know) and I can say “FIRE, walk with me!” (David Lynch credit) Let’s be partners. If not friends then fellows ? fiends? In my experience , this lessens the burden and I incrementally lose the desire to drink , or to (insert buffering behavior)one friendly fear fire at a time. This is ACCEPTANCE and ACTION.

Now here I am with choice. Day 23 goal 30 virtual meetings in 30 days . MY preference is to be alcohol free NOT sentenced by shame to be alcohol free. Will I stay the course? I don’t know. I don’t have to know. I’m not throwing AA out but I’m adding Kevin Griffin and Belle Robertson and Recovery Elevator and this blog. I’m tracking Fiona Fear on an excel spread sheet.