Proof: To Drink is Not to Die *but it may not be Living either.

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I am on an alcohol free EXPERIMENT. My goal at first was 3 months but I chose “the drank” at 10 months.

I will break down what happened in the head, in the body, in the saloon. Yes I went to a place that called itself a saloon. But heres a little reminder first:

My history with Alcoholics Anonymous, Buddhism, Alcohol Experiment via Annie Grace and other paths is alluded to in some earlier posts for reference. Im not new.

I had successfully lost 40 lbs or more through mindful eating, although we did not call it that in the 90s. Could I do this with drinking?

I wanted to mindfully rate this experience. If that was possible.

My drink of choice was served to me. I was with 2 other people. People who I could tolerate and enjoy without drinking. And had many times.

The first sip. Do I like the taste? It tasted good. I didn’t know I actually liked the taste of IPAs because it had been a while.

30 seconds in …..

gena-rowlands-faces - Vague Visages

Hey Hey I’m back in with the people! The feeling of ease. The feeling of love and tolerance for all. Except for the cold patio.

The relaxation of the physical body. Summer/ no responsibility feeling of days past. A large all over body SIGH.

Is this “ease” going to be fleeting? Right now I cant tell.

3 minutes in ….

Wow. I’m drinking more slowly than the others. My self awareness is still intact.

I asked S about his family and years in Texas, he begins telling an unusual story. I’m interested.

5 min in I’m like ……….

Gena Rowlands 10 Best Movies Streaming

Neurons fire more slowly? The dumbing down of my perception happens as if somebody had placed cotton /gauze around the body’s ability to process social cues. Also I seem to be astral projecting above the situation. I’m no longer really feeling my molecular connection to these people or the Saloon. I have to will myself to be in my body. Get back!

Focus hurts. It’s all effort-y. Ugh. Wait. Which relative is the one S just mentioned who has schizophrenia? This story is not boring and I want to understand with clarity and insight. No, still the gauze.

Would I remember these names and the chronology of the story S is telling if I was undrinking?

? min in -losing track of recording time stamps…

If only we were dancing or at some place where the right brain was in use – I could handle moving, dancing on this buzz. But conversing on it felt like a chore. My processing felt delayed and I hated it. Am I slurring? No you’ve had 1/2 a beer. Can they tell I’m a light weight? I think you’re on a compulsive loop so just let it go by. Do my eyes look weird? Am I over-trying? Is anybody mad at me? Like on Earth? Is anybody against me on Planet Earth? F&ck. I want my laser mind back. Pay attention. But how am I to be mindful when Mindfulness is now cheapened? Pay attention to the cheapness. Yes. Acceptance. Not loving this.

Now I’m drinking faster then the others. But only slightly. Almost to the end of the glass. I’m nostalgic. Not depressed. This is not giving me contentment.

Drinking is letting go of me. I still want drinking to want to be with me even if I choose not to be with it.

And This is only 1 mindful BEER? I don’t want another. That’s great but it also sucks.

THE GUARANTEE of a good time has gone? BUT maybe this will still be ok with dancing. I’m not giving up.

There was never a time for me when to Drink was to Die. Not in the sense of shuffling off this mortal coil.

But when I read this post back, I count several other types of death or loss.

They are not as shattering as they once were. There was no loss of money, credit score, clothes, social decorum, expensive jackets, cars, wallets, phones, IDs, trust, bile, days, beauty, collagen, confidence, months, years.

This time the deaths were gauzy. Softer. And YES I had a hangover. A sliver of one; sluggish, drained.

I landed safely. I stopped at 1. I did not suffer or torment myself afterwards, I did not make it BAD. Absolute. Tip: when you don’t have the depression, shame and intolerance with your own behavior, it grants a powerful feeling of choice.

Preference has its own kick.

With all this said, If I had been more physically hungover, I wouldn’t have been able to fight the depression and sadness. I can’t fight 3 beers and its aftermath. Not with all the self talk, life coaching, thought models and IV drips in the world. The dopamine withdrawal is REAL and I’ll go down.

A Woman Under the Influence 1974 movie review: Indie letdown

QUESTION: I had successfully lost 40 lbs or more through mindful eating, although we did not call it that in the 90s. Could I do this with drinking?

ANSWER: YES . But the thrill of Victory is muted. The Gauze.

Hi Alcohol. I came to get down. Wait. Not that kind of down.

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I came to alcohol to jump around, to unleash the spazmodic, creative, wilding energy that is my birthright. But also to quell my fear about jumping.

Jump Around Lyrics by House of Pain VIDEO HERE

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin
I came to win, battle me that’s a sin
I won’t ever slack up, punk you better back up
Try and play the role and yo the whole crew’ll act up
Get up, stand up (c’mon!) see’mon throw your hands up
If you’ve got the feeling, jump across the ceiling
Muggs lifts a funk flow, someone’s talking junk
Yo I bust him in the eye, and then I’ll take the punk’s ho
Feelin’, funkin’, amps in the trunk and I got more rhymes
Than there’s cops at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop
Sho’ nuff, I got props
From the kids on the hill plus my mom and my pops
I came to get down, I came to get down
So get out your seat and jump around!Jump around!
Jump around!
Jump around!
Jump up, jump up and get down!
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! (Everybody jump)
Jump! Jump! Jump!…

Source: LyricFind

So jumping and quelling :

So great that alcohol does both ! It calms me down enough to anesthetize the worry that jumping may or may not be the appropriate thing to do . It makes it Ok to jump, to be a jumper. To wear a jumper. To romp and wear a romper for that matter.

Alcohol told me I was a leader. No, that’s a lie. My brain told me I was a leader and alcohol let me believe it. Which was not entirely bad.

Im learning alot in this recent and literal Alcohol experiment. Courtesy of Annie Grace .

My Alcohol Dialogue number 43

ALCOHOL – Hey, thanks for drinking me. You look all glowy! I’m now in your body, did you eat?

ME: No , why would I do that?

ALCOHOL: I know, riggggght? Ok so in about 27 minutes , your going to feel me leaving , which will feel like a gradual buzz kill because it IS. That means you’ll need to make a decision .So just choose A or B and let me know when your ready. ASAP Preferably. Sorry, Im in a hurry.

ME: Of course, I wont leave you hanging.

ALCOHOL: Right you’ll only do that to yourself.

ME: What?

ALCOHOL: I love this song.

ME: I cant hear it.

ALCOHOL: So back to the choices below, Here they are .

A) Continue feeling good again from the brains homeostasis chemicals. Your sugar rise doesn’t get messed with (yet) Which means most likely: continued warmth, inner glow, euphoria. Simply continue this until you pass out or see 2 Judy Garlands when you’re watching her later on youtube. In the future, we will touch hangovers and arrested development that will come from this behavior along with less sexy and more scientific consequences.

ME: Sorry I spaced at “2 Judy Garlands”.

ALCOHOL (continues)

or B) Start to feel sad and bad. Feel the come down physically and then Brain will just look around for things to be wrong so that wrongness can match the come down and make sense.

ME: If I were leaning towards A, what are next steps?

ALCOHOL: Just have another drink before and half hour passes ( if your stomach is empty) Maybe 55 minutes if you ate . Or maybe order 2 to begin with. More Pro.

ME: and for B?

ALCOHOL; Yeah totally super cool. For B, Just like don’t have another “drink” drink. Maybe have a seltzer water I think they call it or plain water? Then go through witnessing your brain and body aching to drink, and also face some of the enhanced feelings you’ve ignored for 20-30 years. Along with the regular feelings of ” This bar is really loud and irritating”, “Im old”, “Oh wait, I’m not in a bar because of the Pandemic , so I guess I’m really loud, irritating ,old and so is the calico tabby.

ME: A. Final answer

#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.

Define Sober #1 NewcomerAgain??

I’m clear. I’d prefer to not to drink . Im 52. Female. I’ve tried AA and it worked for me ( just like drinking WORKED for me ) until it didn’t. AA was a beginning and Im still participating intermittently. I still encourage trying AA if you’ve never been sober. Its not AA or blank … for me ITs AA and blank, blank , and maybe blank for me … Im doing 30 meeting in 30 days right now because in this pandemic-ly virtual world, Its easy for me.

This first entry is ranty. Maybe future post will be solution-y

This is an anonymous slightly screaming blog to track the terrain that awaits me in the alcohol free unknown without trying to be a popular/parrot/good AA. Since 2008, Ive collected 7.5 years of sober time (but EEEEK not consecutive sober time) THIS AMOUNT OF TIME COUNTS.

I am really at odds with the idea of “losing time” or “starting over ” as a NEWCOMER after a RELAPSE/slip.

Any time I’m NOT using booze to buffer a difficult feeling or life situation , its a WIN. I don’t agree with the word relapse. I don’t agree that you have to destruct and recreate from the bottom up and tearfully admit in a pseudo humble way That you are a newcomer again if you have already lived life sober for a time. You’re NOT a fucking Newcomer. All of the gut level “knowing” and experience you gleaned up until now now now is part of the recovery trajectory, it’s not blotto’d out because you drank again. It’s cumulative. Every part of my story is needed. My relapses up until now have only enriched and enlivened my WHY for CHOOSING to move towards an alcohol free or MOSTLY (Im shooting for 87%) alcohol free rest of life. Can I navigate the world and especially a POST pandemic world without the sheen of alcohol. I want to try it. Its a game. A Badass courageous game. I’ll be happy if i get 15% more sober time under my belt by the end of the year.