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 ……….

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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 Grief, thanks for calling! I’m just gonna put you on hold for 22 years

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I talk a lot about processing feelings but Grief is its own creature. Its is a beautiful beast.

To Those of us that have picked up addictive or compulsive behavior to avoid trauma or grief:

I congratulate you. You are here. You chose life.

BINGE-ING on alcohol and food was an effective dam for avoiding the flood of grief.

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Now I don’t really binge on those behaviors much, so guess who’s come a knockin!

The ignored, avoided, neglected Grief of My father’s death.

It’s not waiting any longer. After 22 years, it’s summoning me.

In my experience, Grief is a Russian Doll in Reverse. It gets bigger, not smaller, as you close in on its heart.

And as pictured below, the Heart has eyelashes.

photo Russian Semenov Nesting dolls

TIP: Before you get to the Main Event of Grief, you may have to butter up the gatekeeper dragons.

The dragons that guard grief are just doing their job.

beautiful dragons pictures - YouTube

So I dropped my armor and told these Gatekeeper dragons that they were fierce and stunning. I vowed that I would follow them on social media.

I gave them my attention. I thanked them. They ate that up. They didn’t leave. But they laid down. I walked past them freely.

Then I saw Grief. She had been waiting for me in this bathtub for all that time.

And she still looked fine AF.

Art by H.Minh

As she creeped into my body, She was gentle but HEAVY. Heavier than she looked.

I saw the year 1996 when my father got diagnosed with lung cancer (non smoker) and how that set me off on a path of multi-layered addiction. I saw that I had lost faith in the God of everything at that moment. I remembered how my Binging and OVEReating stopped and my UNDER eating began. I was unable to take anything in. This was my illusion of control.

Some people may call it anorexia.

With the goth super-model of Grief still swirling inside me, I discovered that under the water of sadness, there was ANGER.

She knew that revelation was enough for today and swam out of me.

Grief told me, though not thru words, that she’d see me Tuesday.

So I continue my grieving process in my time. I write, laugh, compliment dragons. Luckily I have a lot of free time. Because I don’t think this is something you can short-cut. Do I wish I would have done this earlier? Absolutely.

I now have a standing appointment with Grief. It’s there and there is no cancelation fee. Make yours today!

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.