I’ve posted the above picture because its soothing to me, at a time when I am seriously in need of some soothing. Its a picture taken in one of my favourite places, where I have spent many many happy days
When I was at the contemplative stage of the change cycle re stopping drinking, one of the things that caught my eye, was the suggestion that to be successful in making a change, you have to ‘do things differently’.
I thought about this for a while and wondered what I could ‘do’ differently. It seemed (and still does) to me that its not STOPPING drinking that’s the problem – rather it’s staying stopped once the initial flush of success wear off, committing successfully to long term sobriety. You may have seen my previous posts about my conviction that its learning to not WANT to drink which is key.
So what can I do differently to help myself along the path to that goal. I can remind myself, should it be necessary, of all the reasons I decided that sobriety was the best option for me. I can read articles, books and blogs about the health effects of excessive drinking, and I can look at the examples in front of me professionally, at what happens to people who do not draw the line and stay sober. But that’s what I did last time, it helped, and it still does but – its not different.
Reaching out to the wider community of sober people, asking for help and offering it where I can – writing this blog ; that’s a bit different, it helps me to feel connected with others who are on the same path as me. The similarities of experience transcend the differences and the support has been amazing. I now have a whole library of books that thoughtful people have recommended based on my posts.
I’m wondering again about real life support.About maybe trying to make one or two real life sober friends, The friends I have I love dearly, and I certainly don’t expect them to change their drinking habits around me, but I think my self imposed sobriety makes some feel uncomfortable (of those few I have told)- like they have to justify their choices around me. It make ME feel slightly awkward in some situations, and that I really don’t want to get into discussion around why I have made this decision (at the moment) probably doesn’t help.
So I’ve been pondering again on AA. That would certainly be different. On the positive side it seems a good place to find sober people, and a good place to get positive reinforcement. On the negative side I really don’t want to be recognized, I really do NOT want to ‘work the steps’ and I really can’t attend 90 meetings in 90 days, and I don’t want to be set up to fail, and then judged on that failure. sigh. I wish there was an AA ‘lite’ option !
I think I’ve decided yesterdays therapist was not for me. She was nice enough, but I didn’t feel any empathy from her, and although I heard her ‘that must be difficult’ and ‘that sounds very hard’, they felt like stock phrases and not genuine. On the other hand I did come out of the session with a grip on one truth, that I hadn’t really accepted before…
What have been your experiences of AA? Good and bad? Or have you found sober friends elsewhere?