Yeeeeesss ! Coming home at 1:30 am every night, spending evenings listening to crazy free jazz concerts, sitting in the audience sipping tea/water/coke …. My week long vacation in Mexico City was AWESOME !
I am soooo grateful :
- To be at a point in my life where “having fun/going out” and “drinking” are no longer synonyms. A few years/months ago it would have been extremely difficult to walk into rooms full of strangers or go out and not have a beer to hold onto for pleasure, courage, company or disinhibition. Now I just feel calm and composed no matter which social situation I find myself in. It feels like swimming, not like jumping into a terrifying pool. In fact, now that I am less anxious, I am even more sociable than I used to be (and I already was). People’s opinions don’t scare me anymore in these types of settings.
- To my partner, who doesn’t really drink anymore either, and sipped all that tea/water/coke with me. He was so amazing on stage every night (yes, I’m a complete groupie when it comes to his music. But believe me – it’s soooOooo deep, he’s a prodigy of sorts (no joke) … I fall in love with him every time he plays. Ok, romantic rant over). Long story short: I love that we are on the same page with wanting to experience life without a crutch. Who needs alcohol when music and beauty and connection with others can transport you to other worlds ?
- To the Mexican people, for coming up with the gorgeous concept of Agua Frescas (I don’t know if it’s a specifically Mexican invention, but this was my first time hearing about agua de Jamaica, de Horchata, etc. They were DELICIOUS and really turned the boring old nonalcoholic drinks into a real festive treat.
- To the Mexican people again, for liking super watery beers which I kind of hated anyway so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much on the beer front.
- To the Mexican people in general. Just because. They’re so warm and kind and created a generous, safe atmosphere in which I never really even felt the desire to drink. Once again, I am surprised by how little people drink compared to what I used to imagine they did (or compared to the people I used to spend my time with). It’s been months since I have spent any real time with a *drunk* person. It’s like all those drunken nocturnal friends have disappeared into the night and vanished. They used to be everywhere, and I used to be one of them 🙂 Now I go to sleep earlier, and when I do stay out late, people are weirdly sober (or reasonable drinkers) and I don’t know where all the really drunk people are anymore. Even all these intense crazy late-nighter musicians don’t really seem to drink much. What used to be the norm for me has become the exception.
Long story short, we had a beautiful time. I met so many beautiful people, with such deep souls and such a powerful, intense history, such sensitive aesthetics, such acute political and social awareness, and such big hearts… it made me want to move to Mexico 🙂
The down side of this whole “victorious” post is that one afternoon I smoked a cigarette. So did my boyfriend. We did it together: we bought two single cigs on the street and “mindfully” (LOL buuuuuullshit) smoked them while drinking this traditional cocoa drink at a cafe terrace. It was like a strange ritual, I don’t know what got into us. But I retrospectively regret doing it because it opened up the addiction door again for me and woke the cigarette monster – I should have refrained. I must remember to stand my ground and not use other people to justify my addictive behaviors). HOWEVER, I am trying my best to not let black and white thinking lead me back to smoking a pack a day. That’s the other side of addictive thinking that I am trying to let go of now that my daily life has changed. It used to be “I slipped = I suck = I must go all the way and fuck up completely”. Now that I have a bit more experience with “renunciation” -as the buddhists say-, I can push back: “Hell no ! It happened. What is done is done. It’s in the past. It doesn’t need impact the future. Now I dust myself off and keep going like I was before. End of story”. I hope I live up to my standards lol. But the “Never take another puff” people are right: this dopamine shit fucks you uuuuuup so fast. Sorry for the swear words 🙂
What I get from this little trip abroad (apart from the joy at having discovered a new slice of the world, and the relief at having relaxed for a bit from the PhD work) is that it really feels incredible to have arrived to the point where I prefer not drinking over drinking most of the time. Yes: Most of the time. It’s been 5 months and 6 days, and I still get the occasional IPA craving. But then it passes. The real blessing is this “uuurgh, actually, no thanks… I have no desire to feel the hazy sloppiness of inebriation, thank you very much” feeling, which pops up whenever I imagine what it would be like to down a pint or three. It’s a life changer, this feeling. Like an antidote to cravings. It’s not a “thou shalt not drink” command that you impose upon yourself. It’s a FEELING of quasi-repulsion that comes from the body. For me, that makes ALL the difference. It’s physical, natural – not imposed by reason. A sense of “been there, done that, not really interested anymore”. During the early days/weeks of sobriety I didn’t feel this yet. It was mostly intellect and willpower dictating the rules, while I did my best to navigate the frustration of quitting and the feelings of deprivation/ emotional rollercoaster of living life without a filter. But now there is nothing much to fight or resist. I can do what I feel like, and I feel like staying clear headed. Staying present with what is. Staying here, now. I PREFER this clarity, not because I should but because it FEELS better. This is a true revolution/revelation in my mode of being in the world. I hope this feeling sticks around and helps me strengthen what once was a “resolution” and gradually morphed into a new way of life.
(Aaaaand if the cravings hit too hard, I know I always have the nonalcoholic IPAs that I can try if I really miss the taste. But I still haven’t tried any, so that must mean something).
Ok voila, that’s all folks.
Hang in there!