Monthly Archives: July 2014

How to actually use the internet when stopping drinking

I went to Epcot Centre when I was a young lass. I remember they had a ride that took you into the future. It showed people having face to face conversations from different parts of the world thanks to cameras on computers. It’s slogan was “the world is shrinking”

And it is. More than 20 years later life is a lot like that ride at Epcot Centre. The world is a very small place when people can be reached at anytime from anywhere. Everything is so easy now. It’s wonderful that there are answers to every question at the touch of a keyboard.

Sadly if you are asking the wrong questions then you are totally f*cked.

F*cked because you can find evidence to support almost any theory that exists. And when it comes to sobriety, or taking tentative steps to begin a life of non-drinking, people are filled with doubt. So when you type “sober” into Google? Real Answers rarely come up. What does come up?

•Struggle. Tons and tons of blogs citing a journey of struggle and very little successful sobriety.

Or:

•People who want money off you. Who eke out a living working in the field of addiction who and want to subsidise their income from your aforementioned doubt.

Not forgetting:

•People who really like talking about themselves.

The last one I can forgive. Everyone likes to feel important. Nothing these people have to say is of any use, so it’s nicer when they sod off, get an Instagram account instead and leave everyone alone.

The first is a shame, because the moments of solidarity people feel when bonding over struggle and despair just keeps everyone stuck here where they are. It’s quite sad and it does remind me of the diaries I used to keep under my bed when I was a drunk girl. The ricocheting between despair of drinking and justification to keep doing it is not a helpful thing when it’s shared.

The middle one is the worst. People who take advantage of others and make money from their fear are horrendous as far as I’m concerned. I see them scanning Twitter, Facebook and online forums looking for their next clients and it’s just appalling to watch. If you do want guidance through early sobriety please don’t get it from anyone who makes their living full-time in the addiction industry. Nothing they have to say is of use to you. Quite frankly if they had this sobriety thing down to a tee they’d be making a living elsewhere. And being paid very decently for it.

Use the internet as a sobriety tool by looking up anything except how to stop drinking. because that’s how it’s done. Taking the focus off not-drinking and onto the rest of the world. Not sitting for hours on end sympathising with others who feel they are part of a noble struggle.

Look up hand-gliding. Learn to make sock puppets. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just stop Googling sobriety. Stop following blogs that talk about not-drinking. Start following ones that talk about becoming a tri-athlete or a magician. That’s where full-time successful sobriety is lived. In the wonder of discovering the world anew.

Epcot Centre circa 1990’s may be right. The world might be shrinking. And you may feel small and scared right now. But just remember. You can be physically limited and financially limited but your thoughts never have to be limited. The imagination knows no bounds, irrespective of external circumstance.So don’t let other people’s versions of struggling with sobriety inform your own opinions.

Start with letting your Search Engine Options get bigger and see where it leads you.

Because you are limitless. And I believe in you completely.

Cxx

Starting With a Stop is F*cking up Your Sobriety

photo

I’m going to stop this time.

It’s Monday. Which for a lot of people means a mild case of sadness that the weekend is over and work starts again.

Not if  you are struggling over sobriety.

It’s over now. For good.

For you it’s the morning where self-loathing kicks in yet again. The feeling of squandering yet another weekend, f*cking up by doing sh*t you promised yourself you wouldn’t do. You even meant it this time when you said it.

I’m never doing it again.

You’ve had the confessional already. Purged yourself by writing in your diary or posting on your online sobriety forum of choice. Now you just have to sit with the feelings of self-hatred until they dissipate enough for you to function. or maybe not. Maybe you feel like if you hate yourself enough you can prevent yourself from coming back to this place.

I am done.

Before you carry on yet again down this familiar well-trodden path, it may be worth asking yourself this: What the hell is actually logical about Starting something with a Stop?

If you are planning a journey-do you get in your car and keep the keys in your hand? If your boss asks you to complete a task-do you switch off your computer? Would anything get done if you did?

I am stopping drinking today.

Life is about forward momentum. Forward momentum is action-oriented. All life. Sobriety included. If your sobriety plan consists of cutting things out? Of course it can’t work. It goes entirely against all natural instincts.

Starting feels good. We are all natural starters. stopping might be something that we can practise ourselves into given enough time-but it never feels right. more than that it’s stopping that got us into the throes of alcohol abuse in the first place. Refusing to move forward with the rest of the world. Not developing the tools to live a happy forward moving life.

Drinking is the only real form of stopping. If people know how to live a great life then they don’t need to drink, they just do it as and when it’s appropriate. If we have a need to drink? Then it’s because we want to stop. Stop communicating with people. Stop emotions. Stop looking at the outside world.

Stop really living.

To try and fix this stopping problem by cutting down life to make it even smaller is nonsensical. You don’t mend having a problem with chronic stopping by stopping even more.

If you abuse alcohol? Then your main problem lies in an inability to start. rectify that and you are well on your way. Start making plans. Start filling your days up. Start teaching yourself how to think in a way that serves you.

So do me a favour. Rip that last diary entry out. Go to your online forum post and delete it. Stop the conversations you are having about stopping.

Start living your Monday like it’s the biggest, newest day you’ve ever had. Stop using the word stop. You won’t be needing it anymore.

START NOW.