Somebody moved the goalposts when I wasn’t looking

What’s the point of staying sober?…That’s what I was asking myself only a few hours ago.

Random, brief talk at work about a sensitive subject sent me into a downward spiral, fast. I cried all the way home, feeling like there was no point to being sober any more. It hasn’t helped me to deal with any of this. Desperate, I suppose is the word.

Luckily my husband was already home when I got in. I was almost prepared for a fight because I wasn’t willing to accept the usual ‘don’t be upset’ talk. I needed acknowledgment of my feelings, for once. It was OK, he understood. He told me not to drink, because I’ve worked so hard to get this far, and he knows I want to make it to a year.

After a while I calmed down and went to have a bath, abandoning any ideas of working out and green juicing etc. I decided to be gentle with myself, and read for an hour or so. I picked up this book (again – I never seem to start and finish anything within any sort of sensible time frame) the other day, when I was searching for some peace – The Tao of Sobriety, by David Gregson and Jay S Efran.
Chapter three is called ‘I Think, Therefore I Am’, and the writers say;

‘As human beings, we not only think, but we think about our own thinking… Our human capacity for reflective thinking makes possible most of the achievements of which we are proudest, but at the same time it also perpetuates the heaviness with which many of us troop through life’.

The heaviness with which many of us troop through life. That’s me, I thought. And this;

‘Something that is particularly odd about thinking is that it forces us to act as if we were two or more different people living in the same body. In other words, one of ‘us’ almost continually observes and talks about what the other one of us is doing’.

Me again, I thought.

‘…it can get very noisy inside…’

Yep. So the book goes on to say that you need to recruit one of these ‘voices’ in your head (I’m simplifying slightly) to be the ‘manager’, and ‘to be the one who represents a commitment to well-being and the expression of love and compassion for yourself and for others’. I like the idea of this, as I have always asked myself ‘how do I remember to practise self-compassion etc all the time, when life keeps distracting me all the time. I’m too busy beating myself up about stuff to remember I should try and be nice to me!’ So, I just assign the role to one of these aspects of my personality.

On the other hand, it feels a little strange to be embracing this whole ‘split personality’ thing. I mean, yesterday’s title wasn’t serious, obviously. But I’ll see how I go.

In some ways I feel like I’ve reached a point which is very much like the early days of my sober journey. I’m suddenly very fragile and unsure. There IS a point to being here, to being sober ad staying that way. It’s just that I’m back to that place where all the answers seem to be way off in the distance somewhere…as if somebody moved the goalposts when I wasn’t looking…


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