I woke up today feeling angry. Last night I was stressed out about the economy and the way the country feels like it is going out of control. On the one hand, there have been lots of scares like Y2K and others that have been hyped up as the end of the world, but on the other hand just because it has not happened in my lifetime does not mean that another Great Depression or cataclysmic event bringing forth a new and horrible dark age is out of the question. Those things have happened before. So at the onset there is need for balance. The out come of our politicians' efforts might be fantastic or abominable but will most likely fall somewhere in between. But really, all this is out of my control. I can do some small things to prepare myself. I can go to work every day and hope my job is there for me tomorrow so that I might sustain this "life" I have built around myself. What then? What is it that I must do to get from here to there where the grass is greener. Normally, alcohol would have nicely buried all this and perhaps a little not worrying about it is a good thing - just not in a manner that carries along with it so many unwanted side effects. So what then? It seems to be an issue of control or a feeling of lack of control. Prayer comes to mind as an option, but what should I pray for? Should I pray that some outside force comes and rescues me - that the cup passes my lips? Maybe I should pray that I, myself, have the wisdom to see the correct path and the strength to make the right decisions and act on them. Perhaps I should embrace the cup - this new cup filled with that which makes me stronger.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The cup has passed. Today is the first day in a long time that I can say - yesterday I did not drink alcohol. Usually after a long stretch of drinking consistently when I cut down I can feel my anxiety increase. Perhaps it is a chemical side effect of withdrawal. Perhaps it has more to do with no longer insulating myself from the issues that distress me in my life. Well, so far I am fine. I do not feel anxious. This begs the question, what is different in my life now that I do not feel anxious? I don't have the answer, but I do have a sense that things are being set right. Last night I did feel a little anxious. Along with that anxiety came irritability and annoyance with the people in my life. But then I went alone to the church service and had the ashes put on my forehead. Interestingly, after the service the anxiety was relieved. I think my issues with others might have more to do with myself than I have previously seen.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I was as excited for today as I've been in a while. Tied one on last night to get my money's worth and spent the day feeling relieved - relieved that I wasn't going to be doing that again for a while. Booze will be there when this period of Lent is over. I'm hopeful that I will thrive in the coming days and weeks. I don't want to be unrealistic or set myself up for failure, but I know I am capable of more than I am currently producing. It certainly can't hurt. I'm hopeful.
Thank God it is Ash Wednesday. It would be easy to feel anxious about how bad it has gotten leading up to this point and how bad it might get without my usual crutches. However, I will keep in mind that the supports are distractions from the truth and as such are invisible prisons. There is truth to the statement "The truth will set you free." Conversely, the non-truth will imprison you. So let the truth begin. The second component to this is to approach the truth with a non judgemental attitude. Being judgemental adds a second layer to perception. It is one step removed from actual experience. I find that these additional steps bring forth anxiety which is probably the most powerful distraction next to severe pain. So, I will now wake up and open my eyes and see what there is to see without judgement. It is what it is and I will let it be that way.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I am more excited about quitting drinking for Lent this year more than any other in the past. I think part of it is that I have more in my life at the moment between school and my new jobs. I moderated my drinking a few weeks ago and felt so good and was so productive. I'm not sure why I drink so much normally, but suspect that for as much of it as is conscious, there is a lot that isn't. I mean I may be doing it as much out of laziness or habit than anything else.
This Lent I will stop drinking (although I am predicting a need for absolution on March 7th for my mom's 60th birthday).
I will study and learn the Adobe Creative Suite and Maya.
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Monday, February 23, 2009
As Lent approaches and I know that I will be giving up alcohol cold turkey it seems as if I can justify drinking more easily. This is what Mardi Gras is about. It is an excuse to drink without the guilt that may be associated with it (or perhaps less guilt). It seems to me that this demonstrates a fundemental problem with how I relate to alcohol. There is a conflict between a part of me that wants to drink unrestrictedly and another part of me that wants to not drink. I think there are various reasons behind both parts. This might be something to explore further.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Required - These are the rules I will abide by during Lent as mandatory disciplines:
1. Negative - No Alcohol
2. Positive - Finish Draft IV of "Tulip Talk"
Optional - These are things that I will aspire to but will not necessarily be considered mandatory:
1. Exercise daily
2. Eat healthy (avoid meat)
3. Attend Church Regularly
4. Volunteer when the opportunity presents itself
5. Resist the urge to be anti social
6. Pray and / or Meditate daily