february 29, 2020—sixty days afaf

Sixty Alcohol Free As F*ck days…I want more, please.
so much can be said…gimme a few minutes, I’m just warming up…will probably say way too much, as always. I am grateful for all of you traveling this path with me, wherever you are, and this safe space, to help me work through some of these thoughts…
I haven’t been nearly as active on this page as I was during the official Live TAE, because I’ve been going deep—scuba-diving into the depths of my life, if you will—to get to the heart of the matter, so I can embrace this change for good, and it’s crazy-time consuming. I have found a couple of other sober resources that are resplendently resonating with me as much as Annie’s program does—layering/fortifying/reinforcing what I experienced in January that simply began as an experiment…
To truly welcome and embrace an alcohol free life takes a tremendous amount of time, effort, commitment, and work, there’s no doubt about it. As one of the sober coaches I follow says repeatedly, “you spent an ungodly amount of resources drinking—if you’re serious about being sober (y’all know I am more fond of AFAF4LYFE, than I am of “sober”), you have to be willing to invest that same amount of commitment, persistence, energy and passion to being alcohol free/sober. If you can’t, then I can’t help you, and I release you with love…” touché, Victoria…
I never thought of it like that, until the January experiment brought this fact to the surface: how goddamned committed I was to drinking—because all this time, I believed I wasn’t “that bad.” But the reality is, people who don’t have a problem with alcohol don’t spend most of their waking hours thinking about drinking. They don’t spend a considerable amount of time and energy planning their lives around drinking, or frantically try to manage all the work that goes into hiding their drinking, or cleaning up after their drinking, or playing catchup after drinking, or fooling themselves into thinking they can moderate (euphemism for: “not that bad”).
To let go of old ways and replace them with new, means I have to go down deep, not just to learn where the origins of my drinking mindset began, not just to acknowledge it, not just to accept it, but also to dismantle and replace my original, faulty stories with new, truthful narratives. And not just about alcohol but every aspect of my life. Spoiler alert: it goes back to childhood. Goddamned, that’s a long time back for a lot of us, now, isn’t it? Who wants to go all the way back there?! Who wants to deal with all that shit?! No one, that’s who. I’m so over that crap, it’s in my past, shut the door tight, and numb me, please…but unless I want to keep repeating myself overandoverandover again, unless I want to stay stuck and never transcend the arbitrary barriers and self-sabotaging I set in place years ago, unless I want that insanely uncomfortable “crawling out of my skin” feeling to do me in for good, unless I want my drinking to not just resume at the pace it was 60 days ago, but likely escalate to something far worse, I have to do the work. Or, I’ll continue to repeat the same shit every year and wonder why things never change. I’ll get to keep saying, “see, I told you I’m flawed,” or “It’s my parents’ fault” or “because my husband died,” or, or, or… I not only have to make peace with my past, but reprogram it, so I won’t ever feel like I’m missing out by not drinking, so I won’t ever believe I’m not as fun or smart or outgoing or courageous or whatever when I’m not drinking, so I won’t ever be tempted to “moderate”—I have to completely reprogram all my decades-old believes about myself, which led me to drinking in the first place. For the record, if it hadn’t been drinking, it would have shown up in other ways in my life (and it has)—this unresolved shit always has an uncanny way of showing up, and will continue to show up, until we show it down.
I had no fucking idea what ‘feeling all the feels’ meant until I dove in deep. It’s ugly, and awful, and makes me cry something fierce every damned layer deep I go. But you know what else? It’s also immeasurably grace-filled and forgiveness-filled, and I have not felt this kind of peace and love for myself in I don’t think forever in my life. And as deep as I’ve already gone, I know I’m still only just splashing around in the kiddie pool. There’s so much more work to be done, and I can’t do it all alone. Right now, the desire to learn more, and change more, far outweighs any desire to numb this ugly pain with alcohol. What the everlasting fuck is going on??!! I don’t care, just give me more of it, please…
I’ve “met” astounding, inspiring, courageous people in this group, people who are sharing their AFAF4LYFE stories with their community of friends, are but a few that I know for certain who are opening up to the world about their journeys—there are likely far more, I hope to learn of your stories, too…and that is my next step—to open up about how debilitating this way of being has been for me, and how I’ve worked so hard to hide it, and it doesn’t have to be this way any more…as soon as we decide we’ve finally had enough, we can get off this only-going-down elevator…I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday, and she will learn of this new layer of my health history. I will be looking for a new therapist (always a daunting task, but I want someone who is familiar with this new science of alcohol addiction that we are coming to know, not ol’ skool ways of 12 step and inherent personal flaws and willpower and white-knuckling…). I will open up to more of my friends and family, that this is no longer an experiment, but an evolutionary, existential, transcendental journey…
And for the record, this change of heart didn’t just happen with the 30 day Life Alcohol Experiment—that certainly has been my tipping point, my come-to-Jesus moment, my eye-opening pivotal experience…mine has been years in the making, I have a long string of do-overs in my history, more than a lifetime’s worth of self-flagellation to my name. I always go back to my Day 1 photo (the one on the right). The truth behind those Day 1 eyes gets me every time. As always, thanks for being here, and thanks for reading…xo!
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, indoor
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, dog, child, closeup and indoor

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