Day 136 – Side Trips Make the Journey Memorable

Well let me just admit it – I am paying no attention to the idea of “not drinking” at the moment other than to say I know I’ve totally fallen off the wagon. Or said another way, I am still taking a break from taking a break.

And that is OK with me on a mental and emotional level even if I know my body is protesting a little bit. Honestly, there are so many other things taking my energy right now – like resting and getting back to feeling like myself after so much time away from home  – that I don’t feel like I have any extra reserves at the moment to focus on the choice to not drink.

In fact I think the word of the day is CHOICE. It is becoming clearer and clearer to me that life is all about the choices you make, especially the choice we all have at any given time about how we will respond to a situation or problem. If there is any other significant or relevant word then it is PERCEPTION or perhaps ASSUMPTION. In the last few days this has been a recurrent theme and stood out in particular in several scenarios that have brought these points home.

Here’s one…

I have a wonderful client and friend who can be overly analytical about the conversations we have and how I might react to what he says. He also is someone who can get caught up in his perception or assumptions about something and sometimes forgets to choose to get clarification to determine if these are accurate. The combination of making assumptions and choosing not to clarify them often results in a huge and unneccesary amount of inner turmoil for him because he often assumes a fairly negative possibility.

This week he told me that this book/blog project had no purpose since I had been drinking again, that there was now “no story” there. In his mind he could only see the journey or exploration of sobriety as black and white – and that if I chose to explore drinking again in comparison to sobriety or as a part of the bigger quest for finding balance I was failing. His perspective made me sad but also helped me to see how and why he gets so upset about some things in his life. If you see whatever journey you are on as only being “successful” if you go to straight from Point A to Point B without any detours, side-trips, hang-ups or mishaps, then you will be severely disappointed on every vacation you take and in life in general. Or you will have a very boring life!

From my perspective, the unexpected, the falls, and the unplanned stop-overs are often the most memorable experiences on a trip and can offer the biggest opportunities for learning, growth, connection and meaning. I sincerely believe that the people reading my book and blog and thankful that I am sharing THE REAL STORY and not just living a milquetoast version of my life. I’d rather be genuine in telling the truth about the ups and downs of the journey – and being honest about the fact that I love some things about drinking while disliking others – instead of pretending to feel that I’ve totally changed my spots and never plan to drink again.

Thanks for your ongoing support and acceptance of me just as I am – and of my journey. I so appreciate it!