Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Accepting slower change. Sucking my thumb. The vision thing. Ups from downs

Another day of ups and downs in the More Than Sober journey. 

The ups though are becoming upper and the downs less, ahem, downish. I write for a living and should be ashamed of that sentence. Still, you catch my drift. 

I'm more accepting that things change slowly. I've lived a lot of my life rather like a spoiled child - I WANT IT NOW! So I'm learning this stuff for the first time. 

Incidentally, you wouldn't have noticed that in me. To the rest of the world I've generally been accommodating, charming even and probably, if anything, overly polite. 

Thinking about it now, the spoiled child thing may be overstating things. Alcohol and porn were both shortcuts to something, cutting out a lot of effort. But they were alternatives to a very difficult road and often taken in desperation. I don't want to overdo the bad sides of my nature. As Sherlock Holmes noted, it's just as dishonest as boasting. 

Now I know I'm in something for the long haul. I do have resources to draw on here. 

Beth Burgess (The Happy Addict: How to be Happy in Recovery from Alcoholism or Drug Addiction) asks addicts to look at some of the strengths that their addiction may have given them - our lies show imagination, we can find a drink or fix anywhere and so on. 

A counsellor told me the same thing when she asked me to see what I called my stubbornness in seeking out drinking opportunities - tragically, one of the few things in life I've ever battled or - as determination. I can see that now and I'm trying to bring that to the front of my thinking. 

I've also remembered something from my childhood. I sucked my thumb for too long. I can't remember my age, but I think I was in danger of going to school a thumb-sucker, which my parents warned me, would be a Very Bad Thing. 

I remember the feeling of absolute terror at the idea that I couldn't suck my thumb. I also remember, very clearly, the complete impossibility of a world without my thumb stuck in my mouth. Yet I did it. (Reader, I assure you I am not currently sucking my thumb.) 

There may even have been an element of strategy in the young addict. I remember switching to sucking my right thumb, when my left was the one that I always sucked. That helped break the pattern. 

They're all just learned behaviours these addictions, and they can all be unlearned. No matter how inconceivable a life without booze, fags, porn, betting on the nags or whatever might seem, we can always stick the other thumb in our mouths and make changes. 

I've decided that I definitely need to work on the idea of a life vision. Something to move towards rather than just being in retreat from the bad things. I have vague ideas, of course - and yes, I'm afraid one of them involves me being a pop star. They need working on, breaking down and putting down on paper (or screen).  

I'm still very busy, but I may have some time at the weekend. Mag is out during the days and I'll need things to keep me busy. 

Today had a big down, but I'm bouncing back more quickly. I feel on track still. 

May your ups be upper and your downs less downish too. 

If you spent it, thank you for your time. Comments and messages positively encouraged.