Thursday, February 3, 2011

Is Getting Sober Difficult?

Should I concentrate on it to the exclusion of other pursuits?

Where do I draw the line between simply being and "getting" sober, and pushing myself in other contexts?

I'm increasingly convinced that I don't have to think about sobriety in the long view, but only come up with good long view reasons to tell myself in the near mode, when I'm craving some direct cranial stimulation. 

In the long or far view, I should be thinking about what I want in this life--i.e. my life, the only one I'll know, the one encased in a fallible flexible and currently achy body that's just coming to terms with the day as the brain inside of it has growing anxiety about getting to work late.

Seriously, though, the plan is not to concentrate on not drinking all the time, bar none.  You know the people that talk all the time about what they'll do in the long term, see it in only one sided beneficial terms, and even glamorize it when they are doing other activities that don't correspond?  Well, yeah, I've looked in the mirror too, and I'm about trying to navigate the short term in the most consonant way with long term values.  That's all there is.  And all that matters, when it is squeezed out of the meat grinder of my mind-body, are the results.  What's the impact?  Have my actions comported with the value-laden life that I desire to live? 

If so, then it becomes almost needless to talk about living a value-laden life, except in certain contexts (like this).  Right? 

It's funny.  It is easy to think about becoming famous, rich, successful, married.  Insert your favorite!  It is so easy to think that becoming some thing will solve all other problems because of the great benefits it will bring.

What we must understand, what I must understand to live a life that can evolve via maintenance (and not swings of mood, or swings of good and bad relationships based on principles), is that attaining some status will always have diminishing returns once it hits, and that there will be costs--in other words, that no matter what your dream, attaining it as you dream it is not possible without excluding some portion of reality at that point.

Which is to say, that if living a rewarding life is the goal, a life with the highest utility, or happiness quotient, we should move forward starting with consistency, work toward our high values, understand incentives that we have regarding audience, and what we've been told to believe in, and try to see costs and benefits of our attitudes and actions in a way that is not biased.  If it helps to put it down on paper, so be it.  The point is that nothing will ever be how we imagine it.  Our character is determined how we react to changing circumstances, when we attain something that doesn't look like it looked from our mind's eye, how we react to our own imperfection when our intimacy and dreams are on the line.

I think.  You know, I could be off track here.  Now, excuse me while I go get some hot chocolate. 

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