Monday, October 8, 2012

Out and Back

Well I've been on a bit of a real vacation folks, for 2.3 weeks, out to Barcelona, then driving the coast of Spain, France, and yes, even a bit of Italy.  The very small amount of French I picked up was really lovely, actually, and if you ever get a chance, go to Toulouse, and then drive through the fucking Pyrenees mountains.  I'll even post a pick from that leg in a few moments when I get the camera up and running and my brain sort of lingers into the reflection mode more fully (right now it is only in the sad disbelief mode).

I see a fair amount of comments have come in when I've been out (by that I mean 5 or 7 or so, which is a hell of a lot for me), and I'm glad that folks are out there reading.  It warms my heart to know that I could have helped someone in any positive way.

The truth is that not drinking can at times be terribly lonely, and without the perspective that a good hard drunk (i.e. the activity, not the person), can give, it is even potentially easy at times to get sucked down avenues of thought that are highly self-referential feedback loops of negativity and anxiety, which sort of compounds stress instead of relieving it, or creating clarity.  All of which is to say that not drinking still isn't easy, but it isn't not easy because drinking is so easy; instead it isn't easy because, for me at least, it forces me into a kind of Bayesian experimenter with my own life, trying hard to update my belief systems based on what is fact, sucking in data and filtering, filtering filtering.  But ultimately, that's not the only function of the human brain.  Part of the function is also to expand emotional satisfaction or payoff or whatever you want to say it is by explicating or grasping experience and hurtling oneself through it with other people who experience it similarly (i.e. shared).

Not that sharing experience precludes scientific living, just that scientific living can exclude shared experience with a fair degree of regularity.

 And what we sober alcoholics need, desperately, is a bit of shared experience.  Hence AA, or hence this blog, or hence whatever it is we want to convince ourselves of that gets us out of our heads and into the notion of meaningful interaction outside of hopefully permeable barriers.

I.e. the sin of aging is to be so rigid that one cannot update their structural diagnosis of how reality works, but instead only add new details to already understood categories.

I.e. this gets way too existential way too fast, and I mean it more of a blend of anecdote and discursive therapeutic exegesis.

I.e. I'm trying damn hard to maintain openness to new previously not-or-mis-understood categories that I can't just presume understanding of retroactively (which seems to be an all too human condition).

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