Saturday, June 28, 2014

4 Years Sober Redux

I have been sober over 4 years.  I am very proud of that fact.  I don't mean to denigrate it or take it lightly.  In fact, I see it in almost religious seriousness.

My life has changed immeasurably since I got sober.  For one, I make about three times the money I made when I was drinking.  I know this sounds perhaps superficial, but I assure you, especially with a family, it is not.  Having a solid middle class life is nothing to laugh at or to take lightly, not when the alternative is clear and available, or worse, a deeper, darker alternative, with nothing to look forward to at all.

Speaking of.  Looking forward to things is very important.  I'm not sure I can underestimate that.  It is important to keep in mind current reality, to not get lost in fantasy, but it is likewise healthy and vital and essential to have a respectful notion of future growth, the capacity to realize certain sought after goals, emotional maturity, and to have the capacity to change one's goals according to feedback, to self-correct.  Alcohol stops those things--excuse me: consistent chronic alcohol abuse stops those things, mostly the capacity to self-correct.  It shortens one's perspective into a very narrow slit and doesn't let go.

However, the scientist in me would be remiss if he didn't point out that I may have undergone many of these changes even if I were drinking.  I am, after all, at an age where such changes happen regardless.

Still, although it is not perfect, I know that I have a certain emotional levity--the ability, to actually view myself, to hold simultaneously self-doubt and self-assertion, and to use my insecurity to my advantage, attributes that are difficult to acquire without hardship and the constant onslaught that we should just affirm our deepest intuitions and fuck everyone who disagrees.

There is, indeed, some hubris in the assertion that we can know, and I would prefer to hold the assumption that we cannot know, that we must constantly strive to know, and that this struggle should inform us at a basic and constitutional level.

Which is why I won't just say that not drinking did the trick, end of sentence, end of paragraph.  I will instead say that it is something I should have corrected a long time ago, and I finally did, and I'm far from perfect in this respect, but I'm very very glad I did, and I wouldn't have gotten to the point where I could even write/say what I just did if I didn't stop drinking.  I was definitely locked in the cycle I see in many many people, which is outrage, affirmation of righteous intuition, very little homework being done, and more assertions than anything else.

Truth, if it exists, is very difficult to access.  I think this is self-evident, and applies to all fields of study, including human interaction, and, because of that, I'm quite hesitant to ascribe reasons to events that are far too complicated to begin to comprehend, including my own cessation of drinking.  Still, I'm quite glad that I did it, and I will continue "not" doing it, forever more, regardless of how much I might imagine I could, given a hypothetical non-consequential world where I can indeed control myself.  One truth that I know is that I cannot control myself with regard to alcohol.  For that one, I don't need more evidence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First of all 4 years well done Im just 40 days sober .. Long way to go
I have just found your site so I will keep reading ..