Monday, July 14, 2014

Stop Drinking Now = Learning a New Language

Listen, when you don't know something, it seems incredibly mysterious.  Think about traveling in a foreign country where you don't even know how to say "please", "hello", or "thank you."  It is incredibly frustrating.  Not only that but the language seems mind-bogglingly complex.  Right?


And so, it seems like you might learn some of the language, and in the process, that somehow you will swallow the mind-boggling complexity, and subsume it as part of you, and then feel good about it.  I'm not knocking language learning at all, but the truth is that as you learn a language, hearing it seems less and less mysterious and more and more normal.  That makes sense if you consider that language is a form of communication.  And communication is functional (even if esoterically so at times, like with subtext and all).  And so, it isn't that the language is incredibly mysterious.  It is that your knowledge of that structure was zero, mostly.  And as you go from zero upward, well, intriguing, and challenging, and constantly there, but not quite as mysterious.

Sobriety is the same.  It is a wonder, a kind of language in itself.  It takes getting used to.  In conceptual terms only, it is special and mysterious and even hard to see the contours of it, how they might apply to you.  And like a language, it takes a lot of time to learn.  And like a language, you get better with more practice.  And time, therefore.  And patience.

And like a language, it allows you to communicate with other people, to understand a set of standards that were previously invisible.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Well said!

Anonymous said...

Very well said! Thank you for your insight and continued comments. I am so happy I found this site. Been fighting an alcohol problem for several years now. Got into it heavily after my Dad died, found it numbs the pain, but causes a bunch of other problems. Hopefully gonna find my way back to sobriety now. I am Christian, however, I found AA is not for me.(I know it works for many) I also continually mess up on moderation programs.This site and comments give me hope there is a decent life after sobriety again...and for the better, even tho I am still currently in the midst of continued painful situations with my dysfunctional family and dealing my ailing,elderly mom. So it will be ok to give up my "bottle" friend of wine and beer and the "people" friends that go with it. Drunk from age 15-20 after my sister's suicide. Sober from age 21-58. I am 62. Goes to show you time doesn't change much with booze and me.