NQTD! Got that one from Holly at Hip Sobriety and it has been my mantra this week. I’ve had a couple of shaky moments with cravings but they were fleeting. Intense but fleeting. Yesterday, one of my accounts is a fancy hotel with a fancy bar and a sleek modern plant display. I was with a coworker and we took extra time to make sure that everything was watered properly and clean, not just a splash and dash day. As we were heading back to the office, she was driving and flying down the interstate and I don’t know if it was the sound of her gum chewing or the fact that it was Friday but I was convinced that wine was going to be a necessity that evening. So, I closed my eyes and did something I haven’t done for sobriety in a long time, I prayed. I prayed for the desire to be removed. It worked.
These days, I’m praying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster because I have been having issues with Evangelical Christians, mostly because I live in the Buckle of the Bible Belt and if you just rattle of a scripture to me and I sense your arrogance of being (white) privileged without any deep sense of empathy or humility for people other than those that fit into your box of righteousness, I am most likely going to want to punch you in the mouth. It’s this election that’s brought it out to the forefront of my views. It’s the people in my life that praise God on Sundays and then the rest of the week act like the biggest assholes and are so narrow minded that it seems their brains and heart have shut off. Jesus was a liberal. He and I are cool and that’s all that matters in the end anyway and it’s a bit of a joke between us, He totally gets my sense of humor. I have witnessed a lot of religious abuse and every fiber of my being automatically retaliates against it. (Sometimes AA feels similar, when I hear the bumper sticker slogans, I can’t help it, it’s just my response, I’m not saying it’s right) I’ve been in a bit of an existential crisis for a few years now so please don’t comment with how God works or the 12 steps. I’m working through it. I’ll figure it out. I’ve read the entire Bible. And the entire Big Book. And lately it bores me. I get what people are up to and I cherish my friends that are scholars but also full of grace and mercy. It’s the others, people that resemble that Kim Davis lady in Kentucky who tried to block gay marriage even though her own marital history was something far from Godly and her might was far from right, it was unconstitutional. She broke the law. Same with the assholes that are 13th steppers in AA like my dad.
I grew up Mormon. I will go to my grave believing that Mormonism was founded on misogyny, pedophilia and fraud. They won’t ever get me back. I have been saying for years that I am a Recovering Mormon. Drinking started out as an act of rebellion. I have a hard time saying I have a disease. I know I am on the alcoholic spectrum because of the cravings and learning how to manage without it. This is my new act of rebellion. This is the thing that I am doing now, this is how I am growing now. Alcohol served a purpose in my life for a long time but that purpose is no longer needed, wanted or of any value. If I hadn’t been able to see Christians drink and still be accepted in their churches, I probably never would have understood grace. Alcohol had also led me to people that saw life differently, my Buddhist friends, my Muslim friends, my Atheist friends, My Gay friends, people who have shaped and loved my spirit but also the ones that have damaged my spirit. Alcohol was a vehicle that took me on some great adventures, both horrifying and exhilarating.
When I prayed yesterday, I went deep in my heart and connected (maybe it was the great noodly appendage or could have been the Holy Spirit or just my heart chakra) but the desire was gone. I was so grateful. I’m not going to question the decision to be sober. I’m focusing on looking for tools to make the decision stronger.
I also learned from Holly at Hip Sobriety to put it into perspective that “I am doing something that most people won’t do, to live the life that most people can’t have.” It’s not that I want to be better than you, I’m just restless. Following a doctrine of rules and regulations, living by rote, being content with society norms is not my bag. I want experiences. I want to go places. I want to meet people. And as my mom said, yesterday, “It’s time for you to learn a new accent.” (She’s tired of my southern accent) Waiting a year for my sobriety to be in check is not an option. The time is now. Sobriety is my new accent, my new lingua franca and the only way to truly get a grasp on a new language is to immerse yourself in it, to not be embarrassed to fuck it up, to figure it out as you go along, to listen intently, to make new sounds. I’ve learned two languages fluently, Swedish and Tongan, they are probably the two most useless languages in the world to know. However, learning them taught me things about myself and the world that were necessary lessons. Sobriety is a necessary lesson.