Once again a paragraph from Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin has really managed to summarise how something is for me, how it works for me and in the case of drinking how it was for me.
“It was always the same – the temptation, the giving in, the promise of moderation and then the slide into over indulgence.”
I know that scenario well; can relate it to varying aspects in my life. The biggest example of course was when I was drinking. I was exactly like that, each day I promised myself moderation or abstinence for today but tomorrow I could have one.
When I read that specific line I felt really excited, Yes! – That’s it exactly. That was my pattern. It was my pattern with drinking and it’s my pattern with eating foods that don’t fit with where I want to be.
It was so easy to fall into life’s ideal dream of moderating, controlled indulgence and each day I would fail at it. Just one would turn into ¾’s of a bottle so what the heck I may as well finish it and I did. Then the self loathing would arrive with a vengeance and so the cycle of self abuse would continue.
I tried to moderate and I couldn’t do it. So I had no choice, no other option. Right?? Wrong, I had options.
Option A was to keep on this cycle of self abuse, getting nowhere.
Option B was to just keep drinking and give up any attempt to improve.
Option C was to abstain. Forever. Right now and never again.
Well, I choose option C and its proved to be a very life changing option. For me it was the best option available and it’s working out really well.
Only back then I didn’t see it as an option, I certainly didn’t call it a choice. I referred to it as giving up. I was giving up alcohol. I was going without. Now while this is true, I can’t help wondering [as I read and learn and grow]if I had looked at it differently would it have been a little easier. I see now they carry subtle negatives even though on the surface they look to be good choices. Choosing option C to have a sober life is full of positives.
I didn’t give up; in fact I stepped up and choose to stop drinking. I choose to believe there was more to life than this bitch struggle and that maybe there was more to me than to keep living this struggle. I wasn’t going without, after all there were so many alternative drink options that going without wasn’t a concise description.
I wish back in my beginning I’d understood I wasn’t giving anything up but was swapping one behaviour which wasn’t serving me well at all to another full of hope and promise and which was so much better for me and which was more in line with the me I wanted to be.
Simply reading a paragraph or even a simple sentence that flips the mental ah ha light switch is pretty amazing and I get such a buzz from it. Anything which enhances my understanding of my behaviours – past and present- and of myself is very empowering. It could well be the thing that lightning bolts me [term from the book] to making change, to adopting newer better habit is a good thing.
Having this enhanced knowledge will hopefully tug upon other aspects of my life bringing about the changes I desire for myself and within myself.
Looking at it from an angle of higher positivity is pretty exciting and really fills my joy jar.
I am sure that as I continue to read this book that there will be further moments like this one and I look forward to them. Most likely I will be so excited I will need to share them.
Anything that helps me help myself is welcome and wanted.
Together in Strength