Sunday, March 30, 2014

Darwin on Drinking

Omg!! It's been a while! I've missed you!! I hope you're well!

I'm busy finishing the first/slash/second draft of my novel. Only a hundred passes left to go! Give or take. ;) I'm incredibly excited about it. More excited about this story than anything else I've ever written in my life. And I've been pattering away on ideas since I was about ten. And I'm my worst critic. So to feel excited about a novel - and the characters - is so refreshing for me.

I've also been busy planning a spring trip. The hubs and I are off to London for a couple of weeks. Really looking forward to it, but it has affected my first annual cleanse. For the last few years, my spring cleanse has started somewhere in the first week of April, ending early in May. But because of the timing of the trip, the whole cleanse is being pushed ahead by about three weeks. Because there's no way I'm cleansing while on vacation! ;) What's da point? It's in the rules. You don't have to take cleanse days when you're on vacay.

But this is going to be the latest I've pushed my first cleanse. So far so good, but I'm curious what it'll be like cleansing in May. What new challenges or benefits will occur. Because there's always something new to learn on a cleanse - about yourself, your health, the world around you. And each one is slightly different. I'll keep you posted- and hopefully blog from the U.K., too. Where incidentally, they do copious amounts of research into alcohol-related problems. Very forward-thinking. I'll be in the right place.

Having said all of that, I had some interesting 'challenges' the last couple weeks. Challenges that prove to me cleansing is something that helps me maintain control of my drinking. Which is important - just the 'feeling' that you're in control.

Because I don't think I'll ever completely lose the 'fear' - subtle as it is, it's there - that the old days will come back. The memories I have from that time - or at least the morning-after-a-blackout memories because the blackouts are just that - big black holes in my life - those memories are so painful, so horrible, that I'll never be able to forget them - no matter how well I'm doing now. So I'm always on the lookout for any indication that things are sliding.

I sometimes ask myself: "Who am I to develop this system that reverses alcoholism - yet still lets you enjoy drinking?" I'm not a professional. I'm not a doctor or an addiction counsellor or a nurse. Or even a nutritionist or trainer or masseuse! In my whole entire life, I have never been attracted to the 'healing' professions. I was much too busy getting drunk for the amount of schooling and/or dedication that takes. ;) So how is it possible I've done this? Am doing this? Continue to do this? What if cleansing ... stops working for me?

Gulp.

But I had a couple of chances to prove to myself that it's still working - great. One of them was a cold Wednesday a few weeks ago where there was only white wine in the house. And not very much of that. Wednesday can sometimes be a bit of a party night around here, with music, candles, red wine and pasta. It's something I look forward to all week.

But I saw the snow. I saw the temperatures. And I thought f*ck it! I can exist on a measly bit of white wine for the day. (Can't I?) Well, I did. And happily.

Another had to do with a visit from my nephew - and a 'dry Friday.' Fridays are very rarely non-drinking days for me, except when I'm on a cleanse. I wondered if I'd feel ripped off. But nope! The day went well, Lego Movie, aquariums, and toy shopping included. Though, man, did I enjoy a memorable glass of red on Saturday. ;)

It made me feel confident that, yes, things are still on track. I don't 'need' a specific amount to drink when I do drink - and when I can't drink, I'm perfectly happy, too.

It brought to mind a quote often attributed to Darwin:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

Cleansing lets you move through life, adapting to whatever the circumstances around you. You don't have to be a slave to your drinking anymore. That's an incredible feeling. And it's about much more than mere 'survival.'  It's about actually enjoying your life.