The weekend started fine. On Saturday a beautiful walk and little picnic with a 10 year girl, walking around in the woods up the river enjoying nature together taking photos and talking in the sunshine.
Then an invite to my lovely neighbours for a dinner party on Saturday night. It was a fabulous meal, with good company and a wine glass being filled through the evening. So I had no gauge on how much I was drinking, just that everyone was and it was all fun chat. It was only when I stood up I realised how dizzy and drunk I was. I left so abruptly without saying goodbye to the other guests, just my host. Bit of a faux pas that, considering I was being invited into their inner circle. I went straight to bed and awoke the next day feeling SO ill. Like, completely wrecked, sore throat, dehydrated. I stayed on the sofa pretty much all day recovering. Too much drink and eating. My good intentions of going for a swim or even a little walk did not happen either, in emergency self care mode.
So I got to examine myself in sabotage mode once again. My energy at a low. Motivation low. Feel good factor low. Thoughts negative. Fear factor higher than normal. Dread floating about threateningly.
Yes, I noticed a lot of differences in the way I orientate and deal with my mind and emotions when in that diminished state. My thoughts are very fear based in that condition. Everything I thought about I had a negative depressive dread feeling about. Even things that don’t normally scare me. I felt guilty and ashamed of my actions. These are not self loving actions. I was glad that this was not my normal state.
What I had to do to manage this insanity, was not allow my mind to stray to anything outside of the present moment. So no thinking about the past or the future, they were just either depressing or scary. That’s quite valuable I suppose. As I didn’t have the energy to tune into the beauty of the present I filled it with binge watching a series. And all the while, I am asking myself, ‘what the fuck are you doing with you life, is this how you want to live?’ Nope.
I actually don’t have a clue what I want to do with my life or what I want, other than being in this very moment all the time. I find that I am safe there. But I tend to need to be on my own for that, others haul my attention off this way and that. So yes, I do need to be alone to develop this new perception from the present moment of being in a fully present to what is happening state.
Even that little girl I went to the park with, I noticed most of her conversation was not about the present, it was what had happened with her pals in the past type of chat. I wondered how to address that and bring her into the present. The answer came instantly, I got my camera out and handed it to her, and for the rest of the walk the took photos of nature, and spent the time focusing on what is happening right now instead of the past.
It is hard for me to say no to these invitations from next door. I really like and feel at ease with these people I have known for over 20 years and they like me too. We are incompatible in many ways though, they being churchgoers and church choir members and into only classical music which I mostly can’t stand.
I have pretty much got rid of all friends and they are the only regular outside contact and ‘social life’ I have at the moment. But there are 2 aspects to frequenting their house that are contrary to my goals. I drink and I eat too much when I am there. These are both BIG issues for me. They take me in the opposite direction of my goal of being as healthy as I can. What to do? Does it ALL have to go, all vestiges of leading a normal life in the city? Do I have to completely isolate? Or do I just find social activities that don’t involve consuming.
I come back to TS Eliot and what he says about ‘a condition of complete simplicity costing not less than everything’. No clinging onto anything, and entertainment, well its just a passing box of chocolates, not that important.
Of course I could accept invitations and not drink at all and eat more moderately. I seem to be incapable of this though. I am very greedy and if there is good food and drink and chat I get swept up and willpower is out of the window. I enjoy over indulging. I need to do some self enquiry about that.
I need to make a decision here. I can’t keep doing things that make me feel negative, guilty and ashamed. That is a good thing about fucking up, it leads to greater honesty and resolve to change.
Is all this about fear of success I wonder? Here I am in the most positive relationship with myself I have had, in a better than ever financial situation, with business going well, a happy busy workforce, hanging out with successful people who have excelled at what they do (in business in music in their professions), letting go of bad habits….and what in me is resisting this? A lot. I was always afraid of success, loved the thought of it but afraid too. What about it is scary?
And I mean not just material success, I also include inner success, which to me is feeling happy and stable, humble and selfless, confident and able to manage my emotions and thoughts, freely able to give and receive love.
One big fear I had about moving forward, was that I would end up alone. And this is what is happening. I don’t relate to those I used to know, and the new successful (materially at least) people are not fitting in with me either with their idea of fun which involves eating and drinking a lot. Too hefty a price.
I have made friends with this to a large extent. When I go deeply into the present, a feeling of connection with everything appears, all boundaries disappear as if by magic, that doorway into a completely different way of perceiving opens up. It snaps shut again of course, if I am with people talking about normal things. And there is of course a place for that, and I love talking about normal things too. But my hobby right now is alchemy, and the transmuting of experience into sanity in the silence of the present.
Inside part of me resists this almost monastic existence I am having. Its so much more fun to have a pal to go to the park and enjoy the wonders of nature with for example.
This is a stage on the path (-less path!) where as I have mentioned that the temptation of a relationship can be strong. Something to fill the void, the silence, the infinity of the present moment. Its hard and swimmy to be in it all day every day. It can feel disorientating. How the heck am I running a sizeable business, I have no idea how in this weird state I am holding it all together, and doing actually very little each day, maybe a couple of hours work.
I took the step a couple of years ago to run the business without fear, and that is what I have done. I took a massive jump off the cliff and trusted that wings would appear. And they seem to have as it is working out. I can identify a fear from my ego that says I am kidding myself on, that I am deluded, that it will fail as I am neglecting my duties, not working hard enough. I can’t obey those fears even if I wanted to now though, I am too far gone down the rabbit hole. A new daily rhythm has established of not being afraid, and just doing what I have to do in front of me. This is what being present means, letting go of everything other than what is happening right now. Dealing with things as they come up. Very little advance planning. And it seems to be working.
One last thing. On Saturday night before I went to the party next door, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I didn’t really want to go. I knew where it would lead, over indulgence. I could have texted to say I wasn’t coming and nobody would have minded. It was clear to me as I got dressed, I felt uncomfortable about going. I wasn’t that interested, and I liked the idea of a quiet night in instead. Pondering that, how the desire for company overrode my sensible self.
So today its on with answering the gazillion emails stacking up in the inbox, and bringing self compassion in to heal this self judgement I have been allowing in.
Seems to me all of this is fine, self analysis, seeing, clarity and everything is perfect really for this kind of life except the alcohol etc., and that pulls it all down. So obviously you need to check out AA, no question about it. I speak from experience – a decade dry (on and off but self correction). The people you meet there are intelligent and wise, some Buddhists and spiritual folk. Give it a try…
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Oh. You think I am at that stage. Thanks for your input. I have wondered about that too, if teetotal is the way ahead and just become known to the neighbours as a non drinker and so not feel pressure to join in. I have a strong sense I will have to for life to be congruous. I stopped drinking for January this year and after a few days didn’t even think about it, so that made me wonder if it is really an addiction. I’m told that there is an ‘addiction gene’ in my family (if such a thing exists)- I had uncle and grandfather that drank too much. Well done for the decade of abstinence.