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Everyone drinks. Why shouldn't I?
I get asked all the time why I feel my recovery is so sturdy. And I will always caution myself and others not to fall prey to the idea that my recovery is sturdy beyond the 24 hours that lays ahead of me. This does not mean that I am concerned about drinking tomorrow or a week or a month from now. I don't think those thoughts any longer.
What I have learned is to live by the principle of one day at a time. I do so because it is a deeply spiritual manner of living that forces me to turn my gaze within and to consider what life will present and has presented each day. This is the warrior path. It is practical and effective. It is the wise, strong way to go.
So, I will tell you that my recovery is very sturdy TODAY. I wake up and get covered for the day. I pray, meditate, practice yoga, drink and eat great nourishing foods and I have an ongoing conversation with the more subtle aspects of my being and this has proven effective for me. Also, the 12 Steps are within me. They’ve worked their magic. They’ve given me freedom to be me and to pursue the path of yoga. Now, I get to live in that sense of freedom and it is precisely this gift that I would pass on to you.
A woman asked me recently, “Everyone drinks. Why shouldn’t I?” Great question. Quick answer. You can do anything you want to do as long as you are willing to pay the price. People who struggle with alcoholism or addiction of any kind decide to stop a behavior because it causes them pain. When they get right down to it, the price they pay for engaging in the behavior becomes greater than they can bare regardless of the benefits they receive perceived or real.
One of the major philosophical tenets of Recovery 2.0 is that we do not just want to survive addiction, we want to thrive in recovery and build outstanding lives. Alcohol is an intoxicant, a depressant, harmful to the body, contributes to violence and pain and lowers our awareness and consciousness. These things are true whether a person is alcoholic or not. Now, if you happen to struggle with alcoholism and cannot stop drinking on your own, you have a very serious dis-ease that cannot ever be fully addressed if you continue to drink.
Ultimately, you will want to walk the path of recovery not only because of what would happen to you if you if you don’t, but because of what you gain if you do. I understand the power of peer pressure. Well, there is a greater power - Society Pressure! Alcohol is embraced at every level of our society. It is a leisure activity, a social activity. It is seen at weddings, funerals, rights of passage, sporting events, art events.
Most people in our country could not imagine a life that did not include alcohol. And so this presents a BIG PROBLEM for the person who is trying to answer the question: “Everyone drinks. Why Shouldn’t I? Consider this: choosing to take any action based upon the idea that everyone’s doing it does not often turn out well. We only have to look to the wonderful example set by lemmings to understand this idea.
At this point, when I look at the world and note a behavior that everyone is doing, I take serious pause. Since we know most people are still in pain and looking for ways to distract themselves out of it, doing what everyone else is doing cannot be the prescribed method of solving our collective challenges.
It begs the question: Why would we want to drink in the first place? Because we learn that this is the way we pass time. This is the way we celebrate. This is the way we mourn. This is the way we interact. This is the way we navigate life. I do not judge a person who drinks. I see the behavior for what it is - not ultimately helpful if we are going to try to live AWAKE.
To the person who is saying, “Everyone drinks. Why shouldn’t I?” I want to tell you that your time has come. There is no escaping your own evolution. You will eventually have to answer the sacred call coming from within. Drop all your armor and dive into your becoming.
With Love and Gratitude to you on your path of recovery.
Tommy Rosen is the author of Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life.
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