There is no magic potion. you can spend $100 on vitamins if you like. You can read ONE book and then be disappointed that it doesn’t solve all of your problems.
To be sober, we need to apply an attitude of ‘layers of support’ … adding in things, to find the right combination that works. And to learn to resist the “this program solves all problems,” and to do more than one thing at a time, because perhaps it’s the overlapping combination of things that works.
This was recorded as a live broadcast, and so it was long enough to split into two parts and make two separate podcasts.
Below i’ve posted a short extract from Part 1 of this longer audio.
You can listen to this extract now 🙂 And leave a comment – what do you hear in this audio? Can you rephrase it in your own words? hugs from me
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If you think about it, those books really are misleading. I mean, just read the title: The Easy Way to Quit Alcohol (or whatever it’s called.) I know the word “easy” is in there for sure. And you know why?? Not because it’s ACTUALLY easy. Because no one would buy the book if it said “This is one way, but it might not work for you because it doesn’t work for everyone and you’ll probably have to try a dozen other things as well.” I’m not saying there’s no value in the book – there definitely is – but let’s face it – the real purpose of the exercise is to sell the book.
I am classic at putting all my eggs in one basket and running around with my new “solution du jour”. Why am I always surprised when my snake oils, tinctures, and weird-o solutions don’t work?? Yes, I do add tools to my toolbox. The lengths I go to really are a measure of my desperation. I am adding layers of support. I see how my set formulas and beating my head against the wall have failed me. Now I’m beating my head against walls, trees, fences, pillows, beds, water 😉 I have changed SO much but it’s still not enough. Damn, the lengths I have to go to make my solution work astound me! Progress, not perfection. Still trudging…
I have failed and failed at sobriety but that does not not mean I’m completely broken. Maybe I have cracks but so does everybody else. My task is to get those cracks filled with as many ways as it takes to become a whole, normally flawed person. I look back at 14 years of failing to recover and see that I have even made some progress. More tools to be worked in to the cracks. More cement. For me it happens mostly in my head. Something that has moved me forward was a few sessions of therapy. I was able to realize that I don’t need anyone to validate me. I was living for that with some huge let downs.
Belle you are right about all of the recovery books making me feel like a bigger failure than before. I’m going to settle back in here and see if I can get the job done right this time. Back in my sober car.
There is no magic pill or quick fix. However there are lots of things, that when mixed together, can make sobriety possible.
Over time we learn to take basic recipes and add ingredients and spices (tools and supports) to make sobriety our own.
There really is no magic bullet for sobriety. The fact that I didn’t immediately lose my desire for drinking after reading that particular book doesn’t mean that I’m unfixable or even broken. It is unrealistic to believe that any one thing whether it’s a book or 1 audio or 1 class will magically keep us sober. It takes a combination of tools. And my tool box may not look like yours but that’s ok. We continue to add tools, and when we get some momentum we make sure we don’t drift. If our tools are working we want to continue using them.
There is not one tool for maintaining sobriety. Just like cleaning the house. You need a vacuum, broom, dust cloth, dish soap, towels, toilet cleaner etc… using it all keeps the house clean!
What really stuck for me was, “Just because you tried one thing and it didn’t work, does NOT mean YOU are broken.” One thing or even combination of things that works for others may not work for me. I need to use as many layers of support, tools, tricks, treats, any and all of it, until I get the combination that keeps me living a healthy and happy life without alcohol. And it may change over time. Keep giving myself what I need to stay sober. Don’t beat myself up, don’t take on more life changes, just heap on the self-love and self-care.
I think as a society we are looking for that one thing that will finally help us with whatever it is we are trying to cure, kick, solve, remedy, heal. We are a society of “If only” then everything will be perfect, again. The quandry is nothing was ever perfect in the beginning. For the person who is choosing to give up alcohol so that life can be perfect again there will be a disappointment. There isn’t the perfect book, vitamin, hypnosis tape, essential oil, flower remedy or coach that will solve the problem. It is a mixture of all of the above and a desire to look at your life and its problems in living color with the volume turned up loud. It is realizing that alcohol was a medication that did not work the way the label(commercials) said it would. It is the understanding that we are not broken if we fail from one approach but special because we are so unique.
It is tempting to look for and to imagine I find a single, definable, controllable, life changing “magic potion.” To imagine my potion is working is comforting because such a method is simple and understandable. But life, and any life change, is multi-faceted. There cannot be one effective magical potion, life is not that one-dimentional or convenient. However, there can be a complex layering and blending of multiple and varied supports, all together aiding a gradual shift of perspective and enabling major life change. And the way I layer and blend is my own, it evolves as I learn and change.
It takes a LOT of things (at least it did for me) in the beginning to keep you focused and determined to not give in to the Woflie voice – which was telling me I was broken and it was hopeless and it wasn’t possible for me to live without drinking. I literally spent a big part of my day reading blogs, listening to audios, going to meetings which I really didn’t like, but they helped me feel not so alone in dealing with this – until that voice started to quiet down. It’s pretty quiet now days but I still find it good to make sure I keep my thinking solid so I don’t drift back to thinking that would get me into trouble.