during the hurricane last week, I sent a series of small notes to subscribers – and some of these ideas, of course, apply to the world beyond the weather.
small notes about hurricanes and other things #3
anxiety about things that might happen but haven’t happened yet is ‘anticipatory’ anxiety. we think we won’t be able to deal with whatever it is. we’re convinced that if we pre-think it all through, in advance, that that’ll help us. we believe that to worry in advance is insurance. doesn’t work that way. worrying in advance makes you sick, tired, spinny, and less able to cope. you can do what’s here, now, right this minute. The only time you can impact what you do is in the now. To be sober, you’re not drinking now. to plan for a hurricane, you’re standing in line to buy plywood now. That’s what you’re doing now. Then you do the next thing. And remember to ask for help. There is a lots around you, for all the things. The person with water will share. Maybe not beforehand, while they’re panicked about later. But when it’s later, and you need water, they’ll share. The person with 6 years sober will share. Keep reaching out.
small notes about hurricanes and other things #4
the thing is, you’ve tried drinking. it doesn’t suit you. you’ve tried finding answers in a bottle. they aren’t there. you’ve tried drinking all day during a snowstorm, a hurricane, a sunny day. you feel like death when you do that. what you maybe haven’t tried is the experiment of doing this life thing – sober. all sober. be aware and awake and present for whatever it is. hear the thing leaking, instead of sleeping through it. hear the child calling. hear the dog whining. hear your partner making coffee in the other room. hear the wind and the rushing sounds. be present for it all. you’ve tried drinking. it doesn’t actually work. if it worked i wouldn’t be here. i’d be off drinking somewhere. but the fact is booze took me to a place, and i don’t want to go back there. i’d rather be here and sober. whatever here means. whatever ‘storm’ is coming. whatever sunshine on the other side.
This is Exit painting #114.
Exit the booze elevator. Get off and stay off.