One of the things I’m starting to realize is that I’m having to rewrite stories about my relationship with a lot of things in my life I used to affiliate with drinking. There are a lot of things that I reflexively thing “Ohhhhh, but doing that with a few drinks is so much fun. It’s our routine! That’s our jam! It’s like, our thing.” I know for a fact my clinging to these ideas has led me to me relapse many times in the past.
I’ve realized that I have to LET GO of my belief that certain things are better with alcohol. They are not. These are fake stories my addiction tells me. I have to believe (especially this early in my recovery, since I haven’t had enough experiences to rewrite my stories yet) that I will create a new, and even MORE exciting, relationships with these things.
Let’s take a look at alcohol’s relationship with certain elements that are engrained in my life:
- Drinking and snowboarding. I’ve combined booze with snowboarding for the vast majority of my adult snowboarding career. I remember stashing booze in the snow when I would go shred Arizona Snowbowl in college. After moving to Tahoe, I would stuff a 40 in the snow at the top of Grandview at Sierra. I loved sitting at the bar and holding a beer. I loved being seen with a beer. I loved being affiliated with booze. It revealed to others that I was hip, fun, laid-back, and an adult (not to be confused with those juvenile 16 year old pro-hos). I IDENTIFIED with being a drinker. It defined me. I also couldn’t imagine going shredding and stomping new tricks without alcohol. It made me brave. It helped me have more fun. It was everything. Now I realize what I used to enhance had become a crutch. I began to believe I needed it to learn new tricks. or overcome fear, or have a great time. LIES, ALL LIES!!! I have to remind myself that I WILL debunk those lies I told myself, that if I stick to my guns I will see and experience SO MUCH MORE!! And I got a taste of this last time I went snowboarding. I went by myself (anxiety producing and, before, would have loved a few drinks to feel great about the experience). I forced myself to hit a jump (before would have loved some drinks for liquid courage). I had a great time and realized that I can, and will, reinvent my relationship with snowboarding. And I will experience some amazing shit that I cannot even imagine right now.
- Drinking and writing. I LOVE(D?) drinking wine while writing. The story I told myself there was that it loosened up the creative juices, that tons of great writers drink (so there must be some truth behind the cliche), and made writing more fun. I especially loved drinking and writing at cafes—it made me feel so sophisticated and professional. I have had a chance to begin rewriting this story since sobriety. I feel like I have a whole new, and very exciting, relationship with writing. I think this blog has helped a bit. But being present in the moment and focusing on my craft has really helped. I feel lots of new inspiration coming in as well. And not grasping to enhance the already enjoyable sensation (feeling inspired, need drink to feel MORE INSPIRED).
I can’t really think of anything else right now, but those are the two main ones in my life. I believe that by rewriting my story enables me to face these things without worrying about them being huge triggers. There is no way I am avoiding my passions to stay sober. I am determined to reinvent my relationship with them in a way that doesn’t involve alcohol.
Not gonna lie. I can feel some pretty fucking incredible shit on the horizon. I’ve already caught glimpses!