Photo: Courtesy of Gabriel Jones

90 Days of Sobriety: Day 17

Handling Shit Through Meditation and Exercise

When it comes down to inner demons and alcohol, it’s two may enter, one may leave. Since alcohol is no longer a contender, other fighters must be chosen for the thunderdome of my mind.

Aged spirits come with special abilities; one of which is the power to wipe away most disgruntlement. This clouding of the mind is short lived as the emotional rollercoaster becomes more aggressive due to the impairment of said libations. Anger that was held from a previous situation, now becomes the misplaced punches of misheard comments. I have had to excuse myself from the bar numerous times due to clenched fists and wrongful fury.

Where do I go, now that I don’t have the bar as an outlet? What do I drink to quiet the voices in my head?

I go to my living room and do aerobics, fitness circuits and kettlebell routines. I exhaust any frustration that may have established a foothold. I punch that rude customer in the face, as I come up from an ab-crunch. My push-ups are no longer hands on the ground, but on the back of the heads of the gluten-free, ranch drinkers. I shadowbox screaming children.

My thirst is no longer quenched by hops and corn. Now, it’s quenched by what it should have been all this time, water. Have you tasted this stuff? It’s amazing! It helps if you have a filtration system at home due to what the government allows as ‘safe’ drinking water. Seriously though, someone should start bottling this stuff and selling it.

Jokes aside, I feel better. I feared my anger and frustration of not being where I wanted to be in life would drive me back to drinking. Instead, I have buffeted my body as a warrior in training. Strengthened my confidence and resolve. Opportunities of desired goals that seemed long past, have come back into view.

The biggest thing that I am learning is that I was the one kicking my own ass. The so-called ancient spirits found in the bottle weren’t bestowing some mystic wisdom, they were dragging me down with them. They weren’t quieting the voices of negativity in my head, they only dulled my senses to make them easier to accept. That was the root of the anger. I could see the path, and the home that I had made for myself, and I knew I belonged elsewhere.

For now, I no longer fight in the thunderdome of my mind. Instead, I have transferred it to the world around me. Life is a battle of the fittest, where at any moment, we could be called upon to give our best. If anyone knows me, they know that I prefer it this way.

If any of you know someone that is dealing with their own demons through substance abuse, don’t give up on them. Yes, it may be tough for you, but it’s hell for them. Encouragement, love, and basic support are all helpful. Realise though, your voice is muffled and hollow when it reaches their ears. Hugs work better.

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