Practising Sobriety


This is the first entry to my blog, and the first attempt to share what I feel deep in my heart and in my bones. For over a year now, I have embraced new literature, stronger friendships, got closer to my family and did one of the most challenging films of my career. Little by little, I have started to research and follow a spiritual path that hopefully will take me back to myself, to a person I have always known, with whom, at times, communication has been a little bit off. Emotional wifi is not always available.  
I have been mixing drinks, getting drunk, experiencing vomiting in public transport, blackouts, and radically losing my dignity in bars and parties since I was 13 years old, give or take. That means I have pursued this 'career' for 25 years now, even though in the last 18 months I have halved my booze consumption. If this were to be another subject, most people would say I am successful at it, right? But as it is alcohol we are talking about, there is plenty of debate about Social Drinking vs. Alcoholism.  
I am not writing this to hear phrases like: you are not an alcoholic Mary; it is not that bad; there is nothing wrong with drinking one here and there; I haven't seen you drunk in ages; I didn't know you had a problem; Oh, you poor thing. In fact, I am not writing this for the sake of seeking support nor pity. I am sharing this because it is so important for me to express my feelings and the wonderful process I am going through, I hope some of you can find value in the message. 
It all came to a halt in Nicaragua. I was broken hearted, I felt lonely and anxious, so I stayed out at a party where I didn't know anyone, rather that coming back to my dorm to rest, cry and recharge. The only person I knew, wanted me to go. To this day I could not recall why he asked me to leave. I have no recollection of any argument or any events prior to it. In fact, within an hour of my arrival I was so drunk I don't remember any chats I had with other travellers. All I remember was his infuriated facial expression and me turning around and coming back feeling rejected and humiliated. Man, that was a low moment. The physical hangover lasted 24 hours, the emotional one lasted a week.  
Reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown for the second time, right after the event trying to find answers and some comforting phrases, I found myself going back to the same truth: I drink when I am hurting or when I need to fit in. Oh! I hated this. I have been running away from it for years. I have known it for years too. The worse displays of my drunken behaviour are when both hurting and wanting to fit in get together in one night. All my gremlins come out and go for the kill. I haven't been in this place in over 2 years. That night, I lost coherence between my feelings, my words and my actions. The emotional gremlins got wet on Flor de Caña rum and created havoc in my heart. 
I didn't know what to apologise to him for, but I did. I also forgave myself, read the Serenity Prayer over and over again. Cried in bed at night, and even when I was trying to quiet the mind when practising poi, I still had a knot on my throat and my heart was stinging. Right after the Emotional Hangover disappeared, I had a couple of beers. When I started feeling the effect of them in my body, it hit me: I am chilled, more relaxed, I don't care about this guy, f@ck him, actually! I didn't do anything wrong.  
There they were, those thoughts of denial and justification, not over being drunk but over getting drunk. I was terrified, I finished the beer and went to bed. Read the Serenity Prayer, looked at the AA website and checked the 12 steps. I didn't want to run away from this truth, it is mine and it is here. I don't think I will be going to any meetings, but for sure I will keeping a very close eye on the closest reunions near my house.  
January 30th 2017, on my 38th birthday, after 5 days of not touching alcohol, I went to the beach, have a celebratory poi session listening to Radioactive:  

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make the system blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoah whoah  
I'm radioactive, radioactive. 

My name is Maryllis, I am a take-the-edge-off-aholic. 
Hurting for me means= having a bad day at work; arguing with cyclists and/or drivers during my commute; having the thought "I have been single for too long"; general grumpiness. 
Need to fit it is= being at a party with people I don't know; walking into a party with people I know. 
There are plenty of reasons to drink, there is only valid one for me not to do so: I am myself when I am sober.