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Old 03-04-2018, 08:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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the pitiful ideology that humans are created for happiness...


A rough rephrasing of Aleksandr Solzhenistyn's by Jordan Peterson that I was reminded of tonight watching my wife watch the Oscars.

Some alcohol commercial came on, parading the same b.s. with the same beautiful people in the same regretless land of endless sparkling evenings. And it annoyed the life out of me.

Maybe I'm feeling a little self-righteous in my current and VERY early sobriety but I don't care.

Am I envious of the people, like my wife and others I know, who have no issue at all with the poison, can take or leave it, and find drinking provides them with relaxation, a buzz, happiness, whatever? Yes, sure I am.

But I am focused tonight, instead, on the fact that maybe my addiction is a gift. Maybe the suffering I've already put myself through is my teacher. Maybe the ways in which I am going to be forced to finally meet life on its terms is how I was supposed to live. Maybe it's not all beers on the beach and because life is suffering (one tenant the main religions all have in common with each other), my way through is going to give me what I need to be something more than a happy dumb drunk. Something much more valuable.

Take that Budweiser.

No one is coming to save me.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What those commercials don't show are the people at hospitals and ICU's across the country with pancreatitis, kidney failure or liver disease. I play the tape forward, see it as a dead end---and stay sober one more day as a result.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We were not made for happiness, but we can certainly achieve it in fleeting moments caught by surprise at the power of its ability to lift us.

This will never be achieved by focusing on what you have identified as something that will surely kill you or wasting time on the envy of others.

When I think back to childhood there seemed to be so much happiness and joy so it must be available to us. I think it's just a case of re learning how to turn the tap on.

If you find how to operate the tap before me please let me know😂
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Any time I get resentful about not being able to drink and enjoy it like 'normies', I remind myself that I never really drank like that in the first place.

I didn't casually sip a margarita on the beach while vacationing down south - I guzzled two at a time and kept running back to the bar for more (in between trips to the bathroom). I didn't enjoy a cold one while sitting in front of a roaring campfire while up north. I downed a two-four while setting up camp and struggled to properly erect a tent.

Etc.

Now it's easy for me to NOT romantacize alcohol, because stopping to think about it for more than a millisecond I can recall that I was NEVER a normal drinker. There was nothing 'romantic' about how it went down for me.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When I was a child I was happy when I was given an ice cream cone. Then I saw a kid with two ice cream cones and wondered why he got 2 but I got only 1. Envy - I made my happiness less than it was because someone else had more than I.
Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth... The "seven deadly sins".
They are the key to our happiness or lack thereof. Without them, we are happy and content. With them, we will never be satisfied.

We can bemoan our predicament as we see others enjoying, or the allusion of enjoying the drink, or we can just be happy with ourselves as we are without it.

We may get PO'd by beer commercials. Imagine how someone who lost their legs must feel every time they see a new sneaker commercial...
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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But I am focused tonight, instead, on the fact that maybe my addiction is a gift. Maybe the suffering I've already put myself through is my teacher.

my past is the most valuable posession i have. i have been blessed to have lived 2 lives- one in the pits of hell and one in the clouds.


Am I envious of the people, like my wife and others I know, who have no issue at all with the poison, can take or leave it,

theres many people here who no longer have an issue with alcohol- we can take it or leave it and choose to leave it. we have FOUND new ways to get relaxation, a buzz, happiness, whatever.

Maybe the ways in which I am going to be forced to finally meet life on its terms is how I was supposed to live.
i wasnt forced and i dont think theres many here that were forced into recovery and facing life on lifes terms. most of us made a decision- we could go on to the bitter end in the bottle or seek help and work at changing ourselves and our lives.

. Maybe it's not all beers on the beach and because life is suffering (one tenant the main religions all have in common with each other)..
i dont know where in my bible it says my life will be one of suffering. i havent read it anyways. ive read that there can be some rough times and all things are possible with God, but its not life of suffering.

a life with satan in control and stuck in the bottle?
nothing but suffering.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Its just marketing.
Wear this, drink this, eat this, take this pill....and be happy.
Only the sad believe happiness comes from outside themselves.

True happiness comes from within.

I may have never understood that if I hadn't had to defeat an addiction.

Keep rocking it.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree that chasing 'happiness' through external gratification is fleeting at best. Our culture of consumption promotes it and encourages it. But it is by nature illusory and participating in this behavior just begets more consumption in order to capture that very minute feeling of satisfaction. I have a 17 yr old daughter so I watch this behavior in action pretty regularly....I tell her to try sitting for 30 minutes simply wanting nothing. Having the feeling that she doesn't 'need' anything. Advertising and social media are the worst...bombarding us with all the stuff, food, and drink we just gotta have!

I can feel peace however. Peace for me comes with knowing that everything is as it should be.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Only when we've lost everything that we can be completely free, eh? Not such a crazy idea. Not necessarily one that they teach you in grammar school, however, probably due to the danger of cultivating sociopathic tendencies. Which seem to accompany many an alkie. It's not the easiest road, but there is something admirable about it, I think. That's what I'm going with, anyway. Admirable!
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Buddhism teaches that life is suffering. We will all get old and die, we will lose others, we will face adversity. It's inevitable. Trying to avoid suffering is like trying to avoid breathing, and makes us even more miserable. Embracing life by the moment and appreciate what is for what is values suffering equally to happiness. Each are experiences, each teach us, each is equally valid.

Or so sayeth the Buddhists. It's really more something to meditate on than discuss, as are most Buddhist concepts.

One of the primary precepts of a Buddhist practice, particularly Zen, is that one will not use any intoxicants. You can practice Buddhism without taking the precepts, but I'd say that's a strong encouragement. You are trying to live life awake. Intoxicants dull reality and put you to sleep, spiritually speaking.

Our experiences are as unique and individual as stars and snowflakes. One person's light beer on a Malibu beach is another's 6 week stay in rehab in the Malibu hills. Or even the same person's experience at different times.

I went to an Oscar party last night where people were drinking. It's a yearly tradition. A group of 15 went through about 3-5 bottles, some got drunker than others, most had about 2 glasses of wine over the course of 3-4 hours. Most were pleasantly buzzed. I enjoyed myself and enjoyed their company. I'm glad that they enjoyed their tipsy state. I myself rather enjoyed my sober state, and had no wish to join them. I didn't envy them or denounce them, I simply prefer my choice and state of being without alcohol now. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I'd missed last year's Oscar party as I was in my end stage and was too drunk to leave the house. What a difference a year makes.

These people have totally supported my recovery, and all came to visit me in rehab at least one Sunday, Kathy came every week. So I may be a bit biased here.

Anyone who feels this way about people that can enjoy a drink and are doing 12 Step work might consider using this as one of your Step 4 resentments. Like any other resentment, working through it helps you acknowledge your part in it and enhances your sobriety.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstop81 View Post

I didn't casually sip a margarita on the beach while vacationing down south - I guzzled two at a time and kept running back to the bar for more (in between trips to the bathroom). I didn't enjoy a cold one while sitting in front of a roaring campfire while up north. I downed a two-four while setting up camp and struggled to properly erect a tent.

Etc.
Wait..we're supposed to wait until getting to the campsite before drinking? Oh how I've 'helped' set up many a campsite while completely trashed from the 5hr drive/'party' on the way there.(I wasn't driving,these times). Only to be told and sometimes shown video the next morning of just how much I 'helped'. yeah.. I hang out with some call you on your stuff guys.

Op, eventually it's just another thing you don't really notice.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
Buddhism teaches that life is suffering. We will all get old and die, we will lose others, we will face adversity. It's inevitable. Trying to avoid suffering is like trying to avoid breathing, and makes us even more miserable. Embracing life by the moment and appreciate what is for what is values suffering equally to happiness. Each are experiences, each teach us, each is equally valid.

Or so sayeth the Buddhists. It's really more something to meditate on than discuss, as are most Buddhist concepts.

One of the primary precepts of a Buddhist practice, particularly Zen, is that one will not use any intoxicants. You can practice Buddhism without taking the precepts, but I'd say that's a strong encouragement. You are trying to live life awake. Intoxicants dull reality and put you to sleep, spiritually speaking.

Our experiences are as unique and individual as stars and snowflakes. One person's light beer on a Malibu beach is another's 6 week stay in rehab in the Malibu hills. Or even the same person's experience at different times.

I went to an Oscar party last night where people were drinking. It's a yearly tradition. A group of 15 went through about 3-5 bottles, some got drunker than others, most had about 2 glasses of wine over the course of 3-4 hours. Most were pleasantly buzzed. I enjoyed myself and enjoyed their company. I'm glad that they enjoyed their tipsy state. I myself rather enjoyed my sober state, and had no wish to join them. I didn't envy them or denounce them, I simply prefer my choice and state of being without alcohol now. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I'd missed last year's Oscar party as I was in my end stage and was too drunk to leave the house. What a difference a year makes.

These people have totally supported my recovery, and all came to visit me in rehab at least one Sunday, Kathy came every week. So I may be a bit biased here.

Anyone who feels this way about people that can enjoy a drink and are doing 12 Step work might consider using this as one of your Step 4 resentments. Like any other resentment, working through it helps you acknowledge your part in it and enhances your sobriety.
MM - beautifully put. Thank you for that.

I don't think I resent anyone, that's not the emotion I identify arising when I consider normal drinkers. And to be honest it's a very fleeting and reduced envy than I used to have.

I can feel myself arriving at the place you are - sure and comfortable with being sober, life on life's terms etc.

It's a thrill to consider I can have that life.

Thank you for the post.

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