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The AV and Emptiness

Old 04-24-2018, 04:46 PM
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The AV and Emptiness

Had a bit of a, um, call it an epiphany? Dunno.

So, yesterday I described that my AV tends to use images to assault me. It projects me into future situations - drinking at a pool bar at a resort in Mexico, drinking with the guys at work in the shop after a summer team meeting - you know, that stuff. And I always have a moment like I'm missing something. But there's other emotion to it too - something I couldn't put my finger on until today.

Emptiness. Despite the allure, I feel the emptiness of it. It's paper thin. Not real. No depth. Void.

Made me realize - as I ramp up my attention to my sobriety - that I'm going to have to replace those types of things. Those "this is the type of day/ occasion/ reason I would drink" thoughts.

Like, I need to - in a few days when I actually have a place to sleep in the new pad - get out and explore some things. Find a yoga studio. Maybe some other type of out like that. And I can't let myself run from it the first uncomfortable moment.

I was thinking again today of the drinking at the resort thing. I love going to Mexico. I love the sun and the ocean and all that. I'm a beach bum at heart. I could lazily lay in the sun all day everyday and just roast. But today I pictured myself getting up just before sunrise, enjoying a fresh brewed espresso or dark roasted coffee in the stillness of the morning. Walking down a beach as the sun rises or maybe even learning some yoga or tai chi or something. You know - right out of the karate kid.

I know it kinda sounds cheesy. But why not me? Those are the things I think I would enjoy far more than the crap that comes with booze - and those are the things my AV and addictive nature always shoves into some corner of my mind that I can't see when I'm thinking about alcohol. It's like it puts blinders on me. Why shouldn't I find peace? Who says it can't be done?

I'm going to have to work at that. I want to.

-B
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:11 PM
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Thank you for posting this. This really resonated with me, and it's something I have to actively work on as well.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:29 PM
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Great post!

Itís staring to click for you!!! This is great so really explore it because as you are seeing, the possibilities are endless. I went to a vacation with my family last year. It was to a place in the equator so the sunrises and sunsets are amazing. My family and I got up 1.5 hours before sunrise to have a beautiful breakfast and drove to an amazing location to watch the sunrise. Itís was magical for me and I will remember this all my life and my family will too. It will be a moment that we will cherish forever. Literally for the rest of our lives. I donít see any of this as cheesy, itís what I see as real life magic, things that touch you in incredible ways even when in plain view they might seem mundane.

I am very happy that your thoughts are going this way.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:47 PM
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Buck you nailed it. Thank you for this.

I'm battling and laughing and frightened by and pissed off at my AV during this stage of my sobriety as well. I felt all of this post but especially this:

"But why not me?" = that's it man. Why keep paying for this sick addiction instead of REALLY enjoying that beach and water and sun - which really can only be done by guys like us sober.

We've paid enough for this addiction, given enough to alcohol. It's time to take our selves and our lives back.

Proud to be doing it with you.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:25 PM
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I missed out of so many things while I was drinking my life away.
I'm glad I'm not missing out anymore

D
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Buckley3 View Post
Had a bit of a, um, call it an epiphany? Dunno.

So, yesterday I described that my AV tends to use images to assault me. It projects me into future situations - drinking at a pool bar at a resort in Mexico, drinking with the guys at work in the shop after a summer team meeting - you know, that stuff. And I always have a moment like I'm missing something. But there's other emotion to it too - something I couldn't put my finger on until today.

Emptiness. Despite the allure, I feel the emptiness of it. It's paper thin. Not real. No depth. Void.

Made me realize - as I ramp up my attention to my sobriety - that I'm going to have to replace those types of things. Those "this is the type of day/ occasion/ reason I would drink" thoughts.

Like, I need to - in a few days when I actually have a place to sleep in the new pad - get out and explore some things. Find a yoga studio. Maybe some other type of out like that. And I can't let myself run from it the first uncomfortable moment.

I was thinking again today of the drinking at the resort thing. I love going to Mexico. I love the sun and the ocean and all that. I'm a beach bum at heart. I could lazily lay in the sun all day everyday and just roast. But today I pictured myself getting up just before sunrise, enjoying a fresh brewed espresso or dark roasted coffee in the stillness of the morning. Walking down a beach as the sun rises or maybe even learning some yoga or tai chi or something. You know - right out of the karate kid.

I know it kinda sounds cheesy. But why not me? Those are the things I think I would enjoy far more than the crap that comes with booze - and those are the things my AV and addictive nature always shoves into some corner of my mind that I can't see when I'm thinking about alcohol. It's like it puts blinders on me. Why shouldn't I find peace? Who says it can't be done?

I'm going to have to work at that. I want to.

-B
This is an awesome way to flip the script! Thank you soooo much for this!
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:38 PM
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Buckley, thanks for your post, it really hit a nerve for me. My epiphany with my drinking (or "hitting bottom" I should say) happened during a trip to Mexico in January. I totally bungled a trip to a five star resort due to overconsumption of alcohol where (sparing you the details) I reached my point of done.

I did not able to enjoy my trip (we were booked for three weeks) and instead caught a plane home ten days early. I am still so put-out with myself for spending so much money when I should have stayed home and wasted my time in my room.

I've relived that vacation in my mind, similar to your visualizations (which I related to by the way) on what I should have done differently. The best vacations I have ever taken were virtually alcohol free focusing instead on outdoor adventures, new experiences, great food, plenty of beach time. The alcoholic fueled trips were cringe-worthy, ruined by over indulgence and regrets. I had a particular blackout moment in Mexico when I decided to "go for a walk", left the condo and wandered. I have no memory of being escorted back by security.

There comes a point, at least for some of us, when it's time to surrender. I'm disgusted and resolved to leave alcohol out of my life. There are no do-overs with our lives and I want to make every day count now instead of wasting away as a drunk. Oh my how the resort remembers me as SeŮora Bodka Doble.
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Old 04-25-2018, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Buckley3 View Post
I pictured myself getting up just before sunrise, enjoying a fresh brewed espresso or dark roasted coffee in the stillness of the morning. Walking down a beach as the sun rises or maybe even learning some yoga or tai chi or something.


I am a firm believer in visualizing a new reality. Replacing my drinking fantasies with new fantasies. I don't really want to be the Karate Kid, but I have my own dreams that don't involve alcohol.

For decades my mind would turn toward drinking fantasies during the dozens of boring or stressful moments of the day. Even when I was trying to quit drinking it would go there. That was my 'happy space'. It would go there and I would let it. It seemed OK to muse about happy drinking times, knowing I was never going to act on them.

Now I can see that thinking is very very wrong. Allowing my brain to roam there was tilling the soil for my next relapse/bender. I don't permit it to go there anymore. It still wants to. It's lazy and wants to go down well-worn paths it has gone down many times before.

I. Don't. Let. It.
(I give it the Crane Kick! )

Keep posting Buckley. I'm loving your stuff!
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Old 04-25-2018, 03:21 AM
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YEP.

To overcome the AV's nonstop chatter about missing out, being uncool, being unable to enjoy life, not having anything to do, being somehow diminshed by sobriety.....

I found that I had to build for myself a new set of images.

I had to get out and ACT - do new things, sober things, be with people in sober interaction, find role models to look up to. I had to read stories about people (like actors, musicians, writers, leaders) who I looked up to and who either were never drinkers or - better yet - had been.... and then sobered up. People who had been there, done that and were still cool. Eric Clapton. Henry Rollins. A guy in AA. A former mentor, boss and leader in my company.

So I focused on building these new images, this new vision. I focused on SEEING differently.

SEEING instead of 'beers with the boys' - the SACRIFICE of my life that 'beers with the boys' represented; the lost time with my daughters, the setting aside of the gym, the trail run not taken, the poetry not written, the new jiu jitsu technique not learned.

SEEING - instead of drinking at a pool bar resort in Mexico..... the waves unridden as I vomited violently on the beach the next day. The connections not made with my friends as I passed out in a pile of half-eaten tamales. The experiences not had while I blindly posioned myself with tequila.

SEEING the value of being present and the boundless possibilities of a world beyond the haze and the repetitive false-fun of alcohol.

The AV wants you to focus on these images of what it craves. What it seeks and what rewards it...... but that all comes at a grave and tremendous cost to YOU.... the real, the present, the cherished and oh-so-limited moments of your precious, short life.

Build the visions of what you want your life to be, every day.... fight the AV's imagery not with resistance but with loving re-direction.

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Old 04-25-2018, 04:14 AM
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Excellent post Buckley. It really resonated with me too.
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