The 1000 Days Sober Blog

Blog Posts From 1000 Days Sober

The Only Way Out is Through


After a bike ride that’s taken him less than four hours to travel 50-miles, Tony wonders what to do, next?
 
There’s no church service; there’s no great ark to work on; he doesn’t know how to manicure or pedicure. He could go outside and watch the sparrows, grab his kid’s kaleidoscope and sit staring at the candy-coloured triangles, squares and oblongs. 
 
“I’m starting to feel empty,” Tony writes on Strive. “Do I reward myself with the buzz? I know that if I drink, then the great ‘buzz’ is defo coming. It’s assured. Those pints, up to 3-4, are the miracle workers, taking me from A to Z on a magic carpet ride of bliss.
 
“The problem is that ride doesn’t stop for me at four pints. That ride goes on to eight or ten, and it becomes scary and dangerous. That ride guarantee’s me an argument, that ride stops me from ticking my boxes, that ride gives me panic attacks at 5 am and makes me operate at 50% the next day. I tell you what; I’m swerving that buzz. Instead, I’ll allow myself to be bored.”
 
Fritz Perls, the noted psychiatrist and psychotherapist, once said that “The only way out is through.” 
 
For all of us, there comes a time, after the jazz of becoming someone that doesn’t drink alcohol wears off, where we begin to wonder if this life is for us. At Strive, we call this period ‘The Dip’ and its depth and length varies from person to person. 
 
The Resistance uses ’The Dip’ to pour napalm over our excitement.
 
Life is 'boring', and it's ok to be 'normal'. 
 
It’s not like the cinema, where directors keep up on the edge of our seats for two-hours-plus. There are many days, weeks, months where we spend most of our time in the dungeon thinking of removing the fresh new sober posters we’ve used to cover our exercise books of life.
 
In the modern world, we’re aware of our capabilities to achieve so much. The need to be perfect has never been more in your face than it is today. To steer the river taxi down the local canal, to be a secretary, or to tar our roads seem unworthy. 
 
When we feel ‘bored’ or ‘normal’ the answer is not to drink alcohol, it’s to take Perls’ advice.
 
“The only way out is through.”
 
Experience boredom.
 
Experience normalcy.
 
Sam Harris, the creator of 'The Making Sense Podcast', says that to be bored means your not paying attention. 
 
Pay attention.
 
The bees are dying.
 
The basil is wilting.
 
The ghosts are asking you to catch them, but we don’t have the energy to jump off the barstool to start swinging our nets. 
 
Not every hero has to swing through the trees, blow down the door, or stick a knife in the heart of the bad guy. 
 
The unheroic truth is that we are ‘normal’, and that life is often ‘boring,’ and at Strive, we’re more than ok with that notion, in fact, we embrace it. 
 

 

Photo by Casey Botticello on Unsplash