Turning the Other Cheek

The devil will, I believe, always be within spitting distance of my mind. I’ll have days when I ponder the notion that perhaps now, after all this time, I could have just one little drink. That sneaky voice, pervasive and persuasive, will once in a while pop up and proposition me with the questions of ‘did you really need to stop for good?’ and ‘how about you simply exercise some alcohol moderation?’ and ‘don’t you know that time heals all?’ I will still, occasionally, feel a tugging on my collar as the demon attempts to lure me back into his den of destruction.

Why can I now resist what I never could during all those drunken years of my past? My sober persistence stems from learning a lesson, accepting the truth and keeping myself firmly on a path that leads in the opposite direction. Being sober and true to myself doesn’t mean that I no longer hear the call – it simply means that now I understand the need to ignore it, and that over time I have gradually developed the tools to silence it.

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Not drinking alcohol for two years does not eradicate the inability to drink ‘sensibly.’ Avoiding booze for a sufficient length of time does not magically dissolve the desire to consume the whole bottle just as soon as you pop the cork and swallow your first mouthful.  But what time without alcohol does provide is enough self-awareness to allow you to recognise your weak spots, your triggers and your instincts.

Living alcohol-free allows you to develop the knowledge that your brain operates on two levels; this is commonly referred to as being ruled by your head or your heart, or having your angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Given enough time without alcohol sullying your ability to think clearly, it becomes second nature to spot which is the ‘bad brain’ talking and which is you.

A little like being a child and having a naughty friend who coerces you  into causing trouble with them, and a good, loyal friend who respects you and regards your feelings above their own, understanding which of your two brains to listen to means arriving at the realisation of what’s right for you, and what works best in your happy life.

So when you hear that little voice whispering sweet nothings in your ear and attempting to draw you back to where you ran so desperately from once upon a time, try and regard it as the bad friend – turn the other cheek and seek out what’s right. YOU will thank you for your strength in the morning.

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6 thoughts on “Turning the Other Cheek

  1. Sue says:

    coming to the end of day 10 and I have not been without a drink for this long in years. Just the reminder I need to night plus the help of ‘Lucy’s lovely ladies’. thank you. have printed it out to put in the kitchen Sue

    • Hi Sue, hope you are doing well. Your comment really filled me with happiness, and pride for you. I hope you are still looking at my blog post on your kitchen wall and reminding yourself of your sneaky bad brain and its efforts to try and sway you back. You are doing brilliantly – keep it up! Lucy x

  2. Pip says:

    Eloquent as ever Lucy.How hard he persists in his failing years to give it one more try,one more persuasive”go on..you’ll be fine..you’ve been so good..just have a few..moderate… Ha!

    Much as I have thes very moments,which I can just bat away now,I also have to be very aware that I am intrigued ,want to experience it just to see,out of interest,what will happen. More of an idiotic childish curiosity than a desire. Same evil voice,trying a different approach! And I know,the same result. Curiosity killed the cat eh? Best wishes ,Pip xx

    • Hi and I totally get where you are coming from with the ‘idiotic curiosity’ thing – I too have that and think I wonder what would happen? Like wanting to prod a fire when you are little just to see what happens! And like you, I know the same thing would happen as it always does and after the fleeting thought passes, I get my sensible brain back in gear! Thanks for your comment, best wishes – Lucy x

  3. Great stuff as usual, Lucy. So many names given to that voice. But it’s the same voice that emanates from ourselves, the alcoholism that lurks beneath, that waits patiently…cunning, baffling, powerful. I know that it will always be there. As long as I keep ahead of the game, keeping spiritually fit and doing what I need to do, that voice need not dictate me. Like Pip said above, I can bat that voice away when it chirps in now and then. It’s chirped recently, for just a flash, and I said “thank you for sharing, now go” and it did. That was it. I know early in my recovery I would have panicked, thinking I was going to relapse *any second*. Ha ha…our thoughts just come, we have no control over them, but I can control how I react to them.

    Very groovy post 🙂

    Paul

    • Hi Paul, thanks for this. As time goes by you definitely get better at batting that annoying voice away don’t you? It’s second nature now but I think it will always be niggling, once in a while, but probably growing quieter and weaker with every year that passes. Good riddance to bad rubbish is what I say!
      Best wishes,

      Lucy x

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