Struggling to be
better is futile. It is
the same as before
This past Saturday evening I went bowling with the kids, their friends, and a buddy of mine. He and I bowled a few games but then went to the bar to talk. We talked, of course, about Kim and I. While we were talking I got this strong urge to drink and get hammered. Not do 5 shots in a row…no…to order a drink and talk with a friend and keep doing that until I’m done (done = good and tight). I’m upset thinking about it. It’s interesting, as it was happening, I felt tons of anxiety.
I’ve been working on an exercise with my therapist to help alleviate anxiety. I visualize a container, put the thing that is stressing me out in it, and close the container. I’ve only done it with racing thoughts about Kim so far. With her I visualize my journal, close it, and then place it in my container. It works. I did that with my craving to get drunk. Actually I did it with the stress I was feeling about wanting to get drunk. I imagined a bottle of vodka, I put the cork back in it, and then I placed the bottle into my container. It helped. I was able to do it while in the middle of a conversation with Jason. I had to do it a few times that evening but each time I felt better, I felt less stress.
Struggling to be better is like taking a trip to a sunny location only to realize it’s not as sunny as you had hoped. Except for small variations, it’s pretty much the same as the place you just left only you’re happier here than you were there. I still want to get there, this better place, I’m just realistic about what it is. I’m even resigned to being slightly disappointed.