I woke this morning feeling dissonance and as I meditated to clear it my blog subject appeared. ‘Drinking’. I am no expert on the subject, however; I do have years of personal experience.
My drinking began in Grade 10 in a small town in northwestern Saskatchewan. I arrived home late at night too drunk to function and woke all hung over to clean up the puke and talk to cops whom my parents had summoned. The entire party was underaged and they wanted to know who bought for us. I feigned ignorance and they were easy on me, soon leaving. What my parents hoped was a hard lesson had little effect and I continued drinking throughout high school and university.
Drinking was for me a coping mechanism. I was shy and had a low opinion of my lovability so I was uncomfortable around women, especially those I found attractive. Parties seemed an unnatural and uncomfortable environment; and drinking was a way to lose some inhibitions and join in; besides everyone else was drinking or so it seemed.
Drinking was hard on me; especially in those early days. I drank to excess nearly every time and often threw up; awakening to fierce hangovers. Large portions of the evening were often lost to black-outs and others would fill me in on what had happened or I would be left wondering. One night I turned the car I was driving on its side in a snow drift. Fortunately no one was hurt. In general terms I was a pleasant drunk and did not get into fights or otherwise cause trouble. It was just a general waste of time, money and social opportunity but parties without drinking was beyond my imagining.
This general pattern continued during my working years although I did learn to moderate my drinking and have fewer blackouts and vomiting sessions…they seemed to go together.
My first wife and I were quickly estranged and I began drinking at home in the evenings. Not in excess but a few drinks as I pursued my solitary time at home, unable or unwilling to spend time together. When we separated a couple of months before my 39th birthday and I really was living alone, I found I could not continue this pattern and quit my evening drinking except for social occasions of which there were many.
Drinking was part of the fun with my second wife. She never drank to excess and I learned to follow the same pattern but a bottle of wine was part of many evenings and I would also drink beer. Hardstuff was never part of my drinking as I found it too harsh and generally settled on beer or wine.
When my life began to shift into spiritual channels I could finally imagine life without drinking. Meditation retreats would start and end with no alcohol being consumed and I began to find friends within this community, friends with whom I had fun without drinking. At the age of well over 50, I was finally learning to socialize without drinking.
I did not drink for much of 2008 after I made major shifts in my life, making the consciousness movement my focus. When I moved back to Calgary in late 2008, drinking reentered my life and continued to be a part of family gatherings.
The holiday season of 2011 had many family gatherings as is often the case and each provided the opportunity to drink. This continued right up to New Years Day of 2012. I left the family lunch having drunk three or four beer and returned home feeling internal dissonance. I meditated but the alcohol still in my system made it hard work. It came to me that I was to quit drinking for the duration of 2012; that drinking blocked important information and in order to live my mission I was to be a teetotaller for the rest of the year.
I honoured this guidance and entered the New Year’s Eve party knowing I would not drink until at least the new year was welcomed in. That came and went and each time I check on my guidance the information is the same. My body has a near revolt each time I consider a drink; and so here we are over four months into 2013 and I remain a teetotaller. Could be for the rest of this lifetime; we shall see.
Freedom for humanity…