Alcohol and I have a strange relationship. It has evolved into something I never thought it would, and amidst the damage it has done I believe it’s something that also saved my life. When I was at my lowest points in my late teen years and early adulthood I leaned on it to get me through the moments I believed I’d never survive sober, and I honestly believe I wouldn’t have made it without the social drinking component that allowed me to connect with so many other broken people. It kept me from resorting to other, more destructive forms of coping, and allowed me to open my eyes and socialize with the hurting people I probably wouldn’t have socialized with before.
Now alcohol is very different, especially since I’m in the process of recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder. It has become a source of escape, yes, but it has also become a source of comfort when I’m feeling good. That has many implications; one being that I can get too drunk when I’m feeling really happy and spend lots of money on clothes and other things that seemingly enhance my sense of self and identity in a vain aspect, and two being when I get too drunk when I’m feeling happy it then affects my mood negatively and I become depressed via the affects alcohol has on my body chemistry, rather than from any emotion itself.
I decided to stop drinking recently, and I’ve had a couple slip ups. Both were with clear intentions, and neither of them ended with me being wasted and puking on the side of the road – just a couple drinks to get some writing done, to spend some time with my brother, to allow the creative juices to flow. On the other side of those reasonable, well -intentioned justifications for drinking lies a bit of shame. A little bit of shame and guilt for going against what I said I’d do; for not being able to resist the pull of alcohol and the way I enjoy the effect it has on me.
I keep looping back around to intention because I believe intention has a lot to do with behavior. I believe intention, as long as you are being honest with yourself, can determine your behavior and how you relate to the world. If your intentions are clear, do you need to shift your behavior simply because you said you would? And if you don’t, does that mean you lack integrity? Or does that mean you’re living in the present moment, day by day deciding what suits you and your life and where you’re at in that moment?
This is something I’m struggling with in regards to a lot of my behaviors, because I’m at this turning point in recovery where I’m figuring out who I am and what I believe in.
This is a legitimate question I’d like to pose, because as we all know many creatives lean on drugs and alcohol to gain inspiration. With my being a writer, does that mean it’s okay? Or am I risking too much by allowing myself to slip up without any consequences? And does it mean it’s okay because the consequences I once encountered no longer occur? (drunk driving, etc) Or am I tempting fate, and it’s just a matter of time before I slip up entirely and endanger my life and possibly the lives of others?
Do you have any similar experiences that you’d like to share?