Not drinking makes you smarter

Not drinking makes you smarter. Did I really just write that? Who clicked because they believed it, even just for a second?

It ain’t true. Not drinking doesn’t make you smarter. And drinking doesn’t make you smarter either. What makes you smart? If I could answer that there would be no need for this blog for starters. Smartness (look it up, it’s a word) comes from experience, intuition, reading, thinking, observation and I suppose a few genes, not the designer jean variety.

Being sober lifts the fog and allows us to see clearer. What we do with this new sight is up to us. We made the first smart decision: to stop drinking. We can build on this and make more smart decisions. It’s like taking steps. One step after anther. One smart decision after another. Along the way we will sidestep and make dumb decisions. That’s to be expected. That’s what learning is, right?

Last week I made a smart decision. I hit a hurdle in life. I could have coped with it by having a wine or two like I would have in the past. This time, my sober self, said no. Deal with this sober, you are strong. You’ve got this. And I did got this.

Soberness might not give us smart decisions always but it gives us a chance to make more better choices.

Choose to be smart today.


Facing Forward

Facing or confronting something is more difficult than turning away. It requires effort and dealing with whatever it may be. The thought of facing something can make whatever it is into a mountain when in fact it was a wrinkle in a sheet. Shadows play tricks on us and the devil on our shoulder is whispering come away with me, don’t climb the mountain, what’s one more day?

If we faced the mountain and walked towards it we would realise that it wasn’t so big after all. The weight off our shoulders would have made it worth the effort.

Not facing something takes more effort and occupies more space in your mind than if you faced whatever it is. So why do we insist on looking away or elsewhere, anywhere but forward facing the issue? Why do we do this to ourselves? Because it’s hard? It’s much harder to avoid than to face. Avoidance is quite a complicated dance. It’s like juggling while balancing on one foot on top of a chair. It involves lots of pieces and trying to figure out how not to lose the rhythm so you or the balls don’t fall on the floor. What would be wrong about you and the balls being on the floor anyway? You can rest.

Which is it? Difficult or easy? One moment you say facing something is difficult then you say not facing something is effortful. Which is it? It is what we make it. Huh?

We make decisions for ourselves. Sometimes we know we are making the wrong one and we go ahead regardless. A conscious decision, a decision we know to be wrong yet we willfully proceed. Why? It’s the path of least resistance.

Okay. I get that. That might be true. So why do we do it to ourselves? It’s easier not to.

Doing nothing sometimes is better than doing the wrong thing. Not always but sometimes true. However what I am talking about here is personal growth. The more things we face the more we grow as a person. And with these experiences we learn and we gain wisdom. Our lives become more fulfilled and we seek out more to enrich our lives.

*I wrote the above post earlier, like a couple of months ago and saved it. Publishing today.

I am past my 7 month sober mark and feeling good that I am. Before this journey started the sober part of it seemed like the finish line but in fact it was the just the start line. Being sober is the easy part, the knowing what to do with the time while being sober is the challenge. How do we proceed in life now that we have our life before us with the truth bared raw. I like myself better sober. Still finding my feet. Shuffling in the right direction. Still eat a lot to compensate, stay up late, and do very little exercise. But I am absolutely fine with it. I can honestly say I feel real peace on the good days.

Facing forward and leaning into the wind.