Ridiculous Thought #1

“I’ll never be able to enjoy listening to jazz again if I stop drinking.”

Conclusion: Case dismissed with prejudice.

Started sketching again late into the night. WBGO* online radio and my two cats as company. First time I have listened to WBGO while sketching sober. It felt good. In the groove again. It felt familiar and even better sober. Concentration was present. Small steps. My fingers cramped up. It has been so long. I’m out of practice. A good cramp. It will get easier day by day as I return to sketching and painting. Creative pursuits with a clear head.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”**

Mini habits are having a positive impact already. The evening breeze is coming in the window with the occasional moth. The neighbourhood is quiet. I can hear from far, far away the hum of the motorway. No morepork (owls) hooting in the night. No planes, no helicopters. Admittedly it is already morning and a peaceful time to think and create. The stars might be out but I’m occupied. My eyes are staring straight ahead, following the pen strokes. The pen stroke following my brain. Or maybe my brain is following the pen. Who knows what my hand will draw next? Until tomorrow.

*WBGO is a jazz public radio station “Jazz 88”, 88.3FM from a studio in Newark, New Jersey, USA.

**Dr Seuss quote


12:59 am

Getting earlier to bed I hope this time. The evenings feel longer when sober and yet I still manage to waste time. I am not productive at all. Patience. For this week my goals are to not drink. to be easy on myself because I am not sleeping early enough. Yesterday it was 4:30am when I was dozing off. How do I know that? I heard the morning bird calls and that’s the time that they start.

Is procrastination a side effect of becoming sober? I didn’t read that on the label. It appears that I have a large dose of it. But really in all honesty I have had it for several years. I stupidly thought that after giving up alcohol I would feel like jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn and have heaps of energy and just full of ideas and just run with it. This has not happened. I don’t feel like jumping out of bed in the morning because I am still awake from the night before almost at the crack of dawn. Sluggish is more the correct word. Apathetic is another one that springs to mind.

Firstly, being kind to oneself is key. I am doing myself a favour by stopping drinking alcohol. I am loving myself. Another way to love myself is to give myself a break and not rush this expecting instant results. There is no instant gratification on giving up drinking. It is not a race. It is a slow walk taken one step at a time. Doing one nice thing to myself each day would make this easier. Perhaps a nice soak in the bath with bath salts, a candle and a book. Put on a record and listen all the way through side A. That’s for starters.

The first thing that comes to mind with the bath is a glass of wine. The first thing that comes to mind listening to a jazz record is a bottle of wine. These associations are so ingrained to made it a habit. Instead of a glass of wine in the bath I could prepare a tall glass of sparkling water with ice and a slice of lemon or lime. I could make a latte instead, sit back and listen to jazz. This is a chance to be inventive. This is just the beginning. I am not missing out on something. I am gaining better health and better habits. Begin the begin.