Day 26 of The Alcohol Experiment: the liberation scale and a letter to my pre-TAE self.
As if we didn’t already have a tool kit bursting with helpful tactics to assist us no our path to improved health and well-being, Annie gifts us with another gem: her liberation vs. fixation scale.
This is very straightforward: when you are “liberated” it means you are in control of your relationship with alcohol. You can truly take it or leave it. You are genuinely happy with exactly where you are. On the flip side, when you are “fixated,” alcohol has taken the reins. You have lost power over your alcohol cravings. You are feeling tempted; thinking about your first drink or your next drink; you want to drink even if you know you shouldn’t.
This scale can be used no matter what your ultimate goal is. Whether you decide to continue to be alcohol-free, or to moderate your drinking, this scale is a useful way to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self. I’ll be using this one for sure!
In the journal today, Annie asks us to write a letter to our pre-TAE selves. And wow, I feel like I have come a long way. Here is what I wrote:
Listen up. I remember the angst, the guilt, the worry. And the guilt. And more guilt. And I am so happy to report that you have regained control over those little a-holes.
It has been liberating and wonderful to be booze-free again, to have alcohol not be an option, and to discover that I am perfectly happy without it. There are still sticky moments and icky thoughts. I still worry about this experiment ending, and falling back down the rabbit hole AGAIN. But, also, I don’t worry. Because I am starting to feel very natural as a non-drinker. I think about alcohol less and less with each day that passes. If anything, now I am more focused on my food issues (which share roots with my alcohol issues). I have made this major change – cutting out booze for two prolonged periods since the start of 2018 – and I deserve to feel like my best self.
I still can’t imagine never having another pomegranate margarita ever again. And that is ok. I’m not sure what my ultimate goal is, and that is ok too. As long as I am using my flashy new pimped out tool kit courtesy of TAE, and being authentic in my journey, there is no right or wrong. There is just the path only I can travel.
I no longer feel like I am alone. I have my tools, my family and friends, and resources up the wazoo. My Alcohol Experiment has had enough lightbulbs to string a Christmas tree. Former burdens have blossomed into beacons. “Stress relief” is now “stress resilience.” Willpower is a finite resource. I love and embrace my body for all the miracles, from microscopic to baby-birthing, it has performed and will continue to perform. Connection is the opposite of addiction. I’ve left labels behind. They’re wasting away to dust, along with my negative thoughts and self-doubt, in the brilliant sunshine of the future I am creating for myself and for my family.
You can do this. You ARE doing this. You are powerful and you are beautiful and you are changing your life.
Keep gettin’ after it, Mama!
Your AF self
[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information: www.alcoholexperiment.com.]