Today marks 8 months AF for me.
This will be my first alcohol-free Christmas, which feels a bit intimidating – not because I’m finding myself wanting to drink, but because of the expectations of others.
But I am determined to take care of myself and stand up for my own needs as if I were my own child.
If I got through my 40th birthday celebrations, then I can certainly do this. I’m just not sure whether I’ll say anything other than “I’m not really drinking right now.” – I guess that says it all, and the fact that I’ve used the same phrase for the past three or four visits to my parents will probably add up to say the bigger thing anyway.
I have a 12km run ahead of me today, and it would have been good to have gotten up early, but I felt drained and cranky and didn’t get out of bed until nearly 10am. I haven’t slept that long in a really really long time and you know what? It feels so good right now. I don’t think I’ve experienced this restedness in my body and mind since the Summer – even over the midterm break we were experimenting with getting up super early.
The downside is that I’m going to be able to, and hence inclined to, stay awake really late tonight. Especially as I’m only going to be able to attack the tiniest portion of my to-do list today.
It’s raining a freezing kind of rain out there and I’m going to have to steel myself to bring my body out into the cold and get its muscles moving. You know, it’s not just having run that I love, once I’ve gotten about three minutes of movement under my belt the act of running feels quite pleasant too. I enjoy the space of being on my own with no other responsibilities. But getting out – especially for a run of this duration – feels a little, nay a lot, like a selfish act.
I still believe it serves the greater good though.
When G. was in London last week he brought me back a book. It’s called Book 4 and I’m reading about a page a day as I’ve left it in the bathroom for dipping in and out. It’s really good though, and I find myself surprised by how grounded it is for its time and reputation. I’m surprisingly surprised at how much I’m finding the contents resonate with me. After all, a few years back, I was so moved by what I had learned surrounding Thelema that I got a tattoo of the symbol on my wrist in order to remind myself of the power of my own will, to remind myself that the path I take in my life is a choice, and the choice is no-one’s but mine. If I will only turn my will to it.
Willpower is strong, but when you use your will to move yourself towards a goal that is not in keeping with what resonates and is true for you, then I think you’ll notice how very difficult it is. I think you’ll notice how frustrated you’ll feel daily, and how it requires constant self-reminder, a battle of the will.
Our will and our truth are the strongest tools we have, and when we can figure out how to get them to work in tandem, then great and powerful change is possible.
But I sound like I’m talking religion here, and that is one of the misconceptions that I’d even left myself fall into. I could remember, in the abstract, that there was more here that I wanted to read about. And yet all my brain has associated with Aleister Crowley was sex and debauchery, drugs and talking to Angels.
Reading the writings, I appreciate the nearly scientific set-up and logical exploration of themes and actions and consequences. Sure, he refers to Magick which is automatically going to have people pooh-poohing and disregarding. But if we were to refer to the amazing and documentable effects of practices such as yoga and meditation as “magic” (or Magick) then I don’t believe that would be too much of a strange descriptor at all.
I will read on, of course, but just a few pages in and I’m feeling that old excitement again; those internal calls of “Yes! I was looking for this!” just as I felt those few years ago. I had forgotten. I’m sure I’ll forget again.
Meanwhile, I’m happy enough to stick to a page a day. The content is dense and it allows me to consider it more fully.