James read my blogs again last night.
He’s worried I’m coming across as “an alcoholic adopter”. This morning he said, “If I didn’t know you, I’d be thinking I should report you.”
Ok, so first of all, let me set the record straight. I chose to write this blog because my relationship with alcohol felt problematic and, from what I can gather, I’m not alone in that feeling. Everywhere I look, I see people ‘medicating’ with one thing or another. Alcohol, food, social media (and those are just the ones in plain sight. That’s without considering drugs, sex, self-harm and all the other ways people are dealing with whatever is going on for them.)
My goal in life is help people treat themselves better and then treat each other better. I’m starting with myself and that’s what this blog is about. I felt I’d be treating myself better, giving myself the best chance of creating my dream life and proving to myself that anything was possible if I ditched alcohol.
I wanted to sleep better, enhance my brain functioning, wake up more alert and basically super-charge myself so I could do all the cool things I have planned for myself and my family this year.
So, with the record (hopefully) now straight, back to James’ comment.
What if I was an alcoholic adopter? Does reporting me have to be the first thing that comes to mind? What about helping me? (I understand in the case of a relatively anonymous blog, that’s not really an option but hopefully my point still makes sense.)
My training as an adopter has made me rethink everything when it comes to the way we treat each other and the rules by which we live. Our approach regularly involves some form of shame, coersion or external reward – carrot or stick. You need only look at our school system to find the training ground for these rules. Do this and you get that. Do this or you’ll be punished and eventually excluded. Do this or you’ll be reported.
Reported. This is a bad thing. It doesn’t mean help is coming. It means judgement is coming. Hide. Lie. Pretend everything is ok.
If I were an alcoholic adopter, I believe there would be nothing more productive than me talking about it and getting the help I needed. For my money, we could do with a lot more people standing up and saying, “I’m not doing this very well and I need some help” – and for that declaration to be met with kindness, openness, understanding and actual help. Wouldn’t more people speak honestly in that case and wouldn’t that lead us to be able to gather more information about what works and what doesn’t work in our efforts to improve?
I think we all stand a better chance at turning our lives into amazing experiences filled with happiness if we can be fearless in our fallibility because we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that someone will be there to listen, lend a hand and show support.