Monday, August 8, 2011

Off the Wagon

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." 

--Buddha, from my Wisdom of the East Mini Calendar 

I fell off the wagon of my one-year alcohol fast this weekend. 

You know the story....friends in town, out to dinner....

It was nice. A cocktail before dinner, a glass of wine with my meal. I felt relaxed. Fun. Funny. 

The next day it was payback time and all of that relaxation, fun and frivolity turned into despair, despondency and depression. 

Two drinks and it was as if my whole life had changed. Very definitely for the worse. All of a sudden, I hated my life. I hated everything and everyone in it (including myself, of course) and I just wanted to run away from it all.

Twenty-four hours later I was back on track. The alcohol was out of my system, I had found my center and it was all blue skies and clear water again (it didn't hurt that we spent the weekend at the beach). 

So, once again, I am starting where am I and moving forward from there. 

In many ways I am grateful for this "mistake." It taught me something important about myself and showed me the way forward. It was good practice in descending into a pit of negative emotions and trying to crawl back out, inch by painful inch.

I started to breathe. I dropped into my heart. I reminded myself that it was all an alcohol-induced illusion. And I made it back. 

Now that I'm back, I don't ever want to leave and I have recommitted myself to clean living and clean thinking. I am making my way forward, one day, one step, one moment at a time....

What knocks you off of your path and how do you get back? 

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