I began a conscious investigation into my relationship with alcohol about four months ago. It started out because I felt out of control, it wasn’t out of choice that I was drinking (then eating, having sex) it was a compulsive need, a need that sprang from anxiety, unwillingness, agitation, discomfort, disgust.
I have felt uncomfortable with my relationship to alcohol to varying degrees for most of my adult life, but the distaste for the consequences finally became stronger than my appetite. I no longer could tolerate feeling unlike myself. I no longer really knew what myself felt like. Without the substance/distraction in my hand, I have nothing but myself to deal with. Sitting with the spiraling thoughts and agitation is fucking rough (pardon the language.) At this point (four months in,) free from the low-level hangover and emotional tumult I was experiencing on a daily basis, I’m still getting used to myself. She’s big, she wants, when she like she really likes and when she dislikes, she really really really dislikes. She’s not as ‘nice’ as everyone always told her to be. There is a lot of anger and fire in her belly.
And I still have a taste for self-destruction. I still crave that oblivion, where nothing exists- not pain, not confusion, not doubt, not fear. The consequence of losing ease and joy in the oblivion has only just begun to register as too risky a gamble. I struggle deeply with this. There is an ever-persistent nagging, ‘but I don’t want this, I want that….’ "What's wrong with me?" I think all the time. In her book, "The Places That Scare You," Pema Chödrön writes, "Trying to change ourselves doesn't work in the long run because we're resisting our own energy. Self-improvement can have temporary results, but lasting transformation occurs only when we honor ourselves as the source of wisdom and compassion."
It’s traumatizing to be at war with our own impulses because they are deep veins of desire, electrical wires illuminating our destiny, charging the dead or dying flesh of “supposed to,” with the reminder of “I want, I need, I have to have.” The irrational nature of emotion/impulse is what sends most of us running from it, or to the nearest numbing substance. However without the will to live fully in the the present, which we get to through physical sensation and awareness, the mind will just be fried by the inner conflict, numb to the call of desire, homeless with nowhere to land. If we are unwilling to look at the feeling level of ourselves, we will never really evolve. It's not enough to change a habit- it might even be (as Pema describes it) abusive if the intention is "fix what's wrong." We have to go deep into what's driving the behavior: fear of loss and abandonment, feelings of inadequacy, shame. Next step, befriend these challenges and learn from their needs. "We need self-compassion to stabilize our minds. We need it to work with our emotions. We need it in order to stay." - Pema Chödrön
This is why I'm offering my mentorship, Swan Dive. Quite literally, this program is to address your appetite- physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and all the ways that appetite is being fueled, starved, ignored, fought against. Tapping into the 4 Levels of Being (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) and then creatively channeling the energy found therein is the way to wholeness, the antidote to fragmentation, and the link between creativity and sustainability. It is my most personal offering yet, and I would love to share it with you.
If you think this program might be for you, please reach out to me with any questions. It will be offered in three 3-week modules in the Fall/Winter. Details on this site under Training.