Many of us use various distractions. For some it’s TV or video games; for others it’s shopping, work, or even certain relationships. My distraction of choice was alcohol, wine at first and eventually the stronger stuff. I used alcohol for many of the same reasons other people drink: to take the edge off, to relax, to celebrate certain passages and mourn others. Drinking distracted me from my loneliness, my ambivalence, my fears, and the inevitable empty spaces in life. Alcohol filled those empty spaces, if only temporarily, and helped me pass many difficult times.
Gradually, I realized I was using alcohol differently than the average moderate drinker and that alcohol was occupying an ever-increasing role in my daily life. I started to wonder what I was missing by using booze to distract myself from uncomfortable feelings; I became curious about what was behind those feelings and what I might learn if I were to simply experience them unmedicated. More than five years ago, I decided to remove the distraction of alcohol from my life and see what emerged in its place. This blog is about that journey.
I hope that Drinking to Distraction will serve several purposes:
(1) First as a repository of some of the thoughts I’ve collected over the years, from the times I’d sit at a bar, martini in hand, and say “Maybe I should think about my drinking,” to the quitting process and the years that have followed.
(2) Second as a forum for others to share their experiences with problem drinking, regardless of whether they are actively drinking, trying to cut back, or have 9 or 90 or 9000 days of sobriety.
(3) Third to explore this concept of distractions and the ways we use them to avoid living an aware or authentic life.
I’d love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com.