“Pick your poison”, I never really put much thought into the phrase, but now that I have it seems kind of ridiculous…more on that later.
Alcohol. Ah yes, the devil’s advocate, alcohol. Isn’t it crazy that a liquid can be the center of a party? Main event during holidays? Can make sweet memories? But can also cause you to make life altering decisions? Control your life? Kill you? Sorry to get serious, but its the truth. **I am by NO means judging anyone who consumes alcohol (as I do..or now did), I am writing this from a very personal perspective!**
To be very honest, I started drinking at a very young age, in fact the first time I got “drunk” was my sophomore year of high school…I was 15. It was something fun to do on the weekends, it was exhilarating because we were breaking the rules. It was strictly something to let loose with, I had no real attachment to it, besides the fact that I though it was fun. The drinking got more excessive junior and senior year of high school, almost every weekend actually. (If I didn’t have a volleyball tournament of course.) Alcohol is a documented depressant, but it affects every person differently, and it seems for me it truly has a much stronger effect on my well being. Alcohol started to play a new role when I went away to school my freshman year, but I wasn’t aware of it then. I had lost total control of my mind and body. My eating disorder consumed my life as well as my depression, and drinking became a way to escape the pain. But in reality, alcohol only intensified it. I would drink to the point of “blacking out”, maybe I would get sick, almost always sending text messages or saying something that I would regret. I destroyed a lot of relationships, friendship, and most importantly myself. Without realizing it, I had deteriorated completely from a mental and spiritual stand point. Or “rock bottom” as they call it.
Like I have said before, my whole way of thinking began to change when I started my 200 hr teacher training. I began to realize my habits but still working on doing something about it. During teacher training I was basically dry, no alcohol whatsoever. I can still remember how at peace I felt those last few months of TT, completely confident and in control, and my asana practice was steady. Then I left for the beach that summer to lifeguard…and the drinking started again. Went back to school and continued to drink, then the binging and purging started again, the depression and anxiety came crawling back, and once again I was home. At this point I was fed up, so what to do? Buy a plane ticket to Mysore of course!! But really, thats what happened as my readers know.
I drank throughout the summer leading up to my trip, I turned 21 a month before I left so obvi I drank up until I left. Once I was in India, I stopped. Just wasn’t even a thought in my head and plus its just not something yoga students do over there. Once again, with the help of my Mysore practice, the clarity came back, the peacefulness, the confidence and the control. But this time it was much more intense.
Within a few weeks of my arrival back home I was back at school again, feeling much stronger and WAY more inspired and motivated. I was still practicing 5-6 days a week, took rest on saturdays, did my japa, i was a “good lady”. I found that I was allowing myself to drink on friday nights, more each time. I didn’t make the connection until very recently but my mind was super agitated during my practice, I once again began judging myself. I finally over did it about two weeks ago. I lay miserably on my bed the next morning, self-hating thoughts were zooming around my head. I just felt like shit in all aspects. It was then I realized that alcohol was a serious poison to my system, to my overall being. It clouded my true Self, it damages my soul, and it just is not worth it.
Tim Miller had a really great blog post about Lent, and how people give up these things that generally don’t serve them well for 40 days..but once that 40 day fast is up they resume. Seems backwards, right? Tim mentioned that though he did not practice Lent growing up, he picks something every year that does not serve him to give up for good. So, for my I am giving up alcohol for Lent and for good. It does not serve me, it destroys me. I feel blessed to have the strength to recognize this AND take responsibility.
So, “pick your poison.” Why do I think it’s ridiculous? Well, why would you be messing around with poison anyway? Why would you put yourself in a situation where poison is the only option? Why not just not pick a poison?
I pick kombucha 🙂