[Sober Living] Weakness In Dreams

Starting four years and eight months ago, I began developing mental fortitude against temptation, negativity, and the stresses that would otherwise compel me to numbness through alcohol. This pursuit of sobriety propelled me into self-improvement, which I partially credit for my endurance to evade sketchy situations in my conscious life. How about in my unrestrained dreams? Where anything is possible, including finding myself pouring vodka into this very glass, splashing in some orange juice, and…

…waking up!

What a close call.

Were it not for this now-weekly sobriety column, I wouldn’t have thought much of it, other than the momentary relief after confirming that I hadn’t slipped. Just some nightmare to disregard as my mind fills with thoughts of how I’ll go about my day.

What struck me was how casually I poured the vodka. It’s concerning, actually.

I get asked occasionally if I think of returning to drinking. I think the people asking are just trying to figure out how I – this sober anomaly – fit into their realities of social drinking, last calls, and good times with friends. My answer now is “about once a week.”

I drank as a coping mechanism for reality. Drinking is seemingly effective.

What’s actually effective is addressing problems violently. Rip off your problem’s fleshy exterior! Let the agonies of its stressful intestines bleed everywhere! Break the bones holding up its aggression toward your peace! That’s more effective in preventing stress-triggered drinking.

I’m concerned with how casually my dream-self disregarded my mental fortitude.

It’s possible that I will fail this sobriety counter at some point in my life. Everyone does. Two years before March 29th 2013, everyone and everything was the problem, and I was the victim of reality. Life hit me hard eleven months before my sobriety.

It took about six months of slipping before sobriety finally stuck.

I don’t remember that dream’s full context. Maybe it was a victory screwdriver? Maybe my memory was recalling this positive event: I just finished rowing violently, poured some orange juice, and had a satisfying drink with vitamins before bed.

What if this dream’s weakness were a sign of my now conscious strength?

My compulsive side will always consider a glass of alcohol to numb some pain and that part of me will always be in there. However, now I’m taking to an active form of meditation: letting problems anger me then letting it rip on my rowing machine.

I’m rerouting that negative energy, otherwise pent up, toward positivity.

Years back, I had my first glass of alcohol after plateauing in my rowing. After burning off sixty pounds in six months, without the excitement of seeing further physical progress, I guess the tedium of exercising set in, and I opted for easier thrills?

I must remember to always take the vitamins over the vodka.


Thanks for joining me on that cathartic mental exercise. I’ve now realized my Rowing and Sobriety columns should address stress from their respective angles.

Developing physical and mental fortitudes enable your self-actualization.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.