My battle with the beast

August 9, 2016 ~ Tuesday

6:10a I won a mighty battle last night! We sold out of the Merlot and moved to the Zin, so we had to change the cheese pairing. It was the first sip of wine I have had in a full week. I was very careful, concentrated very hard, and did my job very well.

It triggered an intense grip of temptation that I had to pry myself out of. Actually, I wouldn’t describe it that way. I felt nearly powerless over it. I could hardly remember all of my good reasons for abstinence. We were done tasting by 5:30p, with customers still lingering until 6:30. I started to get the notion that – Hey, I’ve already consumed today, so I might as well enjoy my “Friday” night. The real battle began at 7, when we left the tasting room and headed home. The addictive voice of the beast was so silky and smooth, enamoring me with promises of such a wonderful evening.

“This is your celebration.”

“You have worked so hard! You’ve earned it.”

I told Edward I was fighting it. I let him in on my battle.

I got home, and while I walked Justice I put my headphones in and listened to the summary of The Science of Being Great. I was reminding myself of what I am working for. “You must rule the flesh. consecrate yourself. Rise above and put behind all that does not serve your most noble purpose.”

It helped!, and I focused my eyes on the prize. Edward brought the new art out of Mom’s car, and we went inside to hang it. I chose a place for the yin/yang trees, right over the bed. Two identical canvases that create two sides to a whole. I knew it would require precision to hang it properly. We used the tape measure and everything. I was becoming more and more agitated. It literally felt like the beast was roaring with rage in my head. I was trying to ignore it and focus on the beautiful art. The sounds of the beast were deafening, and I tried to maintain my composure. The temptation worked its way into my body. My lips wanted to taste it. My hands wanted to hold it. I wanted to stop thinking. I wanted to let go.

The pictures were crooked. The space between them was too large, then too small. The canvases did not line up evenly. We had to put extra holes in the wall, and it got worse. I fell into a heap on the bed and tears spilled out of my eyes. I desperately fought to regain my composure.

Edward was so patient and kind. We finished hanging just as the pizza and wings arrived. Yes, I was angry at that at first too. I had been eating so healthfully, losing a half pound here and there, and I know the calories in a Domino’s night. But then I thought – Great! Now I won’t have the calories to spare for wine! I ate slowly and conscientiously, savoring each bite as much as you can for Domino’s. I logged my calories and – horror! I still had almost 500 to spare. Ugh, it was that four mile run this morning.

The voice of the beast became relentless in his demands, and his anger seethed through my veins. Edward suggested we sit outside in the cool of the evening. I relayed the cunning and mocking remarks the beast was using, but even exposing him didn’t shut him up. I felt myself wavering. I felt my resolve disintegrating. I felt myself on the brink of caving in. I actually wished Edward would let me off the hook and offer me a drink. In the heat of the battle, the only coherent thought I clung to was, “Just say No.” Funny, huh?

My last little motivator was that I didn’t want to hate myself in the morning. I knew, while it may have been fun for the night, that I would have to wake and face my noble intentions, and I cringed at the thought of feeling defeated and small and useless. Oh the beast became so soothing, telling me that I would forgive myself, and even supplying all the rationalizations I would need. But I knew I would hate myself – and with good cause.

It was well after 9p before the beast relented. I read that cravings only last 10-20 minutes. The barrage had buffeted me for over three hours. I stood my ground and emerged from the battle in VICTORY. My head ached from the consternation, and I felt utterly exhausted, but I won. I maintained my integrity in the moment of choice.

I learned a few things too. I learned that I need a better plan of resistance. I was infinitesimally close to failure, and that risk is one I do not want to face so ill-equipped again. I learned, or more so applied, the understanding that the beast and I are not one in the same. IT wanted the drink, not ME…

Gratitude practice for today 🙂
1- I am grateful for all I have learned about addiction as it helped me stand my ground in battle with the beast.
2- I am grateful for the deck seating, which lets me comfortably get outside and enjoy the air, sunshine, and the goings on in the neighborhood.
3- I am grateful to have found Wallace Wattles, as his teaching is teaching me that I can be all I have dreamed to be.
4- I am grateful for the innate sense that I am great, as it leads me into an ever-advancing lifestyle.
5- I am grateful for hot tea and honey, as it gives me a wonderful, practical alternative to drinking.
6- I am grateful for the plants coming into our home, making it feel like an outdoor oasis inside. I believe we can help them live and thrive here.
7- I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know our club members, as they so greatly enrich my life.
8- I am grateful that Pop is thinking of our happiness as we make business decisions together.
9- I am grateful for my feet and legs, as they take me on the most spectacular adventures and take me to glorious sights and treasures.
10- I am grateful for my hands that hold the pen and paper and allow me to record my thoughts, flesh out my lessons, and dream my desires…

I am most grateful for another day of sobriety and another morning of peace.

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