In Louisiana, we don't just embrace crazy drunken behavior...we parade it down the street. I mean they don't call it the dirty south for nothing! Whether it's SEC football, Mardi Gras, mud riding or deer season (because mixing alcohol with firearms and ATV's is totally safe...wtf?!), or Tuesday we find a way to incorporate celebrating with copious amounts of alcohol. It's engrained in our culture; it's our unofficial state motto for God's sake. Then, of course we all repent on Sunday (but that's an issue for another day).
So, with carnival season officially kicking off...I wanted to share how I beat the Cajun crazy.
Is it hard to get sober here? Are you kidding me? Is it hard to breathe without air? In early sobriety, it felt incredibly isolating & lonely. I had to distance myself from any event, any activity, & any person that celebrated alcohol, and it pissed me off. Sure there are a few gentle options: the family friendly zone on parade routes, family tailgates, etc...but I knew these wouldn't work for me. I didn't watch a single football game. I didn't catch the first bead (or show my boobs to anyone so that was definitely a win for the dignity column). I passed on all invitations to bonfires, festivals, tailgates, and boat days (Sundays on the Red River, after church of course, are the redneck version of a Midsummer Night's Dream). It felt like a horrible punishment, but I did as I was told and changed EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.
Instead, I prayed. I read, and I journaled. I worked out hangover free (what a glorious concept), went to therapy, & a lot of meetings. I drank a shit ton of coffee and bubble water. I cried. I traveled. I connected to people and to myself. For the first time in my life I discovered what made my heartbeat. I worked on Rachel, and I committed to it.
And then something magical happened...while I was busy distracting myself, I accidentally created a life for myself! (aha! plot twist). I began to see the old ways, the crazy & chaotic 'fun ways' for what they really were...emptiness. Not only had I engaged in these old behaviors and dialogues, I had romanticized them. I don't want to escape anymore. I want to vibrate on a higher frequency. I want to live and feel everything! I want to live in Technicolor, and you can't do that if you're off your face on vodka.
Authors - Various