if you do what you did, you get what you got

I am pretty taken with yoga. I’m reading a book called Meditations form the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. Each day has a new reading about yoga and the yoga sutras. I am still early in the book as I am trying to read one reading a day. This requireds immense control from me as I am still a bit of an instant gratification type. sigh

Today’s reading included the saying if you do what you did, you get what you got. This was always my issue in the past. I knew I was drinking too much. I knew it was hurting me mentally, spiritually  and physically. I knew my behaviour was self destructive. I wanted to stop it. But I kept doing the same things. Kept buying wine. Kept inviting friends over for drinks. Kept drinking. I created many plans for myself during this time. Exercise and diet plans that I followed with military precision. Rules and requirements. Hoping that somehow my ability to exercise for hours a day, or survive on 800 calories a day would make me quit drinking.

But that’s not how it works. In the book there is a discussion of the two aspects of yoga in relation to the quote. Practice and renunciation. I could plan to quit drinking till the cows came home, but until I put those words into practice, I was unsuccessful. I knew what I wanted to renounce, but I was too scared to do it. How would I last without my crutch, my wine?

Putting the plans into Practice will be different for everyone. On my Last Day One I called a therapist. I spoke up to my husband about how I thought I needed to stop drinking as I was just so unhappy and filled with self loathing. I emptied the house of booze. 

I continue to practice these things. I don’t buy booze. I am open and honest with my family. And I see my therapist regularly.

Recovery requires continuous practice. I am willing to do the work for the beautiful payoff I have received. My life.

17 thoughts on “if you do what you did, you get what you got

  1. I can totalllly relate to this post! I did all sorts of cleanses, vegan diet, raw foods diet, insane amounts of exercise… the stricter the plan, the better I did. but I’d always fall back into my wine bottle. I wonder what the connection is between that sort of extreme dieting, eating disorders, and alcoholism… any insights would be appreciated!

    1. I came across a book that linked eating disorders, depression and alcoholism. It was scary just how closely it described me.

      I didn’t realize just how depressed I was. I just know that for years I was trying to fix myself. That started the disordered eating and extreme exercise. And the increased anxiety. To quell the anxiety I drank more. And so it spiralled.

      When I was drinking I honestly hated myself. I could not see my assets. I could on,y see my faults. I was constantly unhappy with myself. Filled with anger and so rigid in my thinking. No wonder I was depressed.

      I think we are desperately trying to control the world. When we aren’t able to control our drinking, we fall back to the things we can control. Diet, exercise, etc.

      Letting go of this desire to control things has been a huge step for me.

      1. this really hit home. it describes my depression, drinking, and body image issues perfectly. I never looked at it as a control issue, but it makes perfect sense. I will have to work on letting that go. thanks for the post!

      2. Do you have a therapist? Mine is worth her weight in gold. Whenever I start talking about changing something, she calmly steers me back to finding acceptance with myself and my life as they are. Which brings me huge gratitude and relief.

        Read Brene browns book the gifts of imperfection. It changed my life. I think it would change your too.

      3. I’ll check out that book… thank you. I don’t have a therapist right now. I had one two years ago, but she “broke up” with me. haha. it was pretty pathetic bc I was there w self esteem and anxiety issues, and yet she ditched me 😉 I should probably find a new one, but for now I’m busy w AA, the sober blogs, books, and listening to the bubble hour podcasts.

  2. So true. Having the desire is not enough. We must do the work. It can be overwhelming, but if you break it down into little moments, those little moments add up over time. You have accomplished a great deal 😉

  3. Thank you for all your support on my blog. You are really helping me! I also tried different diets, exercise regimes etc and was generally good at sticking to them, but always kept drinking alongside them all. Crazy! Now I’m trying the no drinking and have relaxed a bit on the other stuff – and that seems to be a much better plan. Annie x

  4. I cannot believe you are reading Meditations From the Mat… ME TOO!!! And I love, love, love it. Although I do not have the self-control to read just one a day. How cool that Rolfe is in recovery too? I am going to his recovery retreat in Esalen next month and I am so excited. Love this post – keep ’em coming!!!

  5. This post hits home for me too! Everything I did was planned around when I would be able to drink wine. Everyday, every plan, every meal, all my excercise was planned around wine. I would either get up and jump on the treadmill so I could drink later or rush home get on the treadmill so I could drink that night. I justified it then…then was only 12 days ago. But I have justified it for so long that time turned into years.
    Reading your blog and others like it helps me. Once I went 3 weeks without drinking, but my motivation came from behavior that had brought me such shame. Unfortunately when I got over the shame I reopened the wine bottle.
    The book you mentioned sounds interesting. I have only done yoga a couple of times. It had never beaten me up enough so I figured I wasn’t burning enough calories or it just wasn’t working.
    Maybe it’s time to rethink.
    Thank you.

    1. I never did yoga before for those exact same reasons. Not enough bang for my buck.
      I don’t think about calories or pain for gain anymore. I just love the physical flow and breathing and the mental relief.
      I justified for a long time too. It’s bizarre how one day I could swear I knew I had a problem and wouldn’t do it again. And a few days later I would argue I was perfectly entitled to drink.

      Not drinking has ended a lot of internal struggle.

  6. Hello 🙂 Just wanted to drop in and say how much I love Gates’ book too. I found it years ago, didn’t know he was a recovering addict, but of course his words struck a chord with me because although my drinking wasn’t completely out of control then I was still concerned about it. I am a big fan of his and also Tommy Rosen who is a yoga teacher and recovering addict as well. Tommy has a book coming out next month.

  7. A, I could have written this. Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Cross Fit, P90X, Body for Life, Lifetime Fitness Challenge, MyFitnessPal, training for a 1/2 marathon and many 10ks, the list goes on and on. I always believed that some plan would give me the incentive or structure to drink moderately. It never worked.

    My latest was signing up for Yoga Teacher Training. THIS, I thought, would really reel me in! What it really did is shine a light on my shame and self loathing. I couldn’t be honest with anyone there, I felt like a fraud. It made me even more miserable.

    I realized I had no intention of being a teacher – I was just trying another trick to get myself to cut down on drinking. I quit training in October and quit drinking in November. I love yoga and now see it as a way to nurture myself, not a tool to force myself into submission.

    It all seems so silly now, all the games we have all played to keep drinking.

    1. It has helped me enormously to know other people did this.
      I definitely believe I was trying to creat control as I felt I was spiralling out of control. Of course, all it did was tighten the noose.

      I just finished yoga teacher training. I could totally see your thought process. I’m surprised I never thought to do this while drinking, but I think my anxiety was just too bad for yoga. I couldn’t sit with myself for 5 minutes. My thoughts were just do self critical.

      Doing training sober was deeply moving. We did 2 intensive 10 day sessions. They were amazing. To spend all that time nurturing myself. Shocking.

      Being sober has brought me a self acceptance that I was chasing, but would have never reached.

      I’m glad you are on this journey too! Email me if you ever want to chat! Ainsobriety@gmail.com


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