(More) Mindful Living without Alcohol

"If there are other people around, preferably your partner or a close family member, the pain-body will attempt to provoke them - push their buttons, as the expression goes - so it can feed on the ensuing drama. Pain-bodies love intimate relationships and families because that is where they get most of their food. It is hard to resist another person's pain-body that is determined to draw you into a reaction. Instinctively it knows your weakest, most vulnerable points. If it doesn't succeed the first time, it will try again and again. It is raw emotion looking for more emotion. The other person's pain-body wants to awaken yours so that both pain-bodies can mutually energize each other.

Excessive consumption of alcohol will often activate the pain-body, particularly in men, but also in some women. When a person becomes drunk, he goes through a complete personality change as the pain-body takes him over.

In intimate relationships, pain-bodies are often clever enough to lie low until you start living together and preferably have signed a contract committing yourself to be with this person for the rest of your life. You don't just marry your wife or husband, you also marry her or his pain-body - and your spouse marries yours. It can be quite a shock when, perhaps not long after moving in together or after the honeymoon, you find suddenly one day there is a complete personality change in your partner." - Eckhart Tolle ("A New Earth")

I'll celebrate the first anniversary of my sober life soon. I stopped drinking completely almost a year ago after drinking more and more, maily to cope with frustration and stress in my workplace, requiring more and more quantity to numb my mind, and getting more and more addicted to it. I had to pay a heavy personal price to put an end to this downward spiral and awaken at long last. All the attempts I had made before this suffering both by myself and with external help failed miserably.

After liberating myself from the fetter of alcohol, I've come to realize more and more clearly that my previous attempts to numb my compulsive negative thinking made me go below my consciousness, causing often irreversible damage to both myself and people around me with the resulting unconscious speech and action of mine.

Nobody, including not only myself but also someone who used to be a very dear and close person to me, understood that my ego as well as what Eckhart Tolle calls "pain-body" of mine is to blame. But everyone, again including myself and this person, who has in the meanwhile decided to abandon me, erroneously equated my pain-body with my true self, showing no compassion. I'm not trying to blame them. On the contrary, I have to thank them for what they have done, for thanks to them I could finally wake up.

Having become sober all the time, I've also come to understand that sober living means (more) mindful living. And it was only after I stopped drinking completely that I started to understand and implement my daily mindfulness meditation I had started before this transformation of mine. Now I'm far more conscious of my own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and react on autopilot far less frequently to other people's speech and action stemming from their egos and pain-bodies.

I've been looking for ways to share this experience of mine, including my "horror stories" and the heavy prices I have paid for them both privately and professionally so that those who are still struggling with their drinking problems may be able to wake up as soon as possible without paying such heavy prices.