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Naturally High

Updated: May 21, 2023

pilot flying plane around lake Alexandrina

Sunday morning, clear mind, clear skies. Perfect!

There is a joy in doing something you love well. For me pulling off a perfect landing always brings a smile to my face. Usually its about one in every three landings, there is always a little something that will happen to make it less so. A gust of wind, a little too much power, a little too much speed. It takes concentration and coordination to fly well.

In my drinking days, even though I made sure there were sufficient hours between my last drink and taking to the skies, often my game was less than par. Concentration was affected, and coordination and reaction times were often that little bit slower if I had been having a few drinks the night before. Over time I just accepted it as the norm, I think they call it normalisation or normality bias. You just accept the underperformance as normal. Probably not a good thing when the thing you love involves skills that are really important to your longevity.

What really made sit up and take notice though, was as my drinking increased, the joy of flying, of doing the thing that really lit me up was getting in the way of my drinking!

I was choosing to drink over flying. Often I would just do the minimum required, yep three take-offs , three landings, done. The joy started to fade, it just became one of the things I did before drinking. That satisfied smile as I closed the hangar door faded.

Good landing, meh.

I'd be more concerned about how many beers I had waiting in the fridge at home as I closed up. Stop off at the liquor store if I needed more, and down a quick one in the carpark before driving home.

I'd look out the window on a calm and sunny afternoon and think, mmm be nice for a fly but it'd be nicer to sit under the verandah with a beer.

When I finally noticed what I was doing I realised I was in trouble, this was not me. It was one of the reasons why I began my alcohol free journey again.

Are you swapping the thing that lights you up for drinking, are you allowing normalisation bias to creep in and diminish the joy and happiness you once felt when you were immersed in your hobby or passion?

There is a YouTube video here called Nuggets

I found it so relevant and powerful to what drinking was doing to me.

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