Holistic aging is a comprehensive approach to the aging process and the L for lifestyle encompasses many factors all of which work together to live out our daily lives.
Our Lifestyle Before We Grew Up
My husband and I determined it was our lifestyle that did us in, not the alcohol or the people in our lives. We knew without a doubt that the way we chose to live was the driving factor behind our problems. The alcohol was simply a result of not living out a balanced lifestyle and the people we engaged life with were simply along on our ride.
Each person, including both me and my husband, all have our own individual preferences which make up our own unique lifestyles. For this reason I question the definition which includes a “particular group.” When I point my finger at the lifestyle for being a root to our problem I am pointing at us.
Balanced diet/exercise, work/play/rest, stress management, substance abuse problems, and spiritual life all are elements which contribute to a balanced lifestyle. We did fairly well including a balanced diet and exercise, but the other areas were either lacking or not balanced.
Binging On Life
Over the years we lived to the extreme. Early on we worked hard, so later in life we were (still are) able to play hard. But it’s not all fun and games when you lack spiritual maturity and coping skills. Life isn’t necessarily meant to be lived on the extreme.
We were not at a healthy place when we decided to engage in drinking with others. Problem #2 in O is for Openness is my focus on this blog post. Both my husband and I like to have fun and did not want the fun to end so we would drink to excess. Binge drinking doesn’t lend itself to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeps us from being present. Our substance abuse problems needed addressed.
I strongly recommend for those seeking to retire from their day jobs to find a substitute to fill the void. Especially when pandemics keep each of us penned up in our homes. The problem we developed over the years with alcohol grabbed hold during the time of COVID. We were on the path of alcoholism, but 2020 it accelerated and I crashed (metaphorically I personally did not cause a collision).
Individually Tackling Our Lifestyle As We Age
Although my husband and I do life together, we each have an unique lifestyle. Our path to a healthy lifestyle is catered to meet our interest. For myself I learned that writing about life is therapeutic for me. To write I need to understand my life, which means I really need to live life.
But isn’t that what we do each day?
Actually, no. I did life, but wasn’t living life. The way I consumed alcohol kept me from being present. Today I decide to respect alcohol and how it affects my mind. If I choose to consume an alcohol beverage I need to be extremely mindful of my past problems with alcohol abuse and what led me on this journey.
Personally, I haven’t been having a problem with craving alcohol when I am in a setting with my friends while they engage in drinking. The fun I have is from the comradery of the group.
When many alcoholics decide they can drink like a normal person they are said to be off to the races and tend to drink more than they did previously.
During a trip with my husband I slayed the dragon (the Tail of the Dragon) and I was able to maintain my sobriety on our 5 day trip. I did drink more alcohol than what I find acceptable. My fear is when I play with fire I can easily get burned.
Even with unique lifestyles based on our individual preferences, we have the same common goals. My walk with Christ and view of sobriety might be different than my husband’s, but we do share a common Christian foundation. This leads to a successful marriage where we can age and enjoy life together.
Do not try to work together as equals with unbelievers, for it cannot be done. How can right and wrong be partners? How can light and darkness live together?2 Corinthians 6:14 GNT
The grow-together.blog is a weekly blog publication which scratches the surface of my struggles with life and sobriety. It is meant for introspection and to question your own daily struggles. Truth Hurts takes a deeper look, sharing my daily struggles in a less formal, more intimate approach,. I will supplement the grow-together post with Truth Hurts digging deeper to spur on healthy growth.