The term comes from Tennessee Williams’ play Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. It describes the feeling I know all too well – that moment when you drink and suddenly the peace comes over you and you’re not afraid anymore; you’re the center of the universe. It’s nothing new; you can find it in books, movies and plays if you know what to look for.
– What do you like most about drinking?
– The calm, the peace, the kind of great comfort when one lies drunk on the ground and now it all, that calm and peace comes into him, and there’s a man sprawled .. and he is the center of the universe… (Year of the Devil)
Why mentioning this? Because for the last four months I’ve been sober and I’ve been missing the click; I simply couldn’t enter that peaceful state of mind. It’s was a few days ago that I realized it was missing – realized after my stress levels started rising to alarming levels for no apparent reason – yet I somehow couldn’t even imagine any sensible way of entering that state without a drink. Yet, the seed was planted…
Today it clicked. I didn’t notice when; it’s that kind of thing where you can feel the before and after states but not the transition. Fortunately, I can at least explain what happened.
I seem to build major changes in my life on quitting something. Alcohol, jobs, university, toxic relationships – no matter what I quit, there is a huge relief and a big surge of energy. It lasts for weeks, months perhaps – but invariably wears off at some point. As good as those changes are, this way of living is not sustainable; in order to experience elation this way, one would have to get into bad situations just so that he could get out of them.
The change that happened today wasn’t about rejecting; it was about building, creating and embracing – not quitting. It’s needless to go into details right now – I’ll surely post some results here once I actually get them – but the absurdly simple lesson learned today is: big changes bring more big changes – but it’s the building and creating things that brings satisfaction in the long run.
Oh, and the essence of today’s experience: you can’t do it alone.