Search
  • Jeff Graham

Contemplating the Plunge into Sobriety

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

The Pool suddenly looks Cold


How much time have I spent standing on the diving board contemplating the big jump to join the others in the pool. Though everyone looks so happy splashing about, suddenly, all I can think about is the temperature of the water.


It’s hot today, very hot! I have been living my day in sweltering uncomfortable heat, and I really want to feel relief from the day. It’s the peak of the summer, and the days are getting hotter and hotter, and I am tired of going to bed with a red over-heated face and a body covered in sweat. I want that feeling of cool that I knew previously in my season. But damn, the water looks cold.


I don’t have to do this. I hear that voice repeating it to me over and over in my head. It knows the shock that I will feel if I jump. As I stand on the edge looking at the pool, I keep focusing on the sock that I will feel if I make this move. Even though I can plainly see the smiles on my friends in the water, even though I hear their words of encouragement, assurance and invitation to join them, all I can focus on is thar damn cold water.


During my day, all I thought about was how badly I wanted to get to the pool and dive right into the solution to all the discomfort I’ve been experiencing. My desire was to get to that pool and jump in fully clothed, shoving people out of my way if necessary, just to get the relief that I can’t escape where I’m currently existing.

When I’m working in the heat, feeling that suffocating sensation of being trapped in my work clothes, I have zero reluctance to dive head-first into that pool. I know that as soon as I hit the water, I am going to feel a massive and wonderful relief from all the uncomfortableness of my current day. But here I stand and damn, that water looks cold.


What is wrong with me? Why am I standing here hesitating even for a second? Why am I suddenly struggling to remember how uncomfortable I was just moments ago? Why did I so happily accept the invitation to join my friends in the paradise of the pool, but now that I’m here, I don’t feel the desperation that I understood so well moments ago. Suddenly I am second guessing this decision.


I’m near the pool, at this moment, I am not wearing the heavy clothes I was wearing earlier. I am no longer existing inside that work-space and vehicle that was such an uncomfortable place to be. I actually feel okay at the moment. I’m not in the water, but I’m not near as uncomfortable as I was earlier in the day when I made the decision to “get to the pool immediately”! Here I am, the pool is right in front of me, with all my friends, having a great time. Why am I now fighting myself over doing something that I knew was the best solution just hours ago?


Maybe I’m not hot enough. Maybe I’m not as uncomfortable as I thought I was. Maybe if I just take it easy and relax nearby in the shade, I will feel better and won’t actually need to jump into the water to get the relief I need.


Maybe I’ll go swimming tomorrow..

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

I've always been a people pleaser, but when I applied those principles to alcohol, I lost control of my life. Alcohol was always a great friend to me, and though we had our disagreements, it was alway

I read a great post this morning written by my good friend Susan Settle Larkin about alcohol and anxiety, and I thought I'd share a little story of a battle I fought for 30 years... In my mid to late