Ralph Steadman style illustration, seeing things in a different perspective --ar 16:9 --q 2 --v 5 --s 250

Try the other handle

Welcome to the first official sober post!

We’re off to a good start rising at 6AM. I plan on starting the days earlier but wanted to set a reasonable target for day one. I almost didn’t get out of bed this morning but I couldn’t help think of Marcus Aurelius.

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

And here I am. So let’s get into it.

I have a book with me called The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, which you are expected to read a daily story of Stoic wisdom. The story for June 14 is titled Try The Other Handle and it references a quote from Epictetus about perspective:

Every event has two handles - one by which it can be carried, and one by which it can’t. If your brother does you wrong, don’t grab it by his wronging, because t his is the handle incapable of lifting it. Instead use the other - that he is your brother, that you were raised together, and then you will have hold of the handle that carries.

In Epictetus’ example he says that there is no value in focussing on the wrong done by the brother but instead switching focus to the fact he is the brother and that is something to ‘grab the handle by’ and move forwards with.

Now to put this in the context of addiction, you can instead focus on the returning senses which were previously dulled and start to enjoy being sober. I can take advantage of not being constantly in a heightened state and engage with the world, with nature.

Today is going to be a challenge, and to get through it I need to focus on one more quote, this time from Seneca:

Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.

A single day sounds easy for some, but I struggle to get through even a day even when I promise myself in the morning that today is different. Well… today is different, so let’s get it 😀