Recently I started thinking about my open-mindedness. When I was younger this is one characteristic I would use to describe myself.

I’m reading How to Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker. She’s a feminist and quite liberal and not at all shy about writing her political views and opinions. Those are nice terms I would use, a more harsher term would be “man-hater” (particularly white males). When she went on her first tangent about her views, I nearly gave up on the book. I didn’t think it appropriate or necessary to write on this topic, particularly in a book about quitting drinking. But something told me to keep reading. To put my personal views aside. To be more open-minded.

This is when I started thinking about my open-mindedness. I think we’ve all been asked the question, maybe in a job interview, “what 3 words would you use to describe yourself?” or, “what 3 words would people close to you use to describe you?”. Adjectives like conscientiousness, diplomacy, open-mindedness were words I used. As I’ve aged, additional terms such as courage, compassion, sense of humor were added to my list, but being open-minded has always been there and has served me purpose in countless situations.

While reading this book and pausing to remind myself to keep an open-mind, I realized how over the past decade or so I have become so closed-minded. I would get angry with people of differing views. Particularly in our country’s present political climate, I found it harder and harder to keep an open-mind and let things just roll off my back.

Going back to the aforementioned book, I have stuck with it. I’ve put my personal views aside, read through her opinions and have found so many tools to use to remain alcohol free. By looking at it with an open-mind, I can see why she uses some of her opinions and beliefs (religious, political or otherwise) to get her point across.

I am certain if I would’ve attempted to read this book when I was still drinking, with my chemically induced, fogged over brain, I would have chucked it after the first chapter. As I’ve mentioned before, the longer I’m off of alcohol, the more the younger version of myself is reappearing. My closed-mindedness coincided with my increase in alcohol use. Again and again, I am finding so many benefits to being and remaining alcohol free.

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