Battles

imageWe all face battles; demons that can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Then, there are those of us who find relief in a bottle. We take a drink and it changes our brain chemistry into believing we can stop at any time; however, anytime doesn’t come soon enough.  Explaining that to a non alcoholic who can drink without the phenomenon of craving has always been challenging, so I stopped because they may not understand. It can happen to the best and brightest, too. It can even be your neighbor next door. You’ve patterned their schedule, they pull into the garage, walk inside, and pour themselves a drink. They don’t have the gene, and amazingly get up and go to work the next day. But many of us problem drinkers couldn’t quit entirely even when the consequences got dire and there was still time. Jayson Williams, former NBA power forward for the New Jersey Nets in the 1990’s, is an example of how drinking beyond his control can unravel so quickly with a disease like addiction. At 48, sober now for a year, he readily admits his powerlessness over alcohol. While showing his gun collection to friends impaired, he accidentally shot and killed his limo driver. That one moment haunts him and changed his life forever. The most puzzling part is that even after the aftershock,  his served time at Ryker’s Island, and his lost income, he resumed his drinking career after a period of  dry time. He never played again in the NBA. I may remain dry, but if I am not working on my recovery, the same has happened to me. I drink again, and because the disease is progressive, it gets worse. Not drinking for a period of time doesn’t qualify me to start back, and that’s the battle many of us in recovery can struggle and wrestle with in our sobriety. It’s a game ended, a life changed; scarred kids and ruined marriages. But I still haven’t forgotten the comfort and ease I would feel after the first one or two. Thankfully, like Jayson, we sought help and can relate to the battles we face to overcome a disease of the mind that causes an allergic reaction no matter what others do for us or say to us. I had to reach my bottom alone. To read and hear other’s stories of how they’re coping and learning to live happy and free lives after such misery and pain gives me hope that I will make it today without drinking. And that’s a battle worth the surrender…..good day! ….b

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