Similarities and Differences

imageMost alcoholics in recovery that I know were once just like me, or at least we think alike. We come into our first few meetings of AA, look around the room and isolate ourselves out by thinking that we are unique; somehow, different than the shares that we hear. We come from all walks in this life before many of us hit rock bottom. Some of us believe the lie that we are just not like “those AA people.” It’s true that maybe some haven’t had to lose everything in order to stop drinking, but most of us do leave an aftermath in our wake. I was reminded of the gravity and nature of my disease last night when a man who I had just met a week before shared how a doctor at the Mayo clinic told him he was dying from liver dysfunction as a result of heavy drinking. Well dressed and well spoken, he articulated his plight by saying his faithful wife of 39 years, his four children and 9 grandchildren, and successful business career of 29 years hadn’t been enough to convince him to quit while there was still time. His bloodshot eyes encased with yellow are the tell tale signs, and there he sat, liquor wafting from his pores, perplexed on how to stop. I recognize that man from long ago when I looked into the mirror. I get him on a level he may not understand, but I kept telling myself back then that I would quit tomorrow. The sad reality is that time passes us, and we drink knowing that we are going to die; that it is killing us. We break lives and break hearts, and nothing can stop that insidious, insane urge to have just one more. Today, I don’t opt out mentally even when I think I’m different or my story is not the same as yours. What got me into recovery pales little in comparison to what reminds me to remain. The attractive lives of people who are on the mend restores my faith and hope in the bigger picture. It’s a landscape of life so vast and untapped that I can’t predict the outcome of it all. But I can predict that I won’t take a drink today. The reason is because I look for the similarities rather than focusing on the differences….good day!…b

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