Realizations

imageI never wanted to quit drinking while there was still time without having to go thru enough misfortune and pain to finally surrender. I looked for ways out in hollowed out and fragmented sectors of my mind. I still have delusional thinking when I begin to romance the idea of that first drink. It’s the venom without having to hold the snake. It’s the poison without having to concoct it myself. Sealed up, ready and waiting to catch me off balance and snatch me into the fiery pits of a living hell…..I don’t want to go back. Thankfully, I realize today that acceptance that I never actually could drink like a gentleman has finally seeped into my everyday journey. Do I miss the taste of ice cold beer? You can bet your life savers I do. Do I miss the numbness I felt as well as the sense of comfort I found there? I surely can at times. That’s what makes me bodily and mentally different from normal drinkers. Those half glass, one cocktail wonders that would be left, so I thought, for me to finish later always perplexed me. What convinces me that I can just walk over to the package store, grab a quick six, and then  stop? My mind does, when all other evidence leads to the contrary. Working the steps with a sponsor taught me that. Going to meetings teaches me that. Working with newcomers also reminds me of that very fact. I’ve realized also that isolation, self pity, and remorse can’t keep me sober but it sure can make me miserable enough to want to drink. That’s why I have to constantly look past economics, social status, materials, and relationships. Those won’t kill me, but my addiction will.  I do the work, and He provides the results. And the results are positive proof that the obsession to drink was removed as I continued to pray for willingness. I realize today that I’m just here on Mother Earth for awhile, and I want others to say that they are better people because God saw fit to allow our paths to cross…good day!…b

Esteemable acts

imageFor years I squandered away time in self pity and remorse. I also struggled with low self esteem. The fourth step of Alcoholics Anonymous has had to do with a radical shift in my life now. It says, we made a fearless and thorough moral inventory of ourselves. I was afraid to do that for what seemed like forever. Why? Was it fear of change, or fear of truly finding out who I really was? The answer is probably both. Alcohol is such a great persuader that it had me convinced that I was a pretty good guy….until I got it down in black and white. I had to finally get honest about what had driven me into belligerent denial and alcoholism. Trust this when I write that it’s not impossible to overcome the drinking malady because, after all those years, God finally removed the obsession and cravings for me to drink. It was my dirty little secret, or so I thought. Most people around me knew I was a drunk long before I would admit it. When my drinking buds told me that I drank too much, I probably should have listened much sooner, but that is what got me into the twisted and sorted shape that I found myself. I simply would not listen. I was not teachable so I began praying for willingness. I still pray for willingness today. Becoming willing to do a fourth step was a process in my experience. It takes courage, willingness, and faith to believe that if I looked at my resentments, fears, and relationships for what they truly were, that my life could change; that I could actually stop drinking for a day. What I learned is that I am the problem. Ruled by my own character flaws, I self destruct because I was maladjusted to life. Self-will takes over, and I am the creator of my own chaos and confusion. The good news is that the longer that I stay sober, the more I see these circumstances in my life being taken care of without my need to control. And that is the miracle. I don’t struggle with low self esteem as much as I once did. I am not as fearful and angry as I once was, and subsequently most all my relationships with others have gotten much better. Self esteem grows when I do esteem-able acts of good for others. I feel better about myself and about the world around me. For so long, that was not the natural order in my thinking. It was mostly self centered motivation to get more and more of what everyone else had that ran my life. Doing the work of the 12 steps teaches me those core principles. Working with others helps me stay out of that death trap. I miss the boat on many occasions, but just not drinking anymore is no longer enough for me. I must continue to hold out my hand, pass out my number, and help the man dying from a disease that kills….good day!…b