Courage

imageJails, institutions, or death are what’s left after I have exhausted all resources and decided that a drink would be a good idea. I’ve experienced two of the three, but I’ve never actually sat down and had just one drink. Even when I was a young teenager, I drank for the effect. I found out the hard way that cowards run but courageous people surrender. I’ve had to surrender all of my old ideas to remain sober. Getting my authentic self back takes guts, faith, and courage. As I am learning along my recovery road, all men of faith have courage. There is not enough beer in Boston to take me to where I want to go now. Turns out, there never has been. A man that is willing to change has to take the action to live life differently. Triggers create a thought, and it’s that very thought that produces an action. The book teaches me to pause when agitated or doubtful. That can be tough for me to do but recognizing that I have been ruled by my emotional nature most of my life has helped me get past my pride and ego and accept that I don’t have to respond negatively when life is not going my way. It takes courage to recognize it; it takes intestinal fortitude not to fire off a vindictive text or email. Others, I have found, are struggling with their own internal battles. Most days I must face God alone, and those are the days that I grow the most. I’ve watched a man the last couple of months wrestle with his alcoholism. It’s literally beating him to death. He calls on me from time to time, always with liquor on his breath. He is scared of change; frightened to face life without the bottle. I get it, a grown man scared to death of the here and now. For a month, he lived by self propulsion. He told he was going to figure it all out. Alcoholics like me are just like him. So he finally asked, and I told him the truth in love. He is delusional, just like I was when I first tried to quit on my own. We can’t tell the truth to circumvent our own denial and lies. His mind has been deluged with the idea that so many of us have while drinking and that is maybe we can control our drinking on our own. Other life events begin to preoccupy our minds. He’s trying hard to no avail. He finally has admitted he needs inpatient treatment. I suggested it some time ago, but he had to accept it on his terms, on his time. I pray his liver and health are not too far gone. The trips to Europe, fine car, business, and family mean little when a man’s life is at stake. It takes all the courage I can muster to surrender. Many of us fight to the bitter end and we mean well. Surrender takes work and practice and its not always easy, but I’m glad I found hope in others who have the courage and willingness to change. I have to remember that not every detail will be worked out like I want. Fortunately, there is a solution and a fellowship of men and women who keep me amazed at what can be accomplished when we merge to help one another….good day!…b

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