Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping off place. He will wish for the end. Big Book, p 152.
I heard it said in a meeting once, that every time we “go back out”, we lose a little something more.
The obvious answer as to what we lose would be more brain cells, but that’s a given. What I have found in my experience, the more critical thing we lose is that feeling of hope.
Hope that this will work for us. Hope that we are capable of being honest with ourselves. Hope that we are worthy of sobriety.
We really need this feeling of hope as it’s the bridge that crosses us over.
As far as what type of alcoholic I am, I’m actually willing to test that fate. I treated life as a game. Easy come, easy go – that’s how I rolled. Why would it be any different when I’m new in AA? I thought, as far as my “slips” went, I’ll just come back, if and when, it gets too bad.
In other words, I’m willing to play Russian roulette. And mind you, I’m raising two children along the way. THIS is what my alcoholism “looks” like.
So after my first eleven months in the program, my alcoholism started “talking” to me and it said, “you know….maybe you weren’t that bad. I mean you never drank as bad as your brothers…”
Two months of “controlled” drinking followed…..
Back in again and with four months of sobriety under my belt, I went off to Ireland – and well – I am Irish…….four months of sobriety flushed right down the Guinness toilet. (Now this is a story for another post.)
Back in the program again and a couple of months into this sobriety my perception of life “appears” hopeless as I gaze out the window at my garage with a strong desire to turn the car on and end it all.
I was going totally insane with the pain from the noise in my head while loneliness gnawed at my gut.
THIS IS WHAT LIFE CAN LOOK LIKE TO AN ALCOHOLIC WHO PUTS THE DRINK DOWN. This is what newly sober with alcoholism feels like. It aint pretty.
But here’s the thing, if we hang in there and follow the others on the path of recover, these awful feelings do not last.
It gets better! Perception eventually gets restored to rightness and dare I say goodness. But here’s the catch, we can’t quit!
I thought for a long time the drink was my problem, but have since learned it was my solution. My solution to how to deal with this life. Living life was my REAL problem. And what I found later, living life without an unwavering Higher Power.
But first I had to be out of all answers. I had to accept I had this sickness that was messing with me physically, mentally and spiritually. And for me it took that last relapse (God willing), for me to realize what I was actually dealing with and I finally gave the disease the credit that it deserved.
It kicked my ass and it will always kick my ass. IT is stronger than ME. Alone, I am powerless.
But by grace, a mustard seed of hope was scraped up and I pray not to drop it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find it again. With sobriety this time, I’ve grabbed on with both hands to the WE of it all and started following a sponsors guidance and direction – without picking and choosing – starting with Step One.
It’s not easy coming back and thankfully the doors are always open. I’ve since chosen not to see them as revolving anymore as our Big Book promises us; Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path….