The January 1st entry in A.A.’s “Daily Reflections” talks about miracles. About the miracle whoever wrote it had personally experienced, being delivered from their alcoholism. I’ve read this entry many times, but today, despite being terribly hungover from last night’s beer-fest, I suddenly comprehended it. Why this morning? Why today? Perhaps that’s now my miracle in action.
Like the author, I’ve never had trouble believing in God. And like him or her I’ve had trouble putting that belief meaningfully into my life. But today, thanks–and I mean thanks–to my alcoholism, I am looking forward to seeing God do for me that which I cannot do for myself (that’s obvious now). While God has already freed me from the obsession to drink, I cannot break free of the habit. This is the next challenge in my alcoholism journey. Today, I put my trust in God to set me absolutely free. Today, I trust in God to make me a miracle too.
Yes, my hope is renewed!
I’m having a very difficult time just lately. Accepting the loss of 22 years of my life to alcoholism has been very difficult. My best friend is in town for an extended stay and he wants me to join him at the pub every night. Saying no to him is hard. He just doesn’t get it that I really want to quit drinking. He can’t even conceive of quitting the drink. He’s overweight, has high blood pressure, has gout and the last thing on his mind is to quit the cause of all of that! And so, he cannot—will not—understand why I want to quit! I’ve tried explaining it to him but he just gives me a blank stare in response, then says, “Well, don’t blame me if you come out to drink with me—I’m not holding a gun to your head!”. If I quit drinking, I’ll never see the guy, because he spends every evening of his life at the pub and that’s not where I want to be!
It seems inevitable that I’m going to lose what few friends I have if I quit drinking. I’ve known these guys for 10 years. Our habit of meeting at the pub is firmly entrenched. It’s become a way of life. One that I know I have to let go of to be free of the booze. Talk about a difficult, frustrating situation! I know I have to do it. This is probably the biggest challenge in my life since my divorce 23 years ago. Now I’m divorcing my friends — so that I can be sober and friendless!? Yes, yes I can get new friends we all say. But I’m close to 60 years of age. Getting new friends is difficult at this stage of life. Doable, yes. Tough, you bet.
I really don’t know how to do this. Walking away from my friends feels so unnatural. I’m not strong enough to go to the pub with them and not drink. So, ok, I know that A.A. meetings are a start. I’m also going to join a church. I’ve always been quite shy and introverted, so doing this makes it that much more difficult. No one said it was going to be easy, I know, I know. I know!
Fortune seems to smile on the wiles of those–who cast a bet on the best of it.
Not that the rest of us can, as we like, bet upon the best of it.
But there is their still, a bit of swill, that we can gorge upon.
The lily’s flow, at this time of year, past gone by.
Meanwhile, we lonely travellers rest on our laurels.
What would one say, if called upon and challenged with this?
Simply that, this is it. And that it is…just…It.
The moon hangs fragile between the rafters.
Venus rising brought nothing.
To think that we can control the deluge, only exposes our own delusion.
That said, the crows are crowding in. Prime Minister? They would love to think. Where is the refuge driver to clean up after them!?
Asleep. Blissfully asleep.
As I look back over 20 years of heavy drinking it’s easy to see that my behaviour all that time was self-destructive. Easy to see, but not that easy to accept. We all want what is best for ourselves, for our lives, right? Of course we do, but we know that that’s often not what happens. Life is what happens to us in spite of ourselves.
Now that I’m on the road to recovery, one of the hardest things to do is to accept the fact that 20 + years of my life has been irreplaceably lost, wasted “getting wasted”! How can I forgive and accept myself for that? Accepting something doesn’t mean that we agree with it. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean we have accepted their behaviour. It means that we choose to let go and choose to put behind us the harm or damage they have done to us. We accept them in spite of their past behaviour and move on. And so we must do the same with ourselves.
For my “wasted” 22 years of active alcoholism, I certainly don’t agree that my behaviour was somehow OK. It absolutely wasn’t. But, I need to simply accept that it was what it was. For reasons still not at all clear to me now I just drank and drank and drank. Yes, it was a waste of a huge chunk of my life. I have to accept that fact and let it go. Why? Because, and here’s the rub —if I don’t I’ll most assuredly keep on drinking. That’s why self-acceptance is so important for the recovering alcoholic. It doesn’t mean that we agree with having wasted many precious years of our life. It means we choose to let it go and move on. That’s the essence of forgiveness, and it has to start with ourselves.
So, its been a few weeks since being delivered from the obsession to drink. But I still am, drinking, every day.
Another case of alcoholic insanity! I’m drinking, gleefully, to excess — but I’m FREE from the obsession! So what’s the difference? The difference between obsession and habit!? A LOT actually…but…so now THIS is a whole other issue. Boing!
Surprise, surprise, my fellow alky’s. God can and will deliver us from the obsession. Can and will open all the doors for us to be free…but…it’s up to us to get up off our arses and walk through those open doors! Some of us don’t want to! This is something altogether different…altogether baffling…altogether a new chapter in this mysterious book, for which the final chapter has yet to be written.
Well, what can we expect!? I have been drinking every day since I was 19. Not to excess until I was 41, when I started to go into bars and pubs. Since then, to excess, often. And so? What does a drunk do best? Drink, of course.
I do have an excuse for last nights over-imbibing; a close friend–not just a bar buddy–came into town yesterday. When he comes to town, which is about once a month, for years we have gotten together over a few beers at a restaurant near by. Had he not come to town, I would have stayed on course. I’m back on track today.
I think that I’m dealing mostly with a long time habit now. The addiction is gone, thanks to the recent grace received.
I gotta dump the habit. I think I can do that, now.