Last post I spoke about feeling “Out of Gas.” I still am feeling that way in some ways and in other ways not so much. When I drank I can see now, often it was because I had an emotional upset and didn’t know what to do with it. I felt dis-EASE as they say. I didn’t know what to do or how to deal with it. I went to my “toolbox” pulled out the only tool I had in there – a vodka bottle. As so it goes the life of an alcoholic.
Many of us controlled our drinking for years.When I was doing it, I thought I was the only one. Some of my bar-fly buddies would drink wine with a side of ice, or they would switch to beer rather than the hard stuff they used to drink. I did all of those things. In the end, it was really my emotions that I was trying to keep under wraps, even though that stopped working after a while too. Cue up “The spiral.”
Getting a New Toolbox
Coming into AA everything changed. Someone said in a meeting once, “When I drove my life off the end of a cliff, I landed here.” I can say that is true for me too. I was in a free fall for a couple days, when I decided I was at the end of the end. I went to my first meeting at a Homeless Shelter because it was the first meeting of the day and I knew I had to go. And there I was shaking. There was no vodka bottle in my toolbox. It was completely empty and so was I.
If I can find Gratitude in a corner chair in a Homeless Shelter, I need to find in in other places. I need to find it every place. This blog is full of almost 3 1/2 years of posts about “One Day At a Time” Living. It is a journal exercise for me but early on I felt like I had to put it out to the blogosphere. So I did. I wanted to keep the mess to myself but “something” wouldn’t let me. I gave up trying to fight it.
Then people in our program suggested a book idea and I wrote it. It is now at a couple publishers waiting…like the blog, I felt like I had no choice about it. I was led through the process, I didn’t know what I was doing, I had never written a book before.
I am not sure I actually know what the term early means. Right now, I feel like I am still in early mode, only now I just keep going to meetings, talk to my friends in Recovery, keep an honest work schedule and do more writing. My job, which I am feeling the need to transition from has been my life for 15 years. It is to a point now that the relationships and situations there are unhealthy for me. It is possible that they have always been unhealthy, I didn’t realize how unhealthy they were. I drank and isolated. In the early days when I made amends for my actions, they were stunned and didn’t know about my problems. I was thankful at the time, but it tells a story about the situation of our relationship to begin with so more erosion is easy when the foundation didn’t exist.
The gratitude comes from the simple facts that as I was able to hide my drinking, I could also hide my Recovery. I could hit meetings without explanation and I did (and still do), I could take a :20 nap when I needed to without explanation, because nobody cared.
And they still don’t.