I am a “pedal to the medal” type of person. When I “sign up” for something, I am all in. Then a short time down the road I realize I am unable to do 110%, I get frustrated, blame myself for being a failure and take my RESERVED seat on the “Pity Pot.” I cannot speak for other alcoholics and addicts but for myself, this is definitely the case.
Singleness of Purpose
When I came into the Halls of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was beaten. Beaten down by myself, by my disease. Unlike many, I had not arrived at my first meeting after a hospital stay or fresh from prison. My first couple meetings (which were at a Homeless Shelter), I questioned that perhaps I wasn’t an alcoholic and I don’t mind saying that scared me more than thinking I WAS! For the first time in my life, I was in a room full of people where I felt I belonged. We all came from different backgrounds but we had one mission. NOT TO DRINK. We all had a “Desire to stop drinking.” That was all that mattered.
Doing Things Differently
During early recovery, I remained focused on learning how to live without a drink in my hand. Since most of the time I “boosted” my coffee, tea, diet pepsi, anything I was drinking with vodka. (I used to call it Vitamin V.) Then subsequently, I needed to learn how to live sober. Almost every thing I did in my day, allowed me to be drinking something. I would go to meetings with a Diet Mountain Dew laced with vodka, I never got caught. It took a lot of planning but that was how it went and my buzz was secure.
A New Way of Thinking
Since doing the Steps, I was able to recognize things about myself that I never knew. Knowing these things have been so helpful to my life today. I learned that I often set myself up for failure. I take everything so seriously, dive in and cannot maintain the level of dedication that I start with. Today, I am putting one foot in front of the other and taking notice when I need to be kinder to myself.
The only thing I have to do 100% (and not 110%), of the time, is to never, ever forget I am powerless over alcohol.