Sobriety Re-Boot (Step One)
Since around the time that my mother’s cancer got bad, perhaps even longer, I have not been the same, haven’t been myself and have been way off center. I haven’t felt right or been acting right and suddenly that awful trajectory has slipped into overdrive. When you are a recovered alcoholic and you find yourself lost or in a tailspin there is just one thing to do, start over at Step One and walk all the way through, this time do it better, if you think you did it with a willingness to go to any lengths, go farther. Go to more meetings and get a new sponsor.
It is my intention to do all of that starting right now, before I am lost and hopefully better with greater abandon and willingness to surrender than any time before so I don’t have find myself back this far again. As part of my meditation and conscious contact, I will try to write something, hopefully with Gratitude every day. When I am focused on a step, I will write about it. I won’t publish my (next) fourth step here, but I will talk about it.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable
4.6 years or 1684 days ago, I was without exaggeration dying. Having one fat bloated foot in the grave and the other in pool of whiskey. I was an alcoholic of the hopeless variety and at 34 I had an illustrious drinking career spanning almost two decades. I had tried to moderate, tried to quit and tried to deny my problem, sometimes I even acknowledged I was an alcoholic, but didn’t think that was a problem. I couldn’t see how it was destroying my relationships, my mental or emotional state, or care about how it was killing me. So, yeah by the letter of it, I know Step One for a fact everyday.
That said, if you aren’t paying attention the fine print between the lines of Step One can be overlooked, forgotten or ignored. At nearly five years sober, I alternate between understanding and forgetting that my powerlessness over alcohol is almost the least of my problems (because I have no desire to drink today), because there is a list over things, which stacked end to end could reach to the moon and back, that I am also powerless over and unable to do shit about. Just like continuing to drink or trying to conquer it without God’s help, continuing to try to have power over any item on this list will make my life unmanageable.
What am I powerless over? In short form it is:
People: Examples, My stepsons Autism, his attitude and his choices (when I’m not around). I cannot make my friends sober, or make them do things that are good for them, I cannot make my wife work out, take medicine or go to the doctor, I don’t get to choose for other people and I CAN judge them, but it will only make me unhappy and less useful to them.
Places: Examples, Can’t change systems or my very much about my place in them. Schools, Courts, Work, Police, Creditors all operate and have the authority they do and I will not be able to overcome that
Things: Stuff breaks, cars die, houses are in their state, money is never abundant enough, traffic goes however it goes, rain, sleet, snow, heat. I have power and authority over absolutely none of these things and that is just how it is, no amount of fear or worry, or rage or pleading or pleasing is going to make that change.
and my life has become unmanageable
Because for nearly five years I have been prone to distraction and dropping out and holding back, my life, while so much better than it was before, is not managed like it should be today. I have multiple lawyers pursuing me financially and have met suddenly with around between 12 and 17 thousand dollars that absolutely must be paid out to creditors and taxes in the next 8 months or so and I am sure that my ex wife will be following suite since she isn’t getting payments. Almost comically I am in jeopardy of losing a fucked up mess of a house that I don’t even have a mortgage on because I have neglected to pay the taxes! Holy shit, who does that?
Someone, who is seriously ill, who has a program of recovery that works miracles, has worked miracles for him, but who has held back and hasn’t been paying attention in class because he is a terminal fool.
My life is no longer unmanageable because of alcohol, but because God talks and I don’t listen, or I am too afraid to do what is right, or speak up or take charge. Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear until I am tired of being afraid and lash out with anger, upsetting everyone and thinking I can control everything. I am it seems at times a farce, a comical exaggeration of a man.
With a powerful need to escape all of this, I will drop to my knees today and say unto the Teeth Mother, the other Sacred Muses and the Word, my own Step One
I admit that I am powerless over alcohol, other things, people and places and having forgotten that, have made my life entirely unmanageable; I am lost and adrift and will not find my way alone.
Step One: The Prodigal son comes home, having made a mess on his own.