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Working On It: A Promise Is A Promise

In A Tight Spot

In A Tight Spot

i was secretary at the Tuesday Night: Adventure’s in Sobriety meeting here in Yeaman and the first thing the speaker said was,

I’m meeting some of you for the first time in this room tonight, but you know me better than many of the people who have known me my whole life.

This got me to thinking about our close community here in the Bar None. Though i haven’t met any of you “in real life”, you know more about the “real me” than most of the people i come into contact with every day. In keeping with that spirit, i’m sharing (with her express permission) an e-mail i received from “Working On It”, who explains how it has come to pass that she decided to set sail on the beautiful, yet oft turbulent, sea of sobriety.

Something that happened on Fri June 15th has to be my moment of clarity.  I’ve heard stories where nothing dramatic happened but for me, I knew I’d need something to hit me over the head.

I went back home to MI to meet a 10am Saturday appointment. I left around 4pm Friday as the hangover fog had somewhat lifted.  I packed my suitcase, goodies bag and work laptop in my car.  I spent 2 1/2 hrs in an agonizing crawl through the Chicago freeway system and another 2 1/2 hrs to my midpoint where I gas up and eat.  I filled my tank and reached for my laptop bag to get food cash and the bag wasn’t there.  Mind you, this is my work laptop so I was frantic.  I knew I packed it and was trying to remember if I left the car doors locked when I gassed up. Then the doubts crept in whether or not I packed it at all.

I couldn’t call work to report it missing without being sure, so I knew the only way to know was a drive back home.  I called my mom to let her know I was going to be much later.  Without the rush hour traffic, it was only a 2 1/2 hour trip back.  The entire time I was praying to my God that if my laptop bag was on premise, I promised to surrender my drinking problem up and let Him take 100% control.  I repeated this the entire 150 miles.

When I arrived, I saw my laptop in the corner and cried.  I then said “A promise is a promise” and called my mom and told her that I was on my way again (at 1130 pm).  I spent the next 6 hrs alternating between thanking my God and listening to Coast to Coast AM (highly recommended if you want to scare the Sh*t out of yourself whilst driving in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere 🙂 ).  I rolled into my mom’s place at 530 am which made that a 13 1/2 hour trip.  I made my 10 am appointment!

I have to believe that was my moment of clarity.  I could never imagine doing anything like that ever again.  I’m going to think of it as a choice to keep my promise rather than a choice not to drink.  I know it is the same thing, but I prefer to put it in that perspective.

My mantra is “A promise is a promise” and I intend to keep it.  I have not had a drink since 2am Friday morning at last call.

Thanks for letting me share your story, Working On It! i hope the people who frequent this Bar None will be able to give you whatever assistance they can, and while i heartily suggest any type of group meeting as therapy (not necessarily AA), i’m confident these members of the D-Generation in here have your back.

Hang in there, my friend, and Keep Working On It.

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About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on June 19, 2012, in Alcoholism, Guest Post, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. thanks-I’m heading over to Working On it right now.

  2. ok they are not on your blog role-can you direct them my way?

    • Working on it!

      You and Nnkato (aka “Dudette”, lol) have a lot in common as she’s just started her recovery as well. Maybe you’d like to head over to her blog so you soul sisters can share?

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

    • working on it

      Hi there. I don’t have a blog. I still can’t believe I let Al post this…everything for a reason I guess. I did leave a note on your about page and look forward to reading your story.

      • Hi Working on it! I’m glad that you let this be posted. My wake up call wasn’t overly dramatic. I should have woken up when I had to have my stomach pumped or when I was in a very serious drunk driving car accident (I shouldn’t be alive today) but as serious as those were I guess I wasn’t ready at those times to admit I had a serious problem. It took the morning after my 37th birthday waking up next to a man and not remembering how we/he got there! Unfortunately while that wasn’t the first time that had happened either, for whatever reason that was finally my wake up call.

        Ok, so enough about me. This is about you. I’m glad to hear that you had your wake up call too. And I would really encourage you to think about starting a blog. Writing is so therapeutic for me! And you don’t have to reveal your true identity when blogging if you don’t want to. In fact, I actually use a pen name – Ginger isn’t my real name. I would love to see you blogging so I could follow along on your journey. While the people I’ve met since starting my blog aren’t people I’ve met in ‘real life’ I still feel so connected to them! So if you do decide to blog I hope you’ll come back & comment with a link to it so I can follow you 🙂

        Oh and I was intrigued when you said you were in MI. I am actually from Michigan and it’s not too often I come across people online that talk about Michigan, let alone come here!

        • How funny you’re from Michigan! i’ve got family in Traverse City and myself graduated from MSU in East Lansing! Small world, but i wouldn’t want to buy it a drink.

          • I love Traverse City! I live not too far from there! And I’m a die hard MSU fan 🙂 Such a small world!

          • They have stuff not to far from Traverse City? lol Some beautiful country there. In fact, i’m going to be there with the family in August!

            Keep coming back,

            Al K Hall

          • lol yes they have stuff not too far from Traverse City 🙂 Even though I hate Northern Michigan living (especially winters) I must say the summers kind of rock because we do have some beautiful lakes, beaches, etc. That’s awesome you’re going to be in TC in August!

      • working on it

        When in august? I also am taking a vaca. I’m on the other end of the state tho. Just as well bc you both are Moo U people and I.don’t want to be converted. Seriously though, it would be cool to meet. You guys help me more than you’ll ever know.

  3. Working on it! I hope you will blog a bit. I’m not sure if you’re doing movie reviews now, or what. I’m recommending a COFFEE with Mel and a movie i heard about … something about a Marigold Hotel? Summer movies are shit IMO, but this one looks light and fun. Work on that idea my sweet. You know where to find me when you’re ready.

    This trip was a wake up call to you. I know it. Sometimes the wake-up call needs a lot of SNOOZE reminders about the nightmare you went through.

    However, when i quite smoking when i was 26, i was leaning over my boyfriend (at the time) at 3:00 a.m., having had a couple of beers, lit a ciggie, and an ash fell on him. He flinched … and i remember the DISTINCT pain in my chest when i inhaled. That was it! That boy, that boyFriend convinced me i wasn’t on the right path … and that started my slow process of dropping booze, ciggies … and in about 3 months i joined my OA cult.

    This is not about me … it’s about you. You are special and have lots to offer. I want to go to some of those meetings with you that cover “all addictions/neurosis” that you mentioned … then maybe you’ll find something more suitable for you, and i’ll start finding a group for me (i’m hoping more for an art group … but that’s where i’m at). Love to you sweetness. 🙂 xo mel

    • working on it

      Mel! It’s amazing what wakes us up. Hon one day you and I are gonna meet. We know where to find each other its just a matter of being in town on the same weekend. Loveya.

  4. working on it

    Thank you for posting this. I must admit I felt a little sick and naked when I read my words in an open forum…kinda like speaking in a group. I’m considering it but still on the fence. It helps a lot coming here.

    Thanks again and I look.forward to coming back.

    • i appreciate your courage and the you that you are coming will soon thank you for it. Saying these kinds of things out loud is great therapy! i hope you’ll feel strong enough one day to attend any kind of a group session because i think you are worth it.

      Keep working on it, my friend,

      Al K Hall

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