Thirst Things First

In The Drink

My sobriety is my #1 priority. Before my kids, before my wife, before my parents, before my job…

Does that sound selfish? It feels selfish to write but, at the same time, i’ll remind you of an AA expression i’ve mentioned before:

If you put something before your sobriety, be prepared to lose it.

And i don’t want to lose my kids or my wife or my family or my job…

Before sobriety became my #1 priority, everything was my #1 priority. It depended on the moment. One minute my job was and if that wasn’t working exactly as i thought it should, then my life sucked until i got home and dinner became my number one priority and if that didn’t turn out exactly as i’d planned then my life sucked until i went on the computer and that became my #1 priority…

Now that Sobriety is at the top of my list, there’s no room up there for the little details and that’s helping me put things in perspective. For example, lately it’s hard for me to get too worked up about “disasters” at work because they are relegated toward the bottom of my concerns.

Funnily enough, now that sobriety is anchored at #1, all the other aspects of my life seem to fall into place quite nicely.

Saint George outside on of my AA rooms.


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.

Posted on June 30, 2012, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Re: the pic: nice save … relatively speaking.

    Re: You and your commitment. Fu***** A! Absolutely right. Gone like dust if sobriety takes a powder. Keep on keeping on. You will never lose with this simple, (ha ha HA selfish plan). It is SO about others … not about being selfish! 🙂

    • working on it

      You are so right. You have to put yourself first to be good for others.

      • Where were you when i was writing this post!? It only took you 11 words to say what it took my a whole page to write!

        Keep coming back, my friend,

        Al K Hall

    • Hi Mel!

      Thanks for reminding me that this plan is about others as well! It’s true, from the perspective that it’s a boon to them mean it’s not all about me! Thanks for the insight!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. working on it

    You are not selfish. You have to put yourself and sobriety first or you.can’t be good for others.

    Go Saint George..he is the best next to Michael the Archangel. Both protect those who protect us…ok off on a upbringing. 🙂

    • You’re cute with your Catholic upbringing! If i see any Saint Micheal’s around here, i’ll be sure to post one or two shot for you!

      Keep coming back and keep working on it!

      Al K Hall

      • working on it

        Sorry about the double post. The first and this one didn’t go through so I got creative and posted the abridged version in a reply.

        Whenever I feel spooked as in going for night walks or drives I call on Michael. Inevitably a PO car will appear…maybe it is coincidence, but it is probably Michael. Take care!

  3. oh man-thanks yet again for 2 fabulous pictures, and a fabulous post. seriously. I look forward to the sense of serenity you seem to posses, to envelop my realm. Your kids, wife, parents and coworkers are fortunate to have you in their lives.

    • Dudette! i’m flattered. You’re going to make me blush! i do feel a sense of serenity and i’m just happy some of that come across in my writing. The nice thing is, i started to feel it soon after the numbness went away and every day i can feel it getting stronger. It’s nice to feel the way i feel today, which is better in than yesterday, and it’s awesome knowing i’ll feel even better tomorrow.

      Thanks for coming by and keep coming back!

      Al K Hall

  4. inthesameboatla

    Your post made me realize that the varying degrees of alcoholism can be analyzed through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.'s_hierarchy_of_needs

    With that, we can examine the relative priorities of sobriety.

    [Physiological] For some, staying sober is as important as avoiding cosmic radiation. They will soon die if exposed to alcohol.

    [Safety] For others, staying sober is as important as keeping their jobs. They simply cannot keep it together enough to provide for themselves if they drink.

    [Love/Belonging] For some, staying sober is as important as staying close to their families and friends. If they begin drinking again, they will find themselves isolated, although functional.

    [Esteem] For others, staying sober is as important as their self esteem. The guilt of drinking, or more likely the hangovers, makes them feel like a loser.

    [Self-actualization] For others, staying sober is as important as their ability to write a beautiful poem, solve a mathematical problem, or climb a mountain for the fun of it. Drinking interferes with their ability to get a kick out of life.

    And for many, drinking does not interfere with any of these levels.

    I would like to say that I quit because although I was able to keep it together at all levels, it interfered with my self-actualization. But the reality, I see now, is that alcohol was interfering with all levels of the hierarchy, at times being a direct threat to my survival. So yes, avoiding alcohol to me is as important as avoiding an on-coming train. I guess that’s why I’m in the Same Boat.

    • ITSB!

      i love when you comment because you always make my posts look more intelligent than they actually are! lol

      That said, i agree 100% with what you say and would even take it a step further. To be self-actualized, we must first take care of our basic needs for safety, then for food and shelter, then love and some esteem.

      For me, yes, drinking would put my health at risk, obviously, as i tried to kill myself in my last binge. So by removing that “cosmic radiation”, i can become sober enough to take care of my shelter, and those i love, and then get me some esteem from you good people!

      i would in no way say i’m self-actualized, but i suspect that’s one trip where the journey is a hell of a lot more interesting and fun than the destination. i have a lot of time, so i’m taking it!

      Thanks for stopping by, brother, your comments always take this stuff to a whole ‘nother level!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

      • inthesameboatla

        I love it when you post, Al. Reading an Al post has the same therapeutic effect as going to a meeting but I don’t have to put my pants on and give out my phone number.

        I have a new “goal”: reach Maslow #5. And I can’t self-actualize if I’m drunk…or dead.

  5. I agree, life is just so much simpler sober. Who would have thought??

  6. Man, I think I just need to sit here and read your blog all night (err, morning – it’s 1:30am lol). This is the 2nd post I’ve read that spoke directly to me! I have been putting things above my sobriety and while I haven’t lost it, the temptation and urges and cravings are starting to get stronger and more frequently. Yep, I totally needed to see this right this very minute.

    • Thanks Ginger!

      It’s so true that we addicts have something in common and that by sharing our stories, hopes, fears, dreams…we tap into the collective-ness that is recovery. This is one of the reasons recovery in groups is such a great tool. i’m just glad you found something useful here!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  1. Pingback: Thirst Things First « Al K Hall-ic Anonymous | ReCovery is Humorous. Have FUN! |

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