Monthly Archives: April 2014
There’s a parable in this one book called the Bible about two brothers. One of them is a good son and helps out his dad and is an all around hard worker, but his brother is a real asshole who only parties and and takes off when he’s still young, leaving his dad and his straight brother to do all the work.
Years later, the party brother decides he’s tired and comes back home and his dad is psyched. He’s all, “Hey, son!” and “It’s so great to have you back!” and all “Here’s half of all my stuff!”
So the other brother, the good one, is like, “WTF, dad!? I was here the whole time and working hard and shit, and you give this asshole who didn’t do anything the same share of your stuff that you gave me!? The hell!?”
Well, here’s “the hell”, in my completely uninformed opinion.
In the rooms the other day, there was a young woman, late twenties, who was talking about how she got sober young, before really hitting a hard bottom. She wondered aloud if she’d gotten in too early.
i got into recovery late in life. At 48 years old. After 30 years of drinking alcoholically. Do i wish i’d gotten sober sooner? Hell yes. Do i think about all the years i only half lived? Do i think about what i could’ve made of myself if i’d sobered up earlier? Do i wonder how rich my life would be at this moment if i’d entered recovery as soon as i knew i had a problem? You bet your ass i do.
My point is this. She has regret-free decades in front of her to make her life something beautiful, something amazing. As for me, i came into the program late, but like that brother who walked the wrong path, i have received all the rewards of sobriety. i have a joy in my life i never knew possible and i carry with me a profound gratitude that these years i have left promise to be happy ones.
Maybe the good brother is wrong to be jealous because, while the siblings may have the same share now, the bad brother sacrificed a lot of treasures in the past that the good son had been enjoying for decades.
It’s never too late to receive those rewards. And the earlier you start collecting them, the sooner you can start enjoying them.
Then it hit me: I can never have another drink for the rest of my life. What a depressing thought.
The other day in a meeting, a newcomer shared that sentiment. Anyone who’s been in recovery for any amount of time can certainly appreciate that moment when the realization hits you like a truck: You can never have a sip of alcohol again. Ever.
The panic associated with that thought is so prevalent, it is no doubt one of the inspirations for the famous saying, “One Day At A Time.” The expression cautions the alcoholic: Don’t worry about not drinking for the rest of your life, just worry about not drinking today.
Three years into sobriety, i had a different reaction this time when the speaker said, “Shit! I can never have another drink for the rest of my life!?”
My first thought? “I should be so lucky.” Quickly followed by, “God willing.”
The idea that the sadness i’d made of my life as an alcoholic was over forever, put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. That the debilitating pain i felt in my bones and spread to others in my life has been eradicated as long as i don’t pick up, reassured me. The concept that i can never have another drink for the rest of my life filled me with hope.
i’ve stopped drinking–not for good, but for better.
Don’t let life AA gives you, take you away from your AA life.
This expression could just as well be, “Don’t let the life recovery gives you take you away from your recovery life.”
i’ve been guilty of this of late, cutting my meetings down to 1 a week when i used to hit 4, reading the Big Book less, not talking to my sponsor… The biggest reason is i have 6 blogs under 3 personae and i love each of them too much to stop.
How do i do it? Thanks to sobriety, i have so much more physical and creative energy. The ideas come on their own and the desire and willingness to sit down and craft them hasn’t come this easily in decades. The only thing i don’t have more of is time!
Thankfully, AA has also taught me to recognize the symptoms of my disease, and i know that i’ve been waking up a little less serene lately and finding myself more impatient in the last few days because i haven’t been going to enough meetings. Thank my Higher Power, these symptoms are easy to cure and i’ve started resuming my regular meeting schedule this week.
As for my blogs? Yes, i know i have to let at least one of them die so i can give more attention to the rest, so i’m leaving it up to my HP and to my life to decide, because i can’t!
Be careful that the good life sobriety brings doesn’t take you away from the sobriety that delivers it!
Country music musician Keith Urban and i have one thing in common: we both think Nicole Kidman is hot. Other than that, our taste in music and approaches to sobriety are pretty divergent. While his sobriety is linked very closely to his wife (after 4 months of marriage to Kidman, Urban relapsed in alcoholism and checked himself into rehab–some say at her insistence), i tend to think you have to be sober for yourself first. Here, then, are some alternate takes on sobriety, because there’s no right and wrong when it comes to recovery, as long as it works.
What it was like
[After I first got to Nashville in 1992] it was how I dealt with a lot of loneliness. I wasn’t used to rejection. I wasn’t used to loneliness. It just seemed like nothing [my band and I] did was connecting or happening and it was very frustrating.
It [alcohol] was my diversion, my way of numbing myself to the rejection and the loneliness and the confusion.
The truth is that I wasn’t even aware of where it was at in my life and how it was just going to come down and take me down like it did. I was probably in such a state of denial that I consciously wasn’t aware of it.
I was going to lose it all. It was like, “If I don’t choose this moment to do the right thing and do something that’s going to give me life, all of the things I’m scared of losing, I’m going to lose anyway.”
I deeply regret the hurt this has caused Nicole and the ones who love and support me. One can never let one’s guard down on recovery, and I’m afraid that I have. [From his official statement upon entering rehab after 4 months of marriage.]
I had to make a decision which road I was going to take, once and for all. I’d been at that crossroads before and always taken the wrong road.
Life’s about crossroads. You can choose life or you can go the other way…. It’s not a matter of all the intricate stuff in between. It’s just life or no life.
I knew very well right then that this is actually going to be the best, strongest road to get me back to the two things I love, which are my home life and my career, and finding the balance in those two. I need them both.
What it’s like now
[On life post rehab:] Definitely some adjustment. I don’t remember exactly the feeling of it other than, just, it was just a bit unfamiliar at first, and then it came back really fast. Because there’s such a gratitude to be doing this again…. Music is just the great savior for me. The road for any artist can be a place where they run away and hide. Or where they can work through their issues. For me, it’s an opportunity to express things that I just don’t know how else to express.
Sources for the quotes: