Just an observation before I settle into a stupid horror movie for my Sunday nightcap (sorry, terrible pun but I’m not editing this).
I need to get this out for my own sake because one day I will read this as a sort of vitals check. A “where was I at and what was I thinking every step of the way” kind of measure. I pray it will help me parcel out a life of mindful sobriety and God willing; it will even make me wiser counsel if ever I’m privileged enough to help someone else who is suffering.
I’ll write this to myself, so you don’t feel preached at:
When recovering alcoholics suggest “you can’t do this alone” you should listen to them. It doesn’t mean you have to attend AA meetings until the end of time, if ever. Maybe that’s not for you. You know how you feel when someone in a support group more or less suggests that rehab, therapy or AA is the only way. Who cares if it might financially devastate you or compromise your employment, this is your life we are talking about here, right?
We addicts may be cut from the same cloth in a lot of mind-blowing ways, but our journeys are still custom made. What worked for one person may not for another. I think that is what all the failing is about, frankly. All the times you failed were not in vain. You took a souvenir home every time, didn’t you?
But let’s be honest, the one thing you know that is vital to staying sober is community. That can be one freaking person if that’s all you got. The more the merrier though, sure, but you know your limits. Your needs. It’s not the same as anyone else’s.
The days of isolating are over though. You know that to your core. Remember how you felt yesterday reading another person’s recovery blog? How she described you so intimately you saw yourself sweating in your own recliner chair; saw yourself whisper the same exact words of vacant gratitude to a substance that was killing you by inches.
That helped. You don’t know why exactly, but it did. Maybe it just reinforced the fact that you are not cursed, or weak, or a waste of life. You are just an alcoholic. That sucks. Noooo, you will never ever be able to drink “a glass” of wine like your co-worker after a shitty day. But take the thing that tried to kill you and put it in the light. You know how it breeds in the dark. Isolation is darkness. And sharing with another human being does do better under a little lamp light.
That can be a computer, like you are doing right now. That can be dinner with your parents. That can be reaching out to an old friend from high school. That can be confirming with your daughter’s therapist, “she told you I’m an alcoholic, right?” That can be sharing your poems with strangers and unexpectedly connecting with some soul in Germany. That can be sitting in the living room and getting dressed for the day for God’s sake.
It can be AA, therapy or rehab too, but it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be something and you’ll know what’s right for you because you’ll still be sober when you go to bed.
Just quit being afraid. There is no losing or failing that can ever compare to the losing and failing that you have accepted for your life up to this point.
But it is never too late. All that matters is that one second from now you are this person. Keep being this person. Please.
Now shut up already. “Shark Night” isn’t going to watch itself.
Sobriety Poet, aka, YOU