Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.
On the other hand—and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand—once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules. ~Big Book of AA pages xxviii-xxix
It’s been awhile since I was at a meeting. Life has been busy and finding time for a meeting has not been a priority. Mind you I do not believe my sobriety/sanity is in jeopardy after a couple weeks, but it just feels so much better to get into a room full of alcoholics working towards a better way.
I like this reading. It’s a popular one and something that always jumps out at me is the phrase “cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false“. That was me for sure. I jumped so far into that illusory world of alcohol that I didn’t know up from down left from right or right from wrong.
I spent my time with people who were doing the same awful things as I was or other awful things so my moral compass was not correctly calibrated. Since everyone around me was doing shitty things or the same atrocious things I was, What I was doing must not be that bad I guess! A clear case of the blind being led by the fucked up.
It was an endless cycle of misery. Doing the awful shit I was doing and continuing to spiral down because I couldn’t see a way out. Nor did I want one. Sure I knew on some level I was a shit-bird. That’s why I hid things from my wife and kids, from my family and friends. I knew “normal” people would look on me in disgust but I knew no other way.
In some ways I was comfortable with my alcoholism and lying and cheating. I was a piece of shit but I knew how to live life that way for while it lasted. Getting clean, coming clean was scary as fuck. I knew nothing about a normal life even before I started drinking.
A higher power, AA and honesty have enabled me to have that psychic change. Drastically and gradually I have become…me and not what I was before. I am amazed at how easy it is to live life. I’m not in control (never was) and I don’t have the answers to what obstacles will come.
What I do have is the willingness to do whatever work may be necessary to overcome or mitigate those obstacles and to admit that I can’t do it. I need my higher power who manifests through everyone and everything I encounter to show me I am not alone and together I will endure.