I wish I could celebrate and jump up and down with joy at hitting 40 days of sobriety. I am happy – truly – however with this 2nd round of sobriety has come the realisation that this is really my last chance.
Trust me – this is not a drum up, a depressive state or some bizarre way of convincing myself that I shouldn’t drink, this is the reality of my drinking to date. Sadly, and yes, sadly, I cannot drink ever again – not ever – unless I want to lose my entire life as I know it. Unless I truly want to lose everything that I love, cherish and have worked hard to build and gain.
Friday night I was really wanting to ease the pain that the week had bought to me – one of the hardest weeks for a long time because I was sober and I did not use anything to numb the feelings of failure, fear, resentment and anger. I just sat with the feelings, sat with the lessons and shut my mouth as much as I could – I cried a lot, despaired of myself and my moods and in the end faced reality.
If I was to drink again my life would get worse immediately. No doubt about it. Everything within me knows that I came close again this time to losing my relationship with The Boy and, once again, I am close to losing my job due to my inconsistent moods and inability to manage one staff member. Plus other reasons.
I was hit with this realisation on Friday night after an AA meeting – that had not helped in a positive manner – but had ripped my soul open and exposed the truth.
I am one of the lucky ones because I have stopped drinking before I lost it all.
My bottom is high, however if I do go out and drink again I will be left with nothing this time.
So I started to grieve for my old friend – and I seriously considered not breaking up with him, to stay with his stable warmth and see it through to the end. Was all this hard work of the past 40 days worth the break up with the beloved friend who had been there with me through thick and thin?
Yes. Everything I have been through is worth it for one reason – nothing I have gone through, or will go through, will be as bad as the future will be if I continue to drink. The pain will be far greater, the sorrow much deeper and the regret will be profound. If I live to see that day – which I have an uncomfortable feeling that I will because it is my destiny to live to extremes.
So. I have committed to follow the steps, ask for guidance and to not pick up the first drink for any reason and, although life is tricky, painful and it sucks in areas I am determined that I will not let it get worse due to my drinking.
Some catchup reading and reflections to, well, reflect on:
- “Love and tolerance of others is our code” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p.84) – I need to practice loving others and to release all resentment, anger and hurt towards those that have harmed me – intentionally or not. I will focus on doing so to the best of my ability – otherwise I will rot from the inside-out.
- “Fear … of economic insecurity will leave us” (AA, p.84) – I have lived my life in fear of economic insecurity since I was young. In fact, I know that if I continue to drink, the first thing that will go is my financial security. If I return to drinking I will lose my job and The Boy and I will end up exactly where my nightmares take me – where I really feel I belong, yet have spent my entire life fighting not to end up. I still feel that I am at the mercy of the Universe in relation to my job – this week at work showed me that – and I still do not have a strong grip on my finances and spending. I am meeting my commitments, still have my home, however am still living one pay to the next and about two months of pay in debt. So really not that bad, however if I didn’t shop like I do, I would not be in debt – however how minimal. Debt is debt when you don’t have a job.
- “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol” (AA, p84) – This week has been a lesson to stop fighting everything and everyone – do I think I have learnt the lesson in full? No. But I have tried to stop resisting, to listen and keep my mouth shut (extremely hard for me) and I was successful some of the time. Mostly at home, work is a different kettle of fish – I am severely conflicted at the moment, feel like a huge failure, like I am the most immature person in the world, and who needs to pull her head in and grow up. I am mortified that my drinking has bought me to this place that I am quite obviously unbalanced and too immature to do this highly responsible job. Yet I know that my heart is in the right place, that I can do the work and develop a strong team – my drinking has just severely impacted my judgement and my behavior. It remains to be seen if the situation is salvagable – I keenly hope so as I truly like the work, the people and the role – I just haven’t like myself.
- “Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic” (AA, p.33) – enough said really.
- “I often did not think … (I) reacted to people and situations” – When I was drinking I was a ball of reaction and resentment – I did not, and could not think the situation through. My brain was too crowded and foggy to be able to make a clear assessment of my next step or word, so I responded on impulse and regretted instantly. To cover the pain, to dull my response time and calm the biting pain I would drink to take it all away, to no longer have to think things through or over. Soon, I was drinking to just survive as I found myself lost and confused without a drink or a hangover – I needed the relief of wine in my system to remind myself that I could feel something and control something even as I was losing control of myself.
Today is Gratitude Day.
I am so grateful that I have this 2nd opportunity to live life to its fullest, to have this last opportunity to right the wrongs and live life sober.
So grateful that I am able to attempt to change my work situation sober – that I am not still drunk and having to deal with being fired.
Grateful that The Boy is still here by my side and my heart no longer burns with the acid of resentment and pain of yester years.
Grateful that I still have a dog, my cats, family and friends and a place to call my own.
Amazed that the Universe is giving me this last chance to get my shit together – because God knows I have been given many opportunities and have been saved too many times.
Understanding that the future I fear could be mine if I so choose – so choose to continue to drink – the life of my nightmares is waiting just around the corner for me. The beast is hungry for new meat, new pain and a new plaything that is in the depths of despair – that will be me if I continue to drink away my so-called demons.
Hope that the life I dare to dream of will be mine if I am willing to go to any lengths to stay sober, to do any work that is required to keep safe and healthy.
Day 40 is a good day.