Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Disease and the Solution

Daave posted this link this morning. It is a short video from AA in the UK about the disease of alcoholism and AA. It moved me to tears.

I think one of the worst dangers about long term sobriety (and there are plenty, believe me) is the fact that we don't often think at a deep level about the desperation of that last drink. How horrifying our lives had become. We sometimes talk about these things in meetings, but really, how often do we really really remember what it was like to be shaking in bed, or puking, lying on the floor of the bathroom, when we were supposed to be cooking Christmas dinner? How often do I really remember what it was like to wake up in a motel room, with a strange man, when my children were at home -with a teenage babysitter - who was not intending to spend the night at my house?

When I hear people talk about how they don't want to hear "drunkalogues", it worries me. I want to hear them, and I want to tell my story as frequently as people will tolerate.

So, today I slept in. I am wearing satin pajamas, that have not once been urinated in. I am drinking a nice hot cup of coffee, straight coffee, no booze. It does not gag me. It is yummy. I am getting ready to use the new iPod my children got me for my birthday and go for a 5 mile run. Then later, I need to do some work (oh! woe is me! I have a job! I have responsibilities, and people trust me with high level duties that sometimes take more than 40 hours a week!) I need to send some Christmas cards - because I love many people and like to stay in touch with them. I need to go to Saks and return the $600.+ sweater my sister got me for my birthday and get something or somethingS more worthy, in my eyes, of that kind of money. I still have not done my Christmas shopping, but I will. I have some money for the purpose and I can do this.

I have this life today because I was desperate enough to call Alcoholics Anonymous on July 24, 1984. The day I thought my life was over. Wonderful, clean, healthy, happy men and women helped me and showed me they understood what it is like to drink like I did. What a miracle. I had no idea that my life was only beginning.

Thank you for listening.


dAAve said...

Thank you for sharing.
How many more gifts could a person receive -- Christmas or any other time of the year?

Pam said...

Whoa...I needed to hear that this morning!
The babysitter at the house not intending to spend the night was "my story". I used that memory several times in early sobriety to get by bo-hiney to a meeting. My kids are grown, and it still works for me. I don't want to ever feel that DEEP shame again.
Enjoy your new gifts little green bean casserole.

Scott W said...

Thank you for sharing your truth today with me and helping me to stay sober for another day.

YamadogGirl said...

Thank you MC, I missed this yesterday, but I'm glad I caught it today.

That remembering the past today, for me, is called my "healthy fear". I never want to forget that I thought it was better to die than go on living another day. I never forget that fear, and black hole that enveloped my soul that almost let me do it, and I never forget the little voice in my head that questioned me when I was taking my own life.

It said, "How will they really feel when you are gone? How will what you do effect their lives?" That voice was God, and He gave me mercy when I deserved none. I never forget that, and don't ever want to, so I visit my past, not in regret, but so I remember where I came from, and what I can return to if I don't do what I am supposed to daily.

Thank you so much for the post, sorry I rambled, but it really moved me tonight.


Christine said...

a $600 sweater? they make those? Wow what a gift!
And so is your sobriety, keeping it green and passing it on. Gifts you give us.

Oscar said...

Thank you for highlighting the link.
I live in the Uk and had not seen it.
I have now, and sent it along