Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We have ceased fighting...

I made my way home yesterday. I do so love home. I love walking into my house after a few days away. It is beautiful to me. It smells good. It has all the things that I love - not fancy stuff, but things like my icons and my books. To me, it feels like a God-centered home. I am sure it looks eccentric to some, but it is just the way I like it.

While gone, I got to go to a very good AA meeting. Just a noon meeting in a meeting hall in a small town in Colorado. A bunch of old men, mainly, dropping in at lunch time. In varying stages of sobriety. No one bragged about how long they were sober, and no one acted sheepish because they were "ONLY" sober days or months. Later I found out a humble gentleman I met there was sober over 40 years. He not once acted the sober fool the way we do, with our chests puffed up, bragging about this or that, or having that phony humility "I've been sober a FEW 24 hours..." oh, puh-lease! AND, they talked about the 9th step. A real step discussion!

I got to visit with my sponsor and her husband. When you see someone only every few months, you get to notice their aging. It is not something I am enjoying. I think they are much more OK with it than I am. I did get to join them in their morning meditation yesterday, and that was wonderful.

I had a point to this post, but I haven't gotten around to it yet, I guess I better do that.

I sometimes get comments congratulating me on winning my battle against alcoholism, or being strong and brave not to drink all these years. I wonder how I could ever explain that I have no battle whatsoever with my alcoholism, and I am certainly not strong or brave. I surrendered, I gave up, I stopped fighting long ago. I was fighting it when I was still trying to drink. That was a battle every single day. But when you are done drinking and you surrender, it is not a battle to quit drinking. For me, I was just done. It was over. I gave up. It won. But I got to walk away. And walk away I did.

The work begins with trying to discover what person is really in there under all that garbage that we need to cover ourselves with in order to live an alcoholic life. That is what the steps are all about. It has been a long process to get rid of all that junk to discover the person God made. For me, I think it shall take a lifetime. I have to go against my instincts every single day of my sober life. My default is: selfish, self-centered, self-pitying, and just plain ugly. But by the Grace of God, most days I don't live like that.

The woman I was drank, and she will drink again. I need to be an entirely new person in order to stay sober. God can change me. I cannot change me.

Surrender to win. If you are alcoholic and have had enough to drink, this makes sense. Otherwise, it probably sounds like jibberish.

Thank God I drank enough to be ready for this wonderful way of life.


Carverlane said...

I went to a discussion meeting last week, and the topic was "To thine own self be true". Well, who the heck am I? You described the process of finding that out so well.

Kim from sAn Antonio

AnyEdge said...

I say the same thing: I have not wanted to drink ever since I triumphantly surrendered.

It is when a boxer stops getting up off the mat that the fight ends.

dAAve said...

Hey lady.
You're describing me to a T.

Syd said...

Surrender takes a while and am glad to have done that myself. I think that willingness and my Higher Power had a hand in my surrender.

Carrie Burtt said...

Mary my son is newly recovering from a bad drug addiction to pain killers. He has been off of them for 4 months now. I have spent countless hours with him just talking about how he feels, and life...He does go to NA meetings and CR at church, and has a sponsor at church. One of the things that he told me describing how he feels now that is different than before, is that he felt in bondage before...he had tried and tried to quit, and felt he was never going to be able to. Eventually he got kicked out of where he lived, his wife, and kids left him, and he just took off and stayed with a good friend out of state, and away from his "contact". His life has been difficult since that time, but he is releaved to not be fighting the addiction the grace of God...he is feeling that he is no longer in a constant bondage to a drug. Please keep him in your prayers. Love this post it is awesome! :-)

Willa said...

My coffee cup from the first AA convention that I attended says this - "Surrender to Win." Yes, I surrendered, because I no longer knew how to live and what I was doing wasn't working.

that girl said...

i love to read your writing as i so clearly hear the peace in it. i am not an alcoholic but can't even begin to imagine how much of an inspiration you must be to other alcoholics. you inspire me! :)

Scott said...

Surrender to win... I had sooo many things exactly backwards when I arrived in AA. Thankfully, I had great sober AA (the kind of sobriety you live) people to show me the way early on!

marie said...

surrender to win - I love it. Your post describes me. I ID with all of it. I just shared at a meeting last night how the more I tried not to drink the more I did. In sobriety, the more I try not to partake in my character defects (lose my temper, be judgemental, etc.)the more I do. Thank God for steps 6 and 7 and all the rest of them. Trust God, get to know myself, let God change me, so that I can make amends, pray, and help others. Amazing! Glad you are back home safe and sound.

Just Another Sober Guy said...

I guess I am in the right place because it all made sense to me!

Surrender to win - yep, that's me

I had no fight left in me at all and I hope it stays that way. I have had no desire to drink since the last time I did. That too I hope never changes.

Thanks for sharing this!