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There’s nothing sadder than watching myself stand in my own way. Total awareness that my thoughts are crazy thoughts, my actions are selfish and distorted actions, and my inability to fix it agonizing. I was done with the alcohol merry-go-round. And although I was off the ride, I was still plenty dizzy.

Patterns of behavior that served my disease well aren’t so good for my sobriety. My need to escape pulls out the drunk’s trick suitcase I used to travel with. Misdirection, sleight-of-hand, lies. I juggled my moods to suit my habit, which was made up of two-parts: isolate and drink. In order to drink I needed to run away. And coming up with constant diversions can wear a person down. I found the best, easiest and fastest way out was by picking a fight. I’ll apologize later; I need to drink now!

Now that the drink part is out of the way for today, enacting the same behavior seems even more unbelievable. Shouldn’t sober me know better? Why am I still going over the emotional cliff ever few weeks? Here’s why: It’s what I do. It’s all I remember. Breaking the physical pattern was difficult enough. Looks like the mental side has dug in its heels. It likes the rut it knows, while totally understanding it’s no good for me.

I feel the destruction build inside me, make itself at home for a couple of days, then move on, like a squatter. I spend those days acknowledging the squatter, and when asked why I don’t kick him out, I can only shrug. It looks like I’m lazy, and I’m pretty sure that plays a part of it. How many days of crap do I need to marinade in before I reach out?

Normally, the answer is 3 – 4. That doesn’t always mean I reached out, but the crazy has diminished. Apparently, I’m fine with pissing on my weekends. I don’t realize I’ve got the flu until I’m heaving into the toilet. Nothing is too bad to handle until it’s too bad to handle. Sometime between the former and the latter, something needs to be done.

So, the trip-wire that I’m trying to install in my brain is this: positive action must follow recognition, and I must recognize when I’m not right-sized. And I know what that feels like.

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