Sometimes things get messed up for no discernible reason. I think I’m working the program, and there’s nothing concrete that I can point to as the cause of my irritability, but there it is, in my gut and in my way.

I feel off, unfocused. And most of all, I’m worried that since I cannot root out the cause of my displeasure, something must be wrong with my program. Finally, after much soul-searching, sponsor talks and readings, it hit me.

I’m a human being as well as an alcoholic.

Duh, right? It stands to reason that bumps in the road still exist. I’m still susceptible to freak-outs, let-downs, hurt feelings; they don’t go away just because I’ve got a toolbox. You can’t fix a leaky faucet with a tape measurer.

When my emotional stew begins to simmer, and I can see the potential for a boil-over, that’s when I try to determine the cause of the high flame. Is it work? Home? Family? Friends? Money? A bit of everything? Well, it is a stew, after all. Often, there isn’t one thing to point to. What happens when I’m in this nameless bog of dissatisfaction is this: I begin blaming whatever’s around. That means family, friends, pets, neighbors, traffic. And if that’s not enough, I move onto bigger things like society, crime, politics, religion. None of this helps, obviously, because blaming outside factors of which I have no control over only makes the situation seem more hopeless.

Talking myself down rarely works. I speak out loud, and what starts out calming and soothing perverts into a diatribe of resentments on anything and everything. Not good.

Perhaps I’ll just attempt to ride it out – this too shall pass, yeah? The problem with that is I don’t like to wait. Every few minutes I’ll check in with my state of being and judge it unsound. What to do, what to do.

What to do? Remember that the only thing I really need to do is not drink. Everything else is gravy. While in the throes of my disease, the stew was in a constant state of running over, and the only answer I ever had was the one that always made it worse: put a lid on it.

Today: Remind myself that it’s a miracle I’m not drinking. That’s ground zero, and it’s a positive place to start. Allow myself to breathe and look back, if only for an instant, to see how far I’ve come. There is a long, long way to go on this journey that never ends. I need to be thankful that at least now I’m walking.

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