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Before I was even aware of the promises, my early sobriety brought me some new freedom in the form of about 4 extra hours a day. That’s a whole bunch of free time to kill. And I was in a murdering mood.

A Month of Promises (pages 83-84), sentence 2: We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

By the end of the run, my alcoholism had become highly evolved. If the late stages of my disease could be represented in animal form, it’d have to be the great white shark, minus the personality. I’ve often heard it said that necessity is the mother of invention. I’d go one better and state that addiction is the uncle of innovation. As a full-time drinking machine, everything non-booze related was systematically eliminated from my life, and often creative excuses, dodges and lies were deployed in order for me to maintain. Constantly moving, evading and rationalizing: to do nothing was to go crazy.

And then, sarcastically thankfully, I was given buckets of downtime. There was suddenly a whole bunch of nothing to do. I was left without my purpose, and the fear that I’d never find a new one. But I kept my head down, pulled off a 90-in-90, listened and read. I immersed myself in the program. And still there were daily moments of white-knuckled panic, late at night or mid-afternoon, sitting in traffic or eating at the kitchen table.

That’s where faith comes in. My ass isn’t covered 24/7 in the form of the physical. There’s going to be times where calling out to someone is impossible. But what the true miracle of this program is, and what the promises say in so few words, is that I now know that I can’t control my emotions, only recognize them and let them go. I’ve got a new freedom to feel; one that always isn’t happy, but one that’s always real. Be happy that I can honestly feel bad. That, oddly enough, did the trick, once in a while.

One thought on “what to do, what to do.

  1. Thanks for this post. I’m only beginning to accept how I’ve lived my life. The way you wrote about the things that weren’t related to alcohol really resonated with me. I always worked, and rationalized and moved around in every aspect of my life. I stopped really feeling, and began always thinking, always preparing. I forgot what it really felt like to feel bad, to really feel good, and just got used to inserting emotions like life was a game of fill in the blanks. That became so regular it felt normal.

    Now I’ve found myself with a lot more time on my hands, holding on, just staring down the barrel of reality.

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