The value of being regimented cannot be overstated. Knowing what’s next is calming. However, at the same time, doing the same thing over and over again… well, let’s just say I’ve been down that road, with less than stellar results.
Step 3: made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
I like structure to my time. Not knowing what’s going to happen next has always been a cause for concern. Fear of the unknown and all that.
During the last few years of my drinking, I perfected the art of maintenance. This allowed me to walk among the normals without tripping, falling or slurring. I rationed out my addiction, which meant I was successfully controlling it. And I did control it, to the degree that I drank constantly and was able to stop before blacking out. The goal remained the same: quiet everything in my mind to a dull roar. Man-made white noise. Nice rut.
What’s new and different within me today: still fear. Still nervous energy. The same angst as before. Example: next week, my office is moving from one suburb to another suburb, five minutes away. The unknown. Where will I park? I was on the third floor; now it’s twelve… how I am going to handle the difference in atmospheric pressure? And so forth with the concerns that will only go away through repetition: of parking, of walking and of riding the elevator. In thirty days none of these fears will be fears, because they will become knowns, repeated, routine. It’s so much easier, knowing what to expect.
And that was the beauty of alcoholism: the label told me exactly what to expect for the next few hours, and for as long as it lasted, life was tolerable. I knew what was coming down the road: I had pre-engineered it.
Of course, I got sick and tired of that rut fairly quickly, and remained rutted and sick and tired for a solid ten more years. Surely, I believed, this rut I was continuously digging would someday rise up and I’d be a plateau, looking down at the normals on the plain. Hmm.
Today: Drop the shovel.