Yeah, see, new doesn’t always lead to better.  It leads to different, and that can be good or bad, neither or both.  It’s a simple vowel change that takes me from new to now and even my mouth, when sounding out the words, can feel the switch.  The kissy face that comes with “new” – it’s like saying hello to a baby’s forehead.  Follow that with the urgent command of an oval that accompanies the pronunciation of “now”, and I’ve got quite a contrast in what I want (new) and when I want it (now).

Step Three: made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

Do the mouth exercises with the two words and it’s all right there, by God.  “New” pushes the lips out, centers and focuses the breath through a narrow opening; whereas “now” requires something of a scream, the air coming out hot, elongated, nasally and tight.  The problems arise when I begin demanding the first with the second.  It’s a ridiculous facial distortion that occurs, and I really need to bring it out in front of the bathroom mirror: “new now new now new now”.  Do that a few times and see how seriously I take myself.  I mean, it’s all right there in the reflection:  want, doubt, fear, need.  Infant emotions brought to the forefront through honest to goodness alcoholism.

It’s during this exercise that I pull a “Bloody Mary” with the mirrored me and see who’s to blame:  King Baby.  Like an arch-nemesis long forgotten since last we battled atop an active volcano, he appears on the final page flip, the big reveal.

New often means opportunity.  Opportunity always means work.  I would like to skip the work.  This is when King Baby steps in, bloating my brain with self-importance and the pointlessness of life opportunities in equal amounts, causing paralysis of the soul.  It’s amazing how quickly I’ll take my sobriety for granted and want to get on to the next thing.

Not drinking is an action of not doing.  Sitting on the couch not drinking technically counts.  The program, however, requires constant doing.  That’s the point, and I’m aware, but as someone who’s always needed instant gratification and validation, the long waits between back-pats can get me a little cuckoo.

Thankfully, I know where I can find them today.  Someday I will come to understand that just being me is enough, but until that day, I need to pay attention to how others in the fellowship deal with the new to now in their lives.

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