It’s been said many, many, many times that alcoholism isn’t a drinking problem; it’s a thinking problem. And sobriety definitely cut down on the severity of the craziness, but the craziness remains nonetheless. I’m still capable of spiraling out of control emotionally based on wrong-headed thinking, forged from warped beliefs solidified ages ago. I find myself clinging to the old pain, and to the old ways of dealing with the old pain, even before alcohol.
Step 2: came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
My go-to fall-back is isolation. Stew in the “me” juices for a while. Create wild scenarios in which I always end up enraged and defensive. Next, imagine counterattacks to the make-believe slights. Finally, adopt a hopeless, angry outlook on life, and radiate that attitude throughout the day. When asked what’s wrong, I’m always hard-pressed for an answer because I genuinely don’t know. So I settle on everything.
What I’m coming to understand regarding Step Two is the importance of preemptively Letting Go. That’s not just morning readings and a 10-minute meditation. It’s also exercise: getting my heart racing and burn out some of the energy that I used to spend twisting reality. It’s also coffee, and switching to decaf: the last thing a mind like mine needs is stimulation that promotes ferret-like thinking. It’s also cigarettes, and nicotine: another stimulant plus, yuck. And sugar: it’s been long enough now that my cravings no longer require nightly supplemental bowls of ice cream.
They all serve the same purpose, to varying degrees: they alter my state of being. And as long as I am over-using these things to keep me from being me, there’s still much to let go of, because I’m still looking for alternatives to spending time with myself.
Today: Cunning, baffling, powerful – a disease that will seek out substitutes until a time when it can attempt a coup d’etat… that’s craziness. Which reminds me… time’s also up on the “hey, I don’t drink anymore” excuse for my poor behavior. There’s much growing to do. It’s not just about not doing something. It’s also about getting ahead of the self-made disasters. Drop the matches before you’re putting out fires. Turn it over, and let it go.