Practice what you preach

The inability to have a decent night’s sleep is starting to wear on my nerves. For the last couple of days I have woken up early, attempted to get naps in for the lack of sleep the previous night, only to wake up again the next day in the most awful moods. I referred to the pendulum and in a meeting a gentleman referred to something similar, “Life is like a roller coaster, sometimes we just have to ride it out.”

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Unfortunately, yesterday was no different. Yes, I had attempted to start fresh, write a new page in my life but I guess my Higher Power had other plans. A bombshell landed in the early afternoon which set my short temper off like a firecracker and I have not yet recovered.

Early afternoon our landlord, who I’ve only seen twice since I’ve moved here, came for a visit. He proceeds to say, “I’ve been told you guys are moving out at the end of the month.” I was in complete and utter shock, then the blood started to boil and I reacted. (Problem 1)

I called out program coordinator who appeared to have no clue of what I was referring to, thus transferred me to someone else. When I talked to the next person, she gave me a direct, “Yes, your all moving at the end of the month, would you like to talk to [Mr. X] (the Clinical Supervisor)?” Without a thought, I reacted saying, “No, you can call Mr. X and tell him to call us!”. Then I hung up. (Problem 2)

My thoughts were running 100 miles per hour. One, I felt disrespected. The program I’m living in doesn’t have the courtesy to say, “Hey, we’ve made a decision to move you to here at the end of the month.” Later I learned They, “didn’t know how to approach us in a softer, easier way”. Seriously? Just the truth would have been nice. Second, I’m in a supportive living program to help bring a sense of stability to my life. Instead I feel like a herd of cattle moving from pen to pen. Lastly, they aren’t even going to bother to help us move except transport us to the new place. It’s their expectation, “We say move and you do the rest.”

My roommate attempts to put me in the right place. He reminds me this program doesn’t care about the clients. They just care about the money. The more they can cut corners the better it looks to corporate. It was just the other day staff disclosed, “Our budget for this year (2019) is already spent . . ” Yet, they keep telling us, “..if you need something, please let us know and we’ll get it for you”. Of course, I want to turn this on me, “You expected something different, Michael.” Yes, I did. But part of me cries out, “This has nothing to do with you Michael.” It’s all about Them! You just happen to be stuck in the middle; I’m just a piece on a chess board strategically being placed square to square.

My Sponsor agreed, been put in the same situation, he would be upset too. But he also reminded me to do a couple of things. Let’s address Problem 1. First, take a breather. (Actually this is a skill I completely forgot about used in my first sobriety until right now!) We, as alcoholics, tend to react in early sobriety. It’s just what we do because our brains have not been rewired entirely, yet. Instead of reacting immediately, wait 24 to 48 hours. Go to meetings, talk to your Sponsor, pray on it, bring topics up in meetings and talk about it in meetings and with other alcoholics. In summary, he reminds me there are probably more underlying issues we need to address then what is on the surface (Step 4).

Since I reacted instead of approaching it through another angle, I admit I owe an amends to the staff member I hung up on. Actually I called back a couple of times but no one would answer the phone (which was odd). Anywho….when the time comes, I will do it. My Sponsor reminded me, “Perhaps do it sooner than later. It’ll be better for you in the long run.” He’s absolutely right.

I love my Sponsor. Lastly, he reminded me, “Michael, you tell us in meetings when you get in your own head, you get yourself in trouble. Aren’t you doing that right now?” Again, he’s right. I’m being a drama queen.

Honestly today my plan is to attend two meetings (one at noon, the other at night) and just LISTEN. I have another appointment with my other treatment counselor in the early afternoon (I’m usually just direct with him answering questions). After this appointment I think I’m going to lay down for a couple hours for a nap. I never did get to watch a movie yesterday either. Hmmmm…..perhaps I’ll do that today/tonight!

I’m feeling better again. I hope I can maintain it throughout the day. Sometimes the hardest thing is walking the walk after you have talked the talk. In other words, “Practice what you preach!”

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