Moving Forward Not Backward

It appears the weather is finally changing to a “true” Spring. No more bitterly cold nights, no snow on the ground when we wake up, the sun is actually shining for most of the day. This morning I sat on a park bench in my sweats with a cup of coffee in complete serenity. The thoughts and feelings from the last couple of weeks have finally left me. I’m grateful to have the program of AA in my life because I no longer have to live in that miserable illusion I used to call life.

I would drink to oblivion every night hoping all my problems would just go away. Instead I work up with a hangover craving for the next drink. Did I have enough for the next day? If not, how am I going to get it because I was usually broke a day after payday? What’s the cheapest place to get it? Do I get a six pack or twelve pack, perhaps even a 30 pack? Do I have enough gas in the car? What bill can I not pay so I have enough money since I’m broke? Oh shit, I’ve got this, this, that and more of that to do today. Screw it, it can all be done tomorrow. I’m just going to get drunk. Things will get done when I get around to it. F**k ’em all, I’ve worked hard and earned it to get drunk. We know the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over expecting the same results”. Sound familiar? It’s like being a mouse in a cage running on a wheel all day long. No longer do I have to live such a life; no longer do I live in an illusion everything is okay when I was actually digging my own grave.I don’t want to be a miserable, drunk prick wandering through life without a purpose.

Despite the chaos in my life in the last thirty days, I have honestly not thought about a drink. I’ve gone to grocery stores, gas stations, passed by liquor stores and even been to a Minor League baseball game. The craving and obsession to drink is lifted. However, I also recognize I can’t (and never will) say I’m cured of my alcoholism. From my own experience I know it’s a subtle foe, just like someone with cancer. If I don’t take care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually, it can and will come back with a vengeance. Therefore, AA in a way is my medication. But AA is much more.

I’ve recognized AA teaches me to be a better accountable and responsible person. I am the cause of all my problems. It wasn’t the drink. I don’t blame everything, everyone or circumstances for my actions when things go south. Instead, I take a honest look at myself and what I did to get there. Selfishness and self-centeredness are my problems. Instead when I make an effort not to be selfish and self-centered by helping others, I help myself.

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. For instance, if I look back at the last 30 days, I wanted to control everything and play God. Things didn’t go the way I wanted them, therefore I became a person of my past – a resentful, angry, miserable prick. Some changes don’t happen over night. It took me a while after talking to a lot of people, then sitting down with myself and saying, “What the f**k is going on with you?” With a belief in a Higher Power, I asked for Their guidance. In the last couple of meetings, the only message I heard was, “Let it Go”. It was like a hammer on an anvil beating a piece of steel over and over again beating out those imperfections. Not until I put it in water and out came steam did I see the changes. I have to work at changing those old thoughts and behaviors every day. Otherwise, I know based on my own experience, if I don’t work work on changing myself, those thoughts and feelings will eventually lead me to a drink. The only place that dark path leads me to is death – period.

Today, I want to live. My Sponsor likes to say, “Sobriety is to be enjoyed, not endured.” I don’t want to be a miserable, drunk prick wandering through life without a purpose. I may not know what my purpose in this life is right now but at least I’m moving forward. I’m not stuck or moving backward. Once again, I have found hope in the room of Alcoholic Anonymous, for that I’m grateful.

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