Recovery and Crutches
Recovery means giving over the crutch without which I thought I could never live. I was sick – but I refused to give up what was making me sick. How sane is that? I was defensive about my drinking, and I lied about how much I drank. I also ignored – excused –what happened to me when I drank. And I kept drinking to forget all pits into which I kept falling!
A potent quote:
Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch. ~James Baldwin
It took me almost twenty years to admit I might have a problem . . . and I am grateful for having learned through Al-Anon, I was not a moral misfit, and weak-willed drunk who just couldn’t say no. I learned, as I was trying to get help for another alcoholic in my family, I had an illness: physical, mental, and spiritual.
I called AA almost two years before I went to a meeting. I could not – would not — think about life without booze. Booze was a life-sustaining crutch; although it was driving me crazy – making me sick emotionally and physically, I loved it. I would not consider stopping.
God Introduced Me to People Who Walked without Their Crutches
I had a mixed up assessment of myself: I wasn’t that bad . . . yet. (Which my sponsor cheerfully added.) So, God introduced me to folks whose lives and styles I admired. I found out they were recovering alcoholics – they were no longer consumed with wondering how or when their next drink would come; they had a good time at parties we attended; they had a life! I am grateful for their stories that showed me riding the elevator to the bottom is not a trip worth taking. In time, I reached out – and each one held out their hands – with no crutches.
Recovery isn’t about how bad I was; it’s about how willing I am to get well . . . am I willing to go to any lengths to have and enjoy sobriety? Recovery is living just one-day at a time without alcohol and with the fellowship, support, and good orderly direction that the Twelve Steps are.
How about you, friend how have you gotten better, discovering that crutch is a prop which is not helping you stand?
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful