Early in recovery, I was asked to speak to a group of high school students in our church about how I got sober. I had not been around the program long enough to know AA’s Twelve Traditions. At the end of the talk, a young woman came up to me, shaking her head in unbelief: “You mean you can never ever have another drink?”
I didn’t say that – but that’s what she heard — and her question unnerved me.
I didn’t have enough sobriety to predict how long I would stay sober. I knew enough to say, “One day at a time is what I am banking on.”
Why she unnerved me, was I knew myself: My modus operandi is too often to start something with enthusiasm that wanes when the going gets hard. Recovery is a daily commitment.
I had about six months by then, and I could see the pink cloud was dissipating. I thought I knew a lot about recovery, having been in AlAnon for several years — The Fourth Step was coming; I didn’t want to be a drunk – but I missed the social aura that goes with drinking.
The high schooler’s innocent question made me wonder how willing I was to change me. What kind of me would I be if I could never ever have another drink?
My sponsor asked me, “What kind of me would I be if I didn’t stop drinking?”
A better question for sure, as I began to accept that sobriety was a gift I could take hold of each day because I am learning to let go of alcohol, and its dodgy promises.
I began to think through what a drink would mean. One drink wasn’t going to do it for me. Never had, never would.
Thinking through the next drink meant I needed to go beyond imagining the relief or pleasure I hoped it would bring – and imagine what a drink could do to me – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I knew what the last drink had done, and I didn’t want to go back to that person prison.
So does recovery mean I can never ever have another drink ever?
No . . . recovery means I have a choice. (Falling Down Holes Need Not Be a Given)
So, I choose to believe nothing is so bad, today that a drink won’t make it worse.
What kind of choices are you finding in recovery, dear reader?
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful