rockTo me, the saying that someone is ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ sums up perfectly my addiction to alcohol because I couldn’t live with it and couldn’t ever imagine a life without it.  Needless to say, it’s not a great place to be. I met with a new sponsee today, she has 35 days sober and she’s in that place.  The fog is beginning to lift and she’s very nervous, anxious and desperate.  

It was our first real chance to get to know each other as we just met 3 days ago. It’s truly amazing how the program of Alcoholics Anonymous works, that by one alcoholic talking to another about  how it was for us when we were drinking, what happened and what it’s like now, – we have the ability to make a connection. By telling someone what a complete and total f**k up we once were (and sometimes still are) we can let a person know that if we can get sober there’s no reason why they can’t either.

We talked about our drinking histories – she started very late in life and I started very early. We talked about how each of us drank -she was a maintenance drinker, drinking every day and I was a binge drinker – holding off for a few days at a time until my body screamed for alcohol. There were other differences too, she has grown up children who have left home and I have an eight year old son who is very much in my face on a daily basis. None of that mattered though because we found that even though there’s a 2o year age difference, when it comes to our disease – there really is no difference.  

For both of us, we got to a place where we were physically unable to stop drinking once we had started. We had both tried at many different times to control our drinking, only to get to a place of complete and incomprehensible despair.  It was obvious when we were done talking that our disease isn’t choosy – it wants the same thing for all alcoholics and addicts and that is death – the slower and more painful, the better.

I didn’t tell her that it’s probably a good thing that she has got to this place. Because for me at least, the more desperate I was, the more willing I became to try anything to stay sober – even AA.  Sometimes, being stuck between a rock and a hard place can be right where we need to be in order to get us started on the journey of recovery. 

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Comments
  1. Chaz says:

    Hey Georgia…. great post.

    I too am in The Program. I remember the place you talk of well. In early recovery when everything is still so new and overwhelming… and your disease is still nagging at ya.

    For me, I can remember the, “Now that I have been sober a while, maybe I can control my drinking now”. That thought came to visit me frequently. In fact, last night while I sat in traffic, it came for another visit.

    During my period of recovery misfires, I listened to the voice and went back out. I was able to prove absolutley positive that I could not control my drinking. It never worked and the chaos grew in magnitude.

    I took the suggestion to not worry about the answer to the question for any more than a day. I would tell myself that maybe one day I could control my drinking but today I cannot so “Thanks disease… but Just for today, I’ll pass”.

    That got me through those times until I got more recovery under my belt and the voice became less frequent. Now it is extremely infrequent, yet my reply is the same. I simply tell my disease… “Ya-ya, whatever, I am not going to drink today”. Then life becomes so much more serene. I stop the debate. The choice becomes simple. “Not today”. Thats it. Nothing more complex than that.

    In year 2, someone in the program offered this suggestion. It was his 4-point plan for handling crisis. This is not “Program”, but it part of his and now my program and it works…

    When crisis hits (mental, emotional, physical)…
    1. Don’t DRINK under any circumstance.
    2. Don’t try to CONTROL the circumstance.
    3. Don’t make any DECISIIONS while in the crisis.
    4. Ask for HELP asap.

    I have practiced this progression many, many times. It was shared with me so compellingly and from a guy whose life was such painful chaos, that I figured if it worked for him, it must work for me. It does.

    I would just “shut off brain, turn on 4-point strategy”. Point 4 usually landed me at a meeting or in discussion with my sponsor.

    Anyway… love the newcomer theme you have.

    Glad to cross your path.

    Will check out your blog again.

    I am at http://www.yuppieaddict.webpress.com/

    Ciao. Chaz

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