Aside from the belligerent behavior and systematic sabotage of my life and everything within it which I held/hold dear, WHAT’S TO BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT? Surely there are millions upon millions whom probably in more ways than not are like me. I’ve heard some numbers, but I don’t know the source reference, so let’s just say I’m estimating. Nevertheless, here I am 25 years later, finally wizening up (if that’s not a stretch); sobering up. One day I’m drunk/drinking and the next day different. There’s nothing magic about it, really. I had given up waiting on the world to uphold some strange ethical code I had in my head/heart? I had all but given up my own. I gave up on myself and the world happily supported that. That cliché about looking yourself in the eye, as much as I hate clichés, well, that happened to me. The disgust I had for the image in the mirror that day, it literally made me sick to my stomach. Well, that, and the binge hangover, I’m sure.
I remembered when I was vibrant and dynamic. I could keep my own gaze with confidence. I commanded what I did rather than hoped for it. I had a plan (WHAT A LAUGH). Age may have played a factor in all this as well while I studied the deepening lines on my face (damn those clichés) and thought – How did I become this? Long had it been since I bothered to look at myself. The person I saw that day and the one I remembered were two different people. But one in the same. How confusing was that day, huh?
I had been to A.A. before. 15 years ago I received a month sobriety chip. I loved the program but then paid a visit to an old friend and returned to old habits. I told myself, if I could do it for 30 days, I could do it for an eternity, when I was ready (I said I loved the program, not grasped it). After that point I still held A.A. in high regard, though only as a good alternative lifestyle, when the time came.
This time, my motivation wasn’t the rock bottom moment which I shared. At least not at first. It was simply for my most recent drunk buddy. “Sure,” I told myself, “it was him who got me into this stupor. I might be messed up, but damn, he fell asleep at the bar!” In my opinion, that was a line you just didn’t cross!
So I took it upon myself to be the good friend that got him some help. Being his coworker also, I pestered him all day. Eventually, he caved and agreed to a meeting with me that night. There were a few stipulations, but I figured if I could just get him there, A.A. could put the whammy on him. So I set it up.
I made sure to arrive a little early to tell the people how things needed to go in order to keep him (HA!) “Please don’t call any attention to us. We just want to observe.”, I instructed. I think we all know how that went. Chips, hugs and names were exchanged, and to make a long story short, he never went back but I did, and continue doing so. Eventually, even though he still suffers, I realized what had taken place, and thanked him for being a supportive friend by getting me through those doors.
It hasn’t been peaches ‘n’ cream by any means. I still get cravings and mood swings, have picked up and put down step 4 several times, am seeking another sponsor, and am trying to tough my way through these things labeled “Service Work”. I already see a monumental improvement across the board. I’m not drinking, going to meetings, and trying to carry the message. The one that works for me is: “If you want to continue drinking, that’s your business. If you want to STOP drinking, that’s OUR business.” And so it is.
Thanks for letting me share.
~ Danny S.
Salt Lake City, UT