Dec. 27, 2015

It's As Simple As Working The Steps

“The world is conquered and we have watched it with open eyes.  We can therefore quietly turn away and live on.”  Franz Kafka (Diaries)

 

I have spent time over the years worrying and analyzing how I am going to stay sober.  It seems as easy as, “just don’t drink,” but there is so much more to it than that.  For this alcoholic I kept going back out to drink because I thought each time it would be different.  I thought I would be successful.  Once I take the first drink the compulsion to drink is set and I have no defense.  I must have a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on.  After not drinking from December 2013 until May 2015, once again, I thought I could drink “normally.”  In those 17 months of not drinking I had forgotten what happens when I drink.  It started with a simple thought that I could have a nice glass of red wine to relax.  I would even use the measuring cup to measure my 6 ounces which I have been told is great for heart health.  I felt such triumph the first night of my success that the next night I rewarded myself with two 6 ounces glasses of wine.  Each night after that my rewards increased by ounces and my descent was rapid.  I even did what all good alcoholics do.  I changed to beer or vodka because I do better with those than wine.  When beer and vodka failed me I went back to my love, my wine.  When I made it back into the rooms of my 12 Step program I could easily say that I was an alcoholic.  I had said this many times over the years.  What I had to do was really believe without any doubts or reservations that my life had become unmanageable.  As I pondered this in my hungover state I had to think about when I started to drink again in May 2015 until my last drink October 30, 2015.  I had started with great hopes of being successful and being able to stop at one, or at the most, 2 drinks which led to me from point A-measuring my alcohol to point B-drinking with reckless abandon without stopping.  My life had become unmanageable.  I was controlled by alcohol.  Not only was I unable to stop my drinking, but drinking made me say and do things only a drunk could do.  In a short 5 months I had learned first hand how progressive the disease of alcoholism is.  I had become a very sick person.  Coming back to the 12 Step program I have learned many things, but the most important is that the steps are there for me to win.  To Live.  I will never be cured, but I do not have to drink today if I follow a few suggestions.  It is as simple as that.  Because other alcoholics paved a way before me, I can move on and live.