Jan. 21, 2016

Feeling Like A Fake

“I felt resolute yesterday, that I am in despair today. Such differentiations only prove that one desires to influence oneself, and, as far removed from oneself as possible, hidden behind prejudices and fantasies, temporarily to create an artificial life, as sometimes someone in the corner of a tavern, sufficiently concealed behind a small glass of whiskey, entirely alone with himself, entertains himself with nothing but false, unprovable imaginings and dreams.” Franz Kafka, Diaries (December 10, 1913)

I could just quote Kafka today, and it sums up the way I feel. Do we all feel the same way when we are trying to achieve something? In the rooms of my 12 Step program, I realize my path to alcoholism and taking the road back in recovery is not unique. I am a garden variety alcoholic. I don’t have a great dramatic story about what happened to me and where I am now, but maybe that’s why I must tell it because it is an ordinary alcoholic's story. I have realized the reason I have had such a hard time getting sober is because I didn’t think my drinking was out of control. I thought I had to have legal trouble, lose everything and live in a dumpster. I have learned that a bottom is what is unacceptable to each alcoholic. I reached my bottom on October 30th, 2015 and I don’t want to go back. As an alcoholic I have a problem with perception; alcohol has stunted my growth as a person. I often think of what I could have accomplished and become if I had quit drinking years ago when I first questioned if I had a problem. What could I be now if I had gotten sober when I first admitted I had a problem in 2004? This is why getting sober is so important to me now. I want to live and not just exist. I want to continue to grow and evolve, and I want to be of maximum service to others. When I was drinking, I couldn’t stay focused on my dreams because I allowed my fears to eclipse them. When I was younger, and before I got into a quagmire of active addiction I would get up ready to conquer the day! As my disease progressed, I opened my eyes each morning and feared the hours before me. Recovery is giving me the tools to overcome this fear though the fears are still with me. This morning I awoke with excitement ready to seize the day, but those old anxieties and fears started taking over my thoughts. This can be fatal for this alcoholic. If I allow those thoughts to take over, I will descend into a person who does not think rationally, and then I will have the desire to change the way I feel. I don’t want to do that today. I accept who I am, and I know who I can become. I am an ordinary person living an ordinary life, but giving it a splash of zest without the chaos and fear.