Friday – Personality Change A.B.S.I.
Another day, another adventure. But tonight I was flying solo, because my friend who usually accompanies me decided to stay in. The neighborhood has been jamming as of late, everything waits for a hockey game, even meetings.
There were crowds of people on the corner at the Sports Bar again tonight. He must be making a killing. Which brings much needed business to our neighborhood. With the completion of the Seville Project revitalizing further down Ste Catherine’s, our neighborhood has been given a much needed facelift.
I took off early as I needed to go by the mall on my way out, I took the train from Atwater instead of Guy. It was an easy ride out and to Laurier and the 51. The room was full, and we started from reading #1, in As Bill Sees It.
“It has often been said of A.A. that we are interested only in alcoholism. That is not true. We have to get over drinking in order to stay alive. But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by firsthand contact knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without undergoing a profound personality change.”
We thought “conditions” drove us to drink, and when we tried to correct these conditions and found that we couldn’t do so to our entire satisfaction, our drinking went out of hand and we became alcoholics. It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet conditions, whatever they were.
I sat and listened tonight, to many shares that I understood.
I don’t know if conditions, in hindsight, were reason that I drank. I was told in no uncertain terms that the only way to break into community was to go to a bar, have a couple drinks and to see what happened.
I didn’t drink out of anger, or hatred for the conditions that existed in my life as a young person. You can’t choose your family, and I had my hands full with Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.
I was an alcoholic before I ever left home. I had done my fair share of drinking before I took that leap away from the nest. And that alcoholism only took off worse in my twenties and into my thirties.
I was an empty shell when I came to the end of my drinking career. I was living alone, and only my landlord, my friend Mark, and a couple of others, knew that I was merely existing. I had no life. I had no personality. It was all taken from me my disease(s) and things were pretty hopeless. Because I surely did not see a way out of the hell I was living in.
Thank God for people and the program. And what they did for me. I had begun to battle back from nothingness into healthiness. And at the point that I felt I was strong enough to act in sobriety, I acted. Decisively and Pointedly.
I was at that proverbial turning point. To continue to ply myself with alcohol would surely lead to death or insanity. It wasn’t doing me any favors. Time was ticking and it was not on my side. So I acted …
When I arrived here – with what little I owned – I began a new start. I had left the past in the dust, all those conditions I wanted to escape, and a life that wasn’t serving me very well. And here is where I began to build my new personality.
Over the past eleven or so years, I have accomplished many things. I have learned about me and what makes me tick. The people in my rooms were my salvation and my guides. I met a man who became my mentor and is still, to this day, one of my best friends.
Everything that I went through as a child, a young person and a young adult, I have surveyed over the years, and I studied life from many angles, and I conclude that all that happened to me informed who I would become, here and now. I didn’t have to carry shit North with me. And I didn’t.
With a fresh start and a new life ahead of me, the world was my oyster. All those things that I had listened to all my life, were deleted. All the things I was taught was right, became wrong. All those things I had learned down south became questionable here.
I had hit a proverbial wall. I hit culture shock big time, and it was my mentor and guide who helped me create who I wanted to be. I was a fresh slate. So it began and has been written over the last almost twelve years.
I’ve done all those things that I wasn’t allowed to do. The braces came off my brains and through the vehicle of the rooms and the people in them, my life began to be shaped. I learned who I was.
I’ve heard it said recently from newbies that fresh in the program, they have no idea who they are, and in the long run, it will be a blessing to see who they become, because I understand that. I walked that road myself.
Everything I know today came from people and university and my sober journey. I am not who I was over a decade ago. Life is far greater than it ever has been. I do what I please, within range. I live a much greater quality of life and I count great people as my friends. I have changed and for the better.
I have had a complete personality overhaul. Just like the book says.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …