Monday: Wants versus Needs
Just as material losses are not necessary to indicate alcoholism, material gains are not the true indications of sobriety.
We heard from another young lady tonight, and her story, “Student of Life.”
Growing up, in an alcoholic house, was tedious at best. But I did have certain lessons down pat. I knew how to take care of a home, and myself to a certain degree. I went to school, and did fairly well.
I was 13, I think, when I got my first job. I was a bag boy in a grocery store. It was the first of a string of jobs I would have. And I had some seriously good jobs. They were the best. I worked a season scooping ice cream. I worked a double header in two shops that fried chicken and hot wings. I was a short order cook for a while as well. I had the chops to do a good job and BE responsible.
My parents were not going to pay for college. My first year was a scholarship that went no where. The second, I have spoken about before, in Seminary. But that did not go anywhere either. Working for a living now competed with my drinking.
When the time came to move away, you’ve thought that I would carry all the things I already knew forwards. This theme does repeat itself …
Thinking that I would carry forward what I did know …
I knew the apartment I wanted, in the specific Orlando apartment complex, because of specific people I knew who lived there, and at 21, I wanted to be them, and damned the torpedoes. I had a new car, that I could not pay for, and the expensive apartment, well outside my means, and the inability to be responsible for any of it, because of my drinking.
You’ve thought that what little responsibility I knew about, would carry forwards…
All my wants … Did not square with the Responsibility that needed to exist and didn’t.
Because I was ruled by my addiction to alcohol.
Our writer tonight talks about the fact that she did not LOOSE anything, so she figured she wasn’t an alcoholic. But we also know that she had not lost anything, because she had NOTHING to loose, YET.
Loss is a common theme in my life, as is geographical cures, lies, and irresponsibility.
Within the first few months of moving away, I lost apartments, I lost a car, I lost jobs, I lost boyfriends. If it was not nailed down, I lost it.
Nothing in life was nailed down at all.
When I got sick and was going to die … I NEEDED to get sober. There were no two ways about it. If I was going to LIVE I was going to STOP drinking.
I had to stem the losses and get right. And that worked for a few years.
But listening to people telling me to go, disconnecting from meetings, and lying to my friends, and listening to the voice in my head, was very detrimental.
I’ve said before that, ask any alcoholic in the room, male or female, about the HOLE in the SOUL, and they will tell you that (If I ONLY had a relationship, everything would be better).
Not So Grasshopper …
My needs were warped to begin with, and the need for a human trumped my need to stay sober, in the end.
I pissed away four years sober for an imperfect human addict.
And in the end, I lost everything that I owned that time, and almost my life with it.
The first time I got sober, it was because I needed it.
The second time I got sober, was because I WANTED it.
The blackouts and the sickness came. And I just KNEW, I was DONE.
I prayed for that alcoholic to show up, and he did. Like clockwork.
When I moved to Montreal, I had 2 suitcases and 4 boxes. That was my life.
Not very much.
In my twenties, I could not hold down a job, make money, or have a solid home. But for a brief stint, when I got sick, I had a solid roof over my head, while Todd was in my life.
When I moved here, sobriety took the drivers seat. It was all I had. And I busted my ass for all these years, and now I am here. The Promises came, albeit, very slowly. In years 13 to today, my life has taken a serious turn, and I have arrived, in a place, I never thought I’d find in this life. Because I am not supposed to still be here.
I should have died, long ago. But it seems God has other plans.
I had to learn how to be responsible. One thing at a time, and nothing more. I learned to to be spiritually fit, from spiritually fit people.
Little do you know that setting down chairs, making coffee and shaking hands, is the prep work we get to do.
Those simple jobs of making a meeting, are the beginnings of a life of responsibility.
What a Grace. What an absolute Grace. Sad, many people don’t see it that way.
One of my friends said tonight that, the Program is to help us become Spiritually Fit. And in the end, if it works right, We find Spiritually fit people, who can help spiritually Unfit people, get better. But, it has come to pass, and the lesson applies to many … You might have the time, but not necessarily be sober.
Sobriety comes little by slowly. What I failed to carry forwards as a young person, and even in my twenties and from Todd, specifically … I got my Do Over.
I’ve been in Do Over Territory for a long time. All those things we failed to learn when we were young or while we drank, we get to relearn. We get to try again. We get to get it right.
How many normal people who fail at life and give up, they don’t get their do over… We in the rooms get that grace and we get our Do Over.
I know who I am. I know my goals, dreams, values, and boundaries, and I know how to protect, nurture, and validate them. Those are the true rewards of sobriety, and they’re what i was looking for all along. I am so grateful that my Higher Power stepped in to show me the way to the truth. I pray every day that I never turn my back on it. I came to A.A. in order to stop drinking; what i received in return was my life.
Truer words were never spoken …